BCcampus’ Open Education Grants program is supported by both the Ministry of Advanced Education and the Hewlett Foundation. The grants are intended to achieve the strategic goals of the BCcampus Open Education team:

  • To increase access to higher education,
  • To improve student learning outcomes,
  • To increase flexible teaching and learning options for educators.

This year, BCcampus distributed three types of grants for Open Education. They are: The Zed Cred, Open Education Resource Grant, and Ancillary Resources Grant.

The newest grant from BCcampus is the Zed Cred/ Z-Degree program, with the “Z” meaning zero cost in textbooks. A Zed Cred is a program through which students can achieve a credential while paying no textbook costs. With the funds, institutions will not only develop pathways to credential by adopting and adapting pre-existing OER, the funds may also be used to create new OER necessary for the program. The institutions will also be required to package and publish their materials such that other institutions in B.C. and beyond can borrow from their progress. Any learning materials created under the Zed Cred program will hold a Creative Commons BY license and must be fully editable so they are easily reused and revised by others and can be remixed with other OER. The programs chosen demonstrate significant student savings and impact across the B.C. system and an innovative approach to learning and teaching.

The successful applicants for the first Zed Cred program funding in both British Columbia and in Canada are:

  • Kwantlen Polytechnic University – Certificate in Arts
  • Thompson Rivers University – Certificate in General Studies
  • The Justice Institute of British Columbia – Law Enforcement Studies Diploma

Some work has already begun on these projects but the majority of the development of all new Zed Cred programs will begin in September 2017. In all cases the institutions are providing significant in-kind resources, demonstrating their commitment to Open Education.

The Open Education Resource Grants program is running for the second year. This particular grant program requires that institutions match funding with the request of a BCcampus grant. While high-level advisement and project management is provided by BCcampus, it is the institution that facilitates the development or strategy for the open initiative.

As a reminder, the OER Grants may be used for, but are not limited to:

  • Adaptation of Open Textbooks/Open Educational Resources
  • Creation of Open Textbooks/Open Educational Resources
  • Course redesign using Open Textbooks/Open Educational Resources
  • Workshops, training, and institutional support for OER infrastructure (e.g. Open Policy, Awareness, How to Adopt, How to Adapt, Pressbooks Support)

The OER Grants and the requirement of matching funds demonstrate the increased support for Open Education and a sustainable action plan by the institution.

The successful applicants for the Open Education Resource Grants are:

The final grant program is for Ancillary Resource Development. As a reminder, this grant program is to support inter-institutional initiatives to create ancillary support material for existing open textbooks in the BC Open Textbook Collection that could assist faculty in adopting the open textbook. This material can include:

  • Test banks of questions based on an existing open textbook.
  • Presentations (PowerPoint, Open Office, Prezi, etc.)
  • Multimedia content, such as audio or video, that could further enhance the textbook.
  • Instructor and student manuals.
  • Additional learning activities.

To date, there are over 100 open textbooks in the  BC Open Textbook Collection that have ancillary resources. The need for accompanying resources for both students and faculty continues to grow as a requirement for adoption of open textbooks.

The successful applicants for the Ancillary Resource Grants are:

BCcampus congratulates all successful applicants and would like to also extend a note of appreciation for our largest grant submissions to date. Kudos to B.C. for continuing to raise the flag for Open Education and for continuing to improve teaching and learning across the Province.

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