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 and other learning resources that align with the most popular post-secondary subjects, including the harmonized trades.
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 will be using this funding towards the development of open educational resources (OER).
With this financial support from the Ministry, BCcampus is looking to partner with successful applicants through three potential pathways:
- Institutional partnership(s), in which BCcampus would partner with one or more institutions for a collaborative effort aimed at the development of OER for the trades.
- Articulation group partnerships, in which BCcampus would partner with an articulation group — whether that application reflects the collaborative effort of the entire group or the articulation group identifies qualified SMEs (subject matter experts) — aimed at the development of OER for the trades.
- Individual partnerships, in which BCcampus would partner with one or more SMEs for a collaborative effort aimed at the development of OER for the trades.
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 apprentices, trades instructors, and members of the public. Print-on-demand copies are also made available at cost.
What are open educational practices?
Open educational practices (OEP), also known as open pedagogy, are the use of open educational resources (OER) to support learning. Another definition is the open sharing of teaching practices with the goal of improving education and training at the institutional, professional, and individual levels.
This call for proposals is for OER development funded by BCcampus in order to increase and improve the application, awareness, and sustainability of open education in trades training. The Open Education for Trades Grant may also be used for, but is not limited to, the development of open textbooks, instructor resources, media, open test banks, or ancillary resources. For this term (March 20 to November 27), the following grants will be offered:
- Four individual grants of $5000 maximum per SME (total of $20,000)
- Three institutional or articulation group grants of $20,000 each (total of $60,000)
- One individual/institutional grant of $10,000, priority will be given to those with a clear focus on women in trades or Indigenous trades training (total of $10,000)
The application form should be completed and emailed to Tim Carson at firstname.lastname@example.org. This call is currently open – deadline for submissions pending.
While the application form asks for all basic information, those wishing to submit more detail may attach appendices as required. The evaluation committee looks for proposals that are well written and specifically address the guidelines. Designate a lead representative for the project and submit the proposal through the lead.
Please note that there is an institutional signoff section in the application for individuals.
Criteria for Successful Proposals
Successful proposals will meet the following mandatory criteria:
- Exhibit characteristics of quality teaching and learning, such as alignment with learning outcomes or provincial outlines for your specific trade.
- Demonstrate experience and a positive track record with curriculum development.
- Identify deliverables and their due dates.
- Include a budget documenting the use of the funding being requested.
- Include a timeline.
- Be submitted by trades applicants who have completed their harmonization outline sequencing.
Grant proposals are also evaluated for how they might:
- Positively impact large numbers of students or trades instructors across an institution or multiple trades training institutions across the province.
- Encourage collaboration across trades disciplines and departments within an institution.
- Address accessibility and make use of the principles of Universal Design for Learning.
- Consider equity, diversity, and inclusion and make use of inclusive practices.
- Incorporate Indigenous perspectives and pedagogies.
Grantees must submit interim and final reports regarding the open education activities funded by this grant. These might include:
- The creation or adaptation of open textbooks or other OER.
- Workshops, training, and other events related to open education.
- Release time for a faculty or staff member to develop open educational support materials or systems (this is preferred for institutional partnerships).
In addition, grantees must:
- Complete deliverables on time.
- Follow sound open publishing practices for all OER created or adapted with these funds.
- Agree to and participate in an interview about the project.
Review and Selection Process
Evaluation, selection, and awards are determined by an internal review committee against the evaluation criteria. If you have further questions, email Tim Carson at email@example.com.