BCcampus Open Textbook Project – Fall 2015 Update

On top of hitting a major financial milestone of over $1 million saved for post-secondary students in B.C, the BCcampus OpenEd team has been busy over the summer: releasing new textbooks, finalizing agreements with other provinces, preparing for the upcoming Open Education Conference, and updating the Common Core Trades and ABE training books.

Creative abstract computer technology, mobility and communication business concept: laptop, notebook or netbook PC, mini tablet computer, touchscreen smartphone and desktop monitor display screen TV isolated on white backgroundOpen Textbooks save B.C. students $1 million

No matter how you calculate it, the B.C. Open Textbook project is saving money for students around the province, with an estimated savings of $841,700 – $1,140,607.15 as of September 10, 2015. The calculation is based on 8,417 students across 17 participating institutions, and looks at two categories for open textbook adoption: a Displacing Adoption that sees faculty using an open textbook solution to replace a resource students would have had to pay for, and a Supplementary Adoption where the open textbook is used within the course, but does not replace the commercial textbook.

“We’re very proud of the hard work and commitment to excellence our team has put into this project,” shared Clint Lalonde, Senior Manager, Open Education BCcampus. “We couldn’t have done this without the knowledge, experience, dedication, and forward-thinking of our talented educators within the open education community across the province and around the world.”

Memorandum of Understanding with Campus Manitoba

We’ve partnered with Campus Manitoba to assist them in their roll out of open textbooks within Manitoba. BCcampus is providing the technical infrastructure, open textbooks, and administrative support to Campus Manitoba to assist them in opening up the review process to faculty throughout their province. While open textbooks can be used anywhere in the world, regardless of geographical restrictions, the reviews in the collection have thus far been restricted to B.C., Alberta, Saskatchewan and Yukon faculty. This new agreement with Manitoba will allow Manitoba faculty to contribute their knowledge and expertise to the growing body of open textbook reviews, strengthening the collection of open textbooks for everyone.

New Open Textbooks

The release of the Meat Cutting and Processing for Food Service open textbook marks the 100th open textbook available through BCcampus, all released with Creative Commons licensing that allows the free distribution of the textbooks to anyone, anywhere.


#TextbookBroke is a grassroots campaign that gained some popularity last year, and is intended to communicate the high cost of textbooks for post-secondary students around the world. The Alma Mater Society (AMS), UBC’s student organization, recognized the opportunity and created a communication strategy to use the momentum to communicate the value of open textbooks, OER, and commercial textbook alternatives to the students, faculty, and administration of local institutions. The student leaders have shared their strategy with student unions across the country, and are actively advocating for more accessibly educational resources.

Amanda Coolidge, BCcampus’ Manager, Open Education shared, “We fully support the initiative these students have taken, and we’re excited to see them embarking on this campaign. We’re passionate and fully immersed in open, and glad to see these advocates creating a presence online.”

Common Core Trades textbooks

As of early October, Common Core Trades textbooks will start to be available to learners throughout the province, providing a competency-based resource to train for skills-based trades. BCcampus has been working with Camosun College, the Open School of B.C, and the Industry Training Authority to provide resources within areas identified by the provincial government as ‘critical’ sectors.

12th Annual OpenEd conference, co-presented by BCcampus

Co-presenting with Lumen learning, BCcampus is proud to be part of the 12th Annual OpenEd conference in Vancouver this November. This will be the third time Vancouver has hosted the annual event, which will see the international open education community – an expected 400 delegates from around the world – coming together to discuss the opportunities within the world of open, and find solutions through the combined knowledge, experience, and vision of the participants.

Notable Quotes

“This is a positive step forward being undertaken by the provincial government. Students will benefit from this new initiative and we look forward to continue to work together in order to achieve more accessible, affordable and high-quality post-secondary education in Manitoba.” ~Michael Barkman, chair, Canadian Federation of Students–Manitoba. 

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