BCcampus is the proud recipient of a grant from The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation in the amount of $525, 000 USD over three years to support the Open Textbook Project in British Columbia.

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This grant gives us the ability to keep providing open education materials and support to post-secondary institutions in B.C. Being recognized by such a well-known and highly regarded organization, such as The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation shows that we are on the right path, and we’re excited to continue to build the foundation for the open education movement in Canada.

BCcampus activities will focus on developing support for faculty to find, adopt and adapt open resources to better meet the needs of students. These funds will be used to develop ancillary resources to accompany open textbooks (such as presentations, test banks, videos and homework systems). We will also be funding additional faculty reviews of our materials to ensure quality and developing and delivering workshops to support faculty and academic staff in learning how to use and adopt open educational resources for their classrooms.

British Columbia was the first jurisdiction in Canada to launch a government-sponsored open textbook project. It is estimated that more than 8,000 students in B.C. have saved more than $1 million with the open textbooks. With this funding, we are optimistic for what this will do for students both in terms of access and better learning experiences.

More than 135 open textbooks are now available in the B.C. Open Textbook Collection, with titles ranging from popular first and second-year subjects such as math, chemistry and business, to skills and technical subjects including trades, tourism, hospitality, healthcare and adult upgrading.

B.C. is working with other jurisdictions across Canada to make it easier to share resources and develop open textbooks that benefit students and instructors. BCcampus is providing support to the Manitoba Open Textbook Project and is also actively collaborating with partners in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Ontario.

Notable quotes:

“Open textbooks significantly reduce student costs while giving instructors the flexibility to customize their course material,” said Advanced Education Minister Andrew Wilkinson. “The grant from the Hewlett Foundation will allow BCcampus to focus on getting the textbooks into the hands of even more students and faculty.”

“The generous grant from the Hewlett Foundation really validates the work we’ve been doing over the last 3 years of our project. We are so excited to use these funds to enable more access to post-secondary education and better learning experiences for students.” said BCcampus executive director Mary Burgess. “Open textbooks benefit post-secondary education institutions as a whole from administration to faculty to students. Giving faculty a broader range of choices and the ability customize is the true power of Open.”

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