We get quite a few questions from prospective applicants; we hope these answers will help you decide to participate in the Open Textbook Project.
What is an Open Textbook?
An open textbook is a textbook licensed under an open copyright license, and made available online to be freely used by students, teachers and members of the public. Print-on-demand copies will also be made available at cost.
How much funding should I ask for?
In order to give applicants a clearer picture of the scope of work and funding involved, we have developed the following rate sheet to provide guidelines for applicants submitting proposals.
- Reviews – all reviews are funded at $250
- Textbook Adaptation – funding for adaptations can range from between $5,000 to $30,000 depending on the scope of work.
- Textbook Creation – funding for creation from scratch is likely to range between $10,000 and $40,000 depending on the scope of the project, resources required, and institutional in-kind contributions.
- Ancillary Resources – funding for the creation of ancillary resources ranges from $2,500 – $10,000 depending on the scope of ancillary resources being created.
What are the eligible subject areas?
- One of the top 40 academic subject areas targeted by the BC Open Textbook Project.
- High volume/strategic foundational trades including career pathway programs and programs that cross multiple trades training programs (e.g., workplace safety);
- Oil and Gas courses and programs focused on supporting the Natural Gas industry;
- Tourism/Hospitality programs;
- Adult Basic Education essential skills for trades and technical programs as well as programs focused on up-skilling and job-readiness;
- Mining related programs;
- Healthcare programs (e.g., Health Care Assistant, Practical Nursing and Registered Nursing).
Can you narrow down the subjects? I don’t know what kind of textbook you are looking to have created because the subject areas are too broad.
We have kept the subject areas broad deliberately to enable educators more flexibility with respect to the topics of the resources. We are looking for texts that fit into the identified subject areas and would be of value to the largest number of students across our system.
I have found/written a textbook for a subject that’s not on the list. Can I submit a proposal to adapt or create that one instead?
At this time, we are only funding textbooks that fall into those subject areas on the list.
Why must my work have a Creative Commons License?
Our project is committed to openly licensing the works that are produced so that the largest number of students is able to benefit from them.
Do I retain copyright to my work? Will I get credited for it?
Yes, you will retain copyright to your work, however as part of the contract between you and the Open Textbook Project, you will be required to issue a Creative Commons reuse license which enables the five R’s of openness; to allow others to reuse the content, redistribute the textbook, revise a copy of the textbook, remix the textbook, and retain copies. You will be credited for your work, as per the attribution terms of the Creative Commons reuse license.
Am I required to use the open textbooks for classes I teach?
Yes, we are looking for instructors who are willing to adopt the textbook on which they work.
What if I don’t get my adaptation or creation done in time?
Because we have made commitments to the public with respect to the delivery of the textbooks, we will only be funding projects that are completed on time. Flexibility on this can only be considered in extenuating circumstances.
If my proposal is accepted and I complete the work, how will I know if people are using my textbook?
BCcampus is tracking adoption of the textbooks and we would be able to provide any information we can gather back to the instructor who worked on the adaptation or creation.
How does BCcampus ensure the texts produced under the Open Textbooks Project are of good quality?
Our process to determine and ensure quality is as follows:
- When we find an open textbook that we are considering offering to British Columbia educators under our program, we ask B.C. faculty who teach in the subject area to review it using a standard rubric. We publish those reviews online, alongside the textbook.
- Based on those reviews, we then provide funds for B.C. faculty to adapt the texts, to improve their quality and relevance. We will also commission faculty to create new texts from scratch, if no existing textbook can be found.
- During the adaptation and creation projects, we use support staff (for instance: professional editors and instructional designers) to assist faculty in their work.
Once a book has been adapted or created from scratch, it is submitted for review again.