Zero-Textbook Cost Pathways for Adult Basic Education Students in B.C.

It has been four years since the kick-off of the Adult Basic Education (ABE) Zero-Textbook Cost (ZTC) project, and we are pleased to announce the launch of the B.C. ABE ZTC program! 

Post by Krista Lambert, project manager, BCcampus

This project began following an announcement of funding from the Ministry of Post Secondary Education and Future Skills in spring 2018. Later that year, in summer 2018, the ABE ZTC project steering committee of adult educators from across the province gathered to help BCcampus create a strategy for developing ZTC pathways at each of the four levels of ABE in B.C.

The steering committee helped identify possible pathways for learners and top subjects that would benefit from open educational resources (OER). We then prioritized the order of subjects for development and issued our first call for proposals. From that call we were able to start six projects for a range of English and math courses. Shortly after, we issued our second call for proposals. Between the two calls, we funded grants for 25 new and adapted resources.

Today there are 40 resources in total, 25 of which were updated or created as part of this project (with a few more books still in the final stages of production).

We have produced resources at all levels of English, math, and computer studies. In addition to these, we have education and career planning courses and a variety of science courses and open textbooks. Unfortunately, we didn’t have any proposals for the social sciences, so there is room for future OER development in this area.

Together these resources align to create zero-textbook cost pathways at all four of the ABE certificate levels in B.C.: Fundamental, Intermediate, Advanced, and Provincial. This means a student could complete a British Columbia Adult Graduation Diploma (aka an “Adult Dogwood”) without having any costs associated with purchasing a textbook.

You can find the resources on the BCcampus Pathway to Adult Basic Education webpage or in the B.C. Open Textbook Collection.

A requirement of the projects was the resources needed to align with the learning outcomes in the B.C. ABE articulation handbook. As well, many of the resources include ancillary materials such as assignment guides, answer keys, and lab manuals.

These resources are free, fully editable, adaptable, and customizable, and they are Creative Commons licensed. Hardcopy formats of the textbooks are available for purchase at cost from the SFU Printshop (the link for purchase is included on a book’s listing page in the B.C. Open Textbook Collection).

As work on this project nears completion, we’d like to thank the B.C. ABE community for their hard work and dedication to the development and adoption of these OER. We’ve made incredible progress together, and students are sure to benefit from your commitment and innovation.