Twenty open textbooks will be developed for skills training and technical post-secondary subject areas. These 20 open textbooks are in addition to the open, online textbooks already being developed for 40 high enrolment first- and second-year subject areas.
"We're focused on making education more accessible throughout the system, and free online textbooks mean savings and more flexibility for students," said Advanced Education Minister Amrik Virk. "These 20 open textbooks for skills training and technical programs will help us prepare British Columbians with the skills they need for jobs we know are coming."
Subject areas for the additional open textbooks will be aligned with priorities in the BC Jobs Plan and Skills and Training Plan, and could include tourism, technology, trades, or other areas where there is a need for skilled workers. Specific subject areas will be determined over the next few months.
The first 10 additional open textbooks for skills training will be available online for instructors to review them and consider using them for their courses starting September 2015.
"We're aligning education and training with the demands of the labour market," said Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Minister Responsible for Labour, Shirley Bond. "Developing open textbooks focused on skills training makes these courses more affordable and more responsive, helping ensure we're giving students the right skills for the job opportunities of today and tomorrow."
One year ago, the B.C. government announced an intention to become the first province in Canada to offer students free online open textbooks. Fifteen open textbooks in subject areas ranging from math and chemistry to marketing, psychology and business have been peer reviewed and are available free online for students and instructors, with more under development.
When fully implemented, about 200,000 students each year could benefit from B.C.'s open textbooks.
The open textbook project is being co-ordinated on government's behalf by BCcampus, a publicly funded organization that aims to make higher education available to everyone, through the smart use of collaborative information technology services. For more information on the B.C. open textbook project, visit: http://open.bccampus.ca
Ministry of Advanced Education