OER for the Trades: Grant Recipients

While at the Cascadia Open Education Summit back in April of this year, we received some fantastic news: the Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Training would be dedicating over 3 million dollars, managed by BCcampus to the purpose of developing awareness, advocacy, and resources for Open education.

Post by Tim Carson, Trades Open Education Representative

Since the start of my secondment, it has been an absolute joy to begin this journey of important work for the skilled trades. Often, trades faculty are given the task of teaching both in the classroom and in “living labs,” where apprentices translate their new knowledge into hands-on skills.

Time for curriculum development for trades faculty is always at a premium, due to the structuring of their student contact time, which hovers around 25–30 hours per week. Given that the students are in class for those 30 hours, development time gets pushed to the side of desks and often falls completely off.

The funding from the provincial government, specifically from the Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Training, could not have come at a more opportune time. BCcampus has now conducted the first of three rounds of grants. The response to the call for proposals was very encouraging, and it is our pleasure to announce the following recipients and their institutions as grant recipients for Term 1.

Math for the Trades

Mark Overgaard and Chad Flinn (BCIT, Piping and Electrical) will be producing a student resource in Pressbooks on math for the trades that is enhanced by corresponding audio and video, which will benefit many who are entering the skilled trades and need support with their fundamental math skills.

Basic Control Circuits

Aaron Lee and Chad Flinn (BCIT, Electrical) will be producing a student resource in Pressbooks on basic control circuits that is enhanced by corresponding audio and video, which will benefit many who are in the electrical, plumbing, gasfitting, and HVAC trades. They will be using H5P in their question bank, and all the resources will be made available to the part-time students of their institution.

Landscape Horticulturist Line F

Michelle Nakano and Betty Cunnin (Kwantlen Polytechnic University) will be producing an open textbook for Line F in the Red Seal Landscape Horticulturist trade. This resource is being built to respond to changes in the curriculum due to the federal Harmonization Initiative.

Welding Level 1 (Foundation)

Dave Drury (Vancouver Island University) will be developing instructor resources to enhance some of the practical components that welding students must complete as part of their foundational training. These resources will be specifically built with other welding faculty in mind, focusing on different pedagogical approaches to training.

These recipients are just the beginning of BCcampus’ mandate to help reduce textbook costs for trades students and support faculty in their profession.

The next round of grant funding will be made available on February 25, 2020. At that time, BCcampus will send out a call for proposals. We hope that trades instructors and faculty members will consider answering the call.

For answers to questions about this project, please contact Tim Carson at

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