Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Province to make more Open textbooks available for post secondary students

An announcement from last week by Andrew Wilkinson, the Advanced Education Minister should help reduce the cost of education for some students and their parents, as they prepare to make their plans for post secondary studies this fall.

The Province's Open Textbook program was the focus of a government announcement of May 29th, which outlined the latest  expansion of the program, which will provide for an additional fifty text books to be added to the inventory in time for the start of classes at universities and colleges this fall.

“Educators from throughout the province are embracing open textbooks as a tangible way to help lower the cost of higher education for students in British Columbia. In addition to reducing student costs, open textbooks allow new models of innovative teaching and learning practices to emerge, and they position British Columbia as a worldwide leader in the use of open educational resources in higher education.” -- Clint Lalonde, senior manager of open education at BCcampus noting the shift to technology as part of the education support offerings in British Columbia.

The program started in 2012 when the BC government made 1 million dollars in funding available for the Open Textbook program, with fifty Open Textbooks starting off the program, in 2013 another 20 textbooks were added to the listings.

According to the review of the program from last week, more than 50 faculty members at public post-secondary institutions throughout the province currently participate in the project, and it is estimated that 5,400 students in B.C. have saved up to $700,000 to date by using open textbooks.

A participation rate and savings that go with it, that is expected to grow as the program expands.

You can learn more about Monday's announcement and the new additions here, the listings of the fifty books to be added this fall can be found at the bottom of the media release.

For background on how the Open Textbook project works  see the BC Campus website here.

The listing of Open Textbooks now available can be found here.

More background on post secondary education items and issues can be found on our archive page here.

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