Post-secondary students in British Columbia are keeping an eye on their budget not just during the holiday season, but throughout the year.
The B.C. Open Textbook Project has already saved approximately 22,000 B.C. students up to $2.8 million and as the project expands, those savings will continue to grow.
The B.C. Open Textbook Project includes approximately 170 titles that are free and online. Subjects range from the most popular first and second-year areas such as math and business, to skills and technical subjects such as trades foundation courses and adult upgrading. Twenty-three of the trades books are also available for download as free audiobooks, which assists students with physical or learning disabilities.
Open education resources are also available including a toolkit to make textbooks more accessible to people with disabilities, an authoring guide to assist with creating or adapting textbooks and a resource toolkit that provides information on how student societies can advocate for greater open textbook adoption.
Projects currently in development include a new open text on Aboriginal knowledge and science education research, supplementary teaching resources and adoption packages for common core trades open texts.
It is said that the best gifts come without a bow, and the resources that the B.C. Open Textbook Project continues to provide will support B.C. students by helping to make resources available they need to complete their education and training.
Andrew Wilkinson, Minister of Advanced Education –
“Open textbooks are one way that our government is putting students first. These textbooks offer students at universities and colleges throughout British Columbia the chance to save a lot of money on their path to success.”
Amanda Coolidge, senior manager of open education at BCcampus –
“BCcampus is committed to open education because it increases access to higher education by reducing student costs and gives faculty more control over their instructional resources. The B.C. Open Textbook Project strengthens the post-secondary education system in B.C.”
Why it Matters:
- The 2025 Labour Market Outlook forecasts almost one million jobs to 2025.
- Eight out of 10 of the estimated one million job openings to 2025 will require post-secondary education.
- The B.C. government kick-started the Open Textbook Project with BCcampus in 2012 by providing $1 million in funding for open textbooks in high enrolment subject areas.
- In 2013, government made a platform commitment and provided further funding of $1 million to develop 20 additional open texts in skills and technical subjects.
- In December 2015, BCcampus announced that the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation would provide $525,000 USD over three years to develop resources to accompany open textbooks support open textbook adoption through the Open Textbook Project.
- Over 210 faculty members at 23 public post-secondary institutions in B.C. are currently participating in the Open Textbook Project.