Post by Melanie Myers, Business Open Education Project Manager, BCcampus
At a time when the tourism and hospitality industry has been facing one of its most significant challenges in history, the COVID-19 pandemic, a team of motivated tourism faculty members and industry specialists in B.C. rolled up their sleeves to make a difference for students. They accomplished this through cross-institutional, community, and industry collaboration, demonstrating a sustainability model in practice for open educational resources (OER). Without combining resources, time, and effort, a once indispensable resource could have been archived as just another textbook no longer relevant to the current needs of teaching and learning.
A Bit of Background
In 2015, a group of faculty and industry experts in partnership with BCcampus first set out to create an open textbook that would be relevant and localized for tourism and hospitality programs in B.C. The Introduction to Tourism and Hospitality in BC textbook was widely adopted and embraced by faculty across the province, resulting in significant savings for students already burdened with the high cost of their education. The open textbook provided a thorough overview of the tourism and hospitality industry in B.C. and featured sections on expected topics, including transportation, accommodation, services marketing, environmental stewardship, and Indigenous tourism.
How It Evolved
Flash forward five years to 2020, and it was clear that the textbook was due for a refresh and update, as the need for a quality, relevant, and B.C.-specific tourism and hospitality textbook was very much still a reality. Led by Wendy Anderson, Selkirk College instructor and tourism and hospitality articulation chair, a team of editors from across B.C.’s post-secondary institutions undertook the task of updating the textbook to create Introduction to Hospitality and Tourism in BC – 2nd Edition. The project received support from BCcampus’ Zero Textbook Cost (ZTC) for Business programs project. Contributors to the project include representatives from the following institutions, organizations, and communities:
- Capilano University
- College of the Rockies
- Heiltsuk First Nation
- North Island College
- Royal Roads University
- Selkirk College
- Vancouver Island University
In the 2nd edition, all chapters have been revised with updated statistics, refreshed content, added references, and new end-of-chapter exercises and case studies, providing a more relevant and up-to-date reading experience. Several chapters were substantially rewritten to reflect how certain areas have transformed considerably over the last several years. Each team member took on the revisions or the re-writing of one to two chapters each. The sharing of effort meant the updates could be finished with a fast turnaround. Working together and collaborating ensured that there was a level of consistency to the content and approach across the fourteen chapters. If one author had taken on this project alone, it would have taken several more months to achieve the same result and would not have included the diversity of perspectives it currently does.
For just one class at Selkirk College with four sections in the fall semester (roughly 90 students), this textbook is responsible for more than $9,000 in student savings. It also means that all students have access to the resource they need for their learning, rather than having to make the difficult decision not to purchase the textbook for financial reasons, particularly in the midst of a pandemic.
“The Introduction to Tourism course is part of the core hospitality curriculum shared across B.C. post-secondary institutions, so this text has far-reaching implications to support so many students.”
—Wendy Anderson, project lead and instructor at Selkirk College
But Wait — There’s More!
Further enhancements to the book are underway, thanks to a BCcampus grant focused on developing activities for open homework systems using the platform H5P. The editing team is currently developing H5P activities to create formative learning opportunities in the textbook. To find out more about the H5P project, visit the H5P Pressbooks Kitchen and stay tuned for a new enhanced version of Introduction to Tourism and Hospitality – 2nd Edition, to be released early in 2021. This project is further evidence that OER can be sustained through a collaborative approach involving dedicated and passionate educators.
For more information, please contact Melanie Meyers, Business Open Education Project Manager, at email@example.com.