In April 2019, BCcampus received funding from the Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills & Training to create high-quality teaching and learning resources for trades instructors and students. The goal is to create Zero Textbook Costs (ZTC) programs in Trades training. ZTC programs enable students, including apprentices to earn credentials without incurring costs for textbooks.

The scope of the project is to develop freely available, openly licensed resources including textbooks, test banks, homework assignments and other ancillary resources to replace costly commercial educational resources.

The project will focus on four cornerstones:

  1. Build Relationships –Building relationships in and around this project with as many stakeholders as possible is not only necessary, it will prove to be essential. One major key with this cornerstone is longevity.
  2. Uphold Values – the focus of this cornerstone is to uphold the values and commitments of BCcampus to ensure access and affordability for students and faculty alike. The key to this cornerstone is found in the quality and rigour of the resources developed.
  3. Fund – the focus of this cornerstone is on resources and sustainability. Developing quality resources is important but so is the question of sustainability. The key to finding solutions to the sustainability question will be found in partnerships and collaborations. It is the best interest of the project to collaboratively work with other stakeholders to find a solution so these resources can continue to be revised and redistributed.
  4. Research – the final cornerstone for this project will have a focus on using the latest research to inform content delivery. The implementation of educational technology will not only support the quality of resources it will enable greater accessibility.

There will be three distinct pathways for the development of resources:

  1. Articulation Groups – due to the role and importance of Articulation Groups in the overall system of trades training, including these groups is imperative. These groups may undertake a projects together, or they may choose to have individual subject matter experts represent them in doing the work.
  2. Institutional Partnerships – working collaboratively with institutions to ensure their subject matter experts receive the support they need will be a major asset.
  3. Individual Subject Matter Experts – this pathway is in an effort to include those experts who may want to seek opportunities to develop open resources on their own. In the event that an articulation group suggests a project champion that too would be included in this pathway.

It is the intent of this project to collaborate with the Industry Training Authority and Trades Training British Columbia to ensure any resource development by BCcampus is not a duplication of recent work already completed.

We are extremely thankful for the opportunity to not only partner with institutions and individual educators and we are grateful for the opportunity to have a positive impact on Trades training in the province and make a difference in the lives of skilled trades apprentices.

For more information, contact Tim Carson, Project Manager