Since 2012, the Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Training has funded B.C. open education initiatives and tasked BCcampus with managing them. BCcampus’ goal is to provide flexible and affordable access to post-secondary learning resources in B.C. by making available openly-licensed textbooks that align with the most highly enrolled first- and second-year undergraduate subject areas, as well as with select skills training and trades subject areas.
In April 2019, funding of $3.26 million for open educational resources (OER) was announced by Melanie Mark, Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training, at the Cascadia Open Education Summit. BCcampus is using this funding for the development of OER. BCcampus is also assisting with a project concerning B.C. institutions delivering engineering programs who want to move to a common first-year curriculum. The project was initiated by the Engineering Articulation Committee. Work conducted to determine the feasibility of a common first-year curriculum was initially funded through a grant from the B.C. Council on Admissions and Transfer. The project objectives include:
- Improving access and opportunity for success in engineering education for B.C.’s diverse post-secondary learners
- Creating opportunities for regional community engagement and partnerships within the engineering sector, encouraging graduates to return to employment in smaller, non-urban communities
- Enhancing the student learning environment and improving retention and achievement in engineering across the province by maximizing the use of student supports, class size, and regional diversity
- Enhancing quality reporting for accreditation processes
- Improving overall efficiencies within the post-secondary system
BCcampus has recognized the need to search for and align available OER with the common curriculum for first-year engineering, firstly by identifying gaps in available OER and where adaptations may be required. Courses in the common first-year engineering curriculum include:
- Differential calculus
- Integral calculus
- Engineering chemistry
- Computer science
- University writing
- Technical writing
- Engineering design
- Linear algebra
- Fundamental physics
We are looking for B.C. applicants who are subject matter experts in first-year engineering subjects to complete the environmental scan of available, relevant OER in order to identify gaps.
Once completed, this work will allow BCcampus to determine priorities for future OER development in order to make possible a Zero Textbook Cost (ZTC) engineering program.
What is an open educational resource?
Open educational resources (OER) are freely accessible, openly licensed documents and media that are useful for teaching, learning, and assessing, as well as for research purposes.
What is an open textbook?
An open textbook is a textbook licensed under an open-copyright licence and made available online to be freely used by students, teachers, and members of the public. Print-on-demand copies are also made available at cost.
What is a ZTC?
A Zero Textbook Cost (ZTC) program is a set of courses in a specific program area that allows a student to earn a credential — such as an associate degree, certificate diploma, or undergraduate degree — with zero textbook costs by way of using open educational resources and free library materials.
This expression of interest is for individuals, groups, or institutions and their representatives (e.g., faculty members, articulation committees, teaching and learning centres, libraries, and OER working groups) in British Columbia that are interested in completing the work of identifying, aligning, and reviewing available OER with reference to the common curriculum for first-year engineering.
Estimated completion time: 1 month
$1500 per applicant for the environmental scan of available OER*
$500 per review of available OER, including the report of findings
*Subject matter experts will be needed for the subjects listed above in the common first-year engineering curriculum.
Expectations and requirements of selected applicants
The following commitments and actions are expected of successful applicants:
- The successful applicant(s) will complete a spreadsheet aligning available OER to engineering courses.
- The successful applicant(s) will review each relevant OER and provide a summary report of its usefulness, quality, and relevance to the course it aligns with, as well as what adaptations may be required to meet the expectations and needs of faculty and students.
The application form should be completed and emailed to email@example.com.
For funding to be released, this project must:
- Be completed on time.
- Align available, relevant OER to the courses in the common first-year curriculum for engineering.
Review and selection process
Applications will be evaluated by an internal review committee based on the following criteria:
- Experience — applicant(s) have knowledge of engineering education in B.C. and in Canada.
- Plan for the timeline for completion of work.
If you have any further questions, please email them to firstname.lastname@example.org