Leading Open Education in British Columbia
At BCcampus, we don’t just talk about Open – we are innovators and implementers, actively improving access to education to make the lives of students and instructors easier throughout the province and around the world.
Through BCcampus, British Columbia was the first province in Canada to implement an open education initiative, and we’ve been paving the way for the rest of the nation to take a collaborative approach to the creation of open educational resources (OER).
Open Educational Practices
The Open Education team at BCcampus actively supports open educational practices. We’re proud of the achievements we’ve realized through our BC Open Textbook Project; we are innovators and implementers for all things Open, including providing learning opportunities about open pedagogy, supporting open access through our work with Librarians, and encouraging instructional design that takes full advantage of the affordances of open licenses.
The Importance of Open
The best represented benefit of Open is the way in which it enables student centred learning. Modifying materials to better suit student needs and engaging in learning design that addresses individuals is essential for creating impactful learning experiences for students. Open brings improved access to learning materials and educational resources for students as well as instructors, with benefits beyond mere access.
Enabling an Open Future: the BC Open Textbook Project
In 2003, BCcampus issued a call for proposals to collaborate on the development of online learning courses. Dubbed the Online Program Development Fund (OPDF), the program resulted in the development of a substantial amount of open educational resources (OER). In 2012, the OPDF evolved into Canada’s first publicly-funded open textbook development project, and due to the success of the initial project, a second phase was funded and announced in the spring of 2014 for an additional 20 textbooks targeting trades and skills training.
The goals of the open textbook project at BCcampus are to:
- Increase access to education by decreasing student costs
- Enhance control over instructional resources for faculty
- Improve learning outcomes for students
The BC Open Textbook Project is managed by BCcampus, and funded by The Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills & Training and the Hewlett Foundation.
Created and reviewed by educators
The BCcampus open textbook project is successful due to the collaborative approach used to create the learning materials. Authoring, adoption, adaptation and accessibility guides are all managed through BCcampus, with collective input from educators and subject matter experts throughout the province.
Educators are invited to:
- Find – discover a textbook from the top 40 subject areas in B.C.
- Adopt – build the content from an open textbook into your curriculum
- Adapt – customize a textbook or lesson to fit your specific teaching needs
Using Creative Commons licenses
To ensure open access to the content created through this project, our open textbooks use Creative Commons licenses.
“B.C. is leveraging 21st century-technologies and licensing to ensure its citizens have affordable access to high-quality post-secondary textbooks. Open licensing on publicly funded content ensures the greatest impact for the public dollar.” ~ Dr. Cable Green, Creative Commons’ director of Global Learning
Additional OpenEd activities
Find more information about current open textbooks, active and completed OpenEd projects, and additional resources, including authoring guides, accessibility toolkits, adoption guides, and open license expectations at BCcampus OpenEd.
Take an active role in the creation of OER by staying informed about current and planned activities at BCcampus. Learn more, know more by signing up for the monthly BCcampus newsletter.