We get quite a few questions from prospective applicants; we hope these FAQs will help you decide to participate in the Open Textbooks Project:
I don’t know what kind of textbook you are looking to have created because the subject areas are too broad.
We kept the subjects broad because we wanted to ensure the subjects chosen were taught in the largest number of B.C. post-secondary institutions. We are looking for texts that fit into those subject areas and would be of value to the largest number of students. For example, in the category of Year One Geography, a text that addresses a subject that is taught across many institutions would be more useful to the system than one that is only taught at one or two institutions.
I have found a textbook for a subject that’s not on the list. Can I submit a proposal to adapt or create that one instead?
At this time, we are only funding textbooks that fall into those subject areas on the list.
Why must my work have a Creative Commons License?
Our project is committed to openly licensing the works that are produced so that the largest number of students is able to benefit from them.
Do I retain copyright to my work? Will I get credited for it?
Yes, you will retain copyright to your work, however as part of the contract between you and the Open Textbook Project, you will be required to issue a Creative Commons reuse license (see Q3) which enables the four R’s of openness, reuse, revise, remix, redistribute. You will be credited for your work, as per the attribution terms of the Creative Commons reuse license.
Am I required to use the open textbooks for classes I teach?
Yes, we are looking for instructors who are willing to adopt the textbook on which they work.
What if I don’t get my adaptation or creation done in time?
Because we have made commitments to the public with respect to the delivery of the textbooks, we will only be funding projects that are completed on time. That said, there are always extenuating circumstances and we are willing to provide some flexibility in those cases.
If my proposal is accepted and I complete the work, how will I know if people are using my textbook?
BCcampus is tracking adoption of the textbooks and we would be able to provide any information we can gather back to the instructor who worked on the adaptation or creation.
How does BCcampus ensure the texts produced under the Open Textbooks Project are of good quality?
Our process to determine and ensure quality is as follows:
- When we find an open textbook that we are considering offering to British Columbia educators under our program, we ask B.C. faculty who teach in the subject area to review it using a standard rubric. We publish those reviews online, along with the text.
- Based on those reviews, we then provide funds for B.C. faculty to adapt the texts, to improve their quality and relevance. We will also commission faculty to create new texts from scratch, if no existing textbook can be found.
- During the adaptation and creation projects, we use support staff (for instance: professional editors and instructional designers) to assist faculty in their work.
Once a book has been adapted or created from scratch, it is submitted for review again.