The B.C. Open Textbook Institutional Guide is a starting point to help your institution incorporate open textbooks and other OER into the classroom starting with an OER Policy Tool. This page also provides information, guides, videos, brochures, posters, PowerPoint slides, research, and an adoption tracking tool.
OER Policy Development Tool
Created by Amanda Coolidge, Senior Manager of Open Education at BCcampus, and Daniel Demarte, Chief Academic Officer, Tidewater Community College, this institution-level Open Educational Resource Policy Development Tool was created specifically for college and university governance officials, as well as individuals who have responsibility for developing institutional policy, to promote the utilization of OER and scale efforts to full OER programs.
- Read about BCcampus Open Education (previously the B.C. Open Textbook Project.
- Read about other Canadian Open Education Initiatives.
- Learn more about open textbooks.
- Find the open textbook you need with the Open Textbook Directory.
- Use the Map to Success (thanks to Northwestern Michigan College) that guides faculty through these steps:
- Getting started
- Making decisions about choosing an open textbook and where to find it
- Final steps
- Learn how to evaluate books and resources in a repository by using the OER Repository Assessment Rubric.
- Get help assessing an open textbook or other OER with the Faculty Guide & OER Checklist, v.2.
- If you’re interested in creating OER, see the OER Workflow diagram (thanks to Billy Meinke at the University of Hawaii).
Adoption Tips from OpenStax
Four Easy Steps Toward Adoption
OpenStax offers four ideas for faculty members who aren’t ready to adopt an open textbook, but are willing to offer it as a recommended resource that can be used:
For students that can’t access the required textbook immediately
- For students so they have unlimited access to a textbook (vs. rental, access codes, etc.)
- As an additional study aid for students
- As an additional resource for instructors and their students within a course.
Setting up a Meeting with Facility
Nicole Finkbeiner, Associate Director of Institutional Relations, offers this advice about introducing the idea of open textbooks to an instructor at your institution. She says,
“One-on-one meetings with professors are the top direct tactic to increase OER adoptions on your campus. These are especially effective if you take a physical copy of the resource you want them to consider. (When sending an email)… I recommend:
- Keeping it short. You can explain more when you get there.
- Put the ask at the beginning of the email and bold it, most of us just skim emails, so this will help it stand out.
- Make it as convenient as possible to say yes (I put the office hours and suggested 15 minutes before those to do this)
- Put a timeline on it (within the next two weeks). If they say they can’t make that, you can always ask for a later date.
Here’s the draft email:
Hi Professor ____,
My name is Nicole and I’m a Librarian here at [shortened nickname for your school]
Do you have 15 minutes in the next two weeks where I could stop by your office and meet with you? I found some high quality materials that may be a good fit for your course and I’d like to bring them by to show them to you. What’s also great about them is that students will have instant and unlimited access (no excuses!) and you aren’t bound by copyright since they are openly licensed.
I noticed you have office hours from [times] on [days of the week], maybe I could stop by 15 minutes before one of those?
And, once you have the meeting, don’t forget to ask the most important question, the question that’s going to get you to your ‘yes, no, I’m interested tell me more.’ Depending on the faculty, it may vary, but it’s basically ‘Would you be willing to pilot this in your course next semester?’ ”
B.C. Open Textbook Guides
To assist institutions, faculty, and staff with using, revising, and writing open textbooks, refer to the B.C. Open Textbook guides and tools below.
- NEW: Self-Publishing Guide
- Adaptation Guide
- Accessibility Toolkit – English
- Accessibility Toolkit (CB Trousse d’outils d’accessibilité pour les) – French
- Adoption Guide (open creation)
- Pressbooks Guide (open creation)
- Print on Demand Guide (open creation)
- Student Toolkit (open creation)
Guides and Resources from B.C. Institutions
Thompson Rivers University
University of British Columbia:
Vancouver Island University
- Finding + Using Open Educational Resources
- Open Education Resources Directory
- The Non-Disposable Assignment: Enhancing Personalised Learning
The B.C. Open Education Librarians (previously BCOER) is a grassroots group of BC post-secondary librarians interested in Open Educational Resources. They have developed many resources for librarians and others to use.
For a list of Library Guides used by post-secondary institutions around British Columbia, visit BC Open Education Library Guides.
Videos are an easy and personal way to learn more about open textbooks. Below are several clips produced by institutions who are using open textbooks, and BCcampus.
Kwantlen Polytechnic University
Royal Roads University
University of British Columbia
Vancouver Island University
- Open Education Stories: Improving Access and Affordability for Students at the Justice Institute
- Open Education Stories: Creating and Reusing Problems using OER (Drs. D’Entremont and Verrett, UBC)
- Open Education Stories: Removing Barriers to Access with Jennifer Barker (Douglas College)
- A Look at the B.C. Open Textbook Project
- What Instructors Say about Open Textbooks
- One Minute for Open Textbooks
- Creative Commons Licences for Non-profit Organizations
BCcampus: Award for Excellence in Open Education
Promotion and Education
Feel free to download and use these resources to help spread the word about open textbooks.
- PowerPoint Presentation – use as is or customize
- Open Textbooks Brochure (PDF), size: 5″ x 7″.
- Open Textbook Poster (PDF), size: 11″ x 17″.
- Open Textbooks Sticker (JPG), size: 3″x 3″, circle.
- Key Things to Know about Open Education Resources (OER), size 11″x17″
- Key Things to Know about Open Education Resources (OER), size 15″x24″
- Key Things to Know about Open Education Resources (OER), size 24″x36″
- OER Repository Assessment Rubric
- Faculty Guide & OER Checklist, v.2
How to Assess OER at Your Institution
The team at OpenSUNY in New York has created the following assessment tool.
This tool clearly layouts indicators to rate such as:
- institutional support of OER
- technology support of OER
- OER integration into course development and instructional design
- OER course delivery
- supporting faculty in the use of OER
- evaluation and assessment of OER initiative
Accompanying this is the OER Success Framework Rubric which explains the range of support for each indicator.
Spreading the Word at Your Institution
Herbert E. “Buddy” Muse, Distance Learning Associate Director at Montgomery College in Rockville, Maryland, has graciously shared his document, Ideas for Spreading the Word about OERs at Your Institution. It is released with a CC BY licence so feel free to download it and revise for your institution’s needs.
If you’re looking for ways to engage faculty and staff at your institution using group activities, look below for suggestions from the open education community.
- Remix Game (thanks to Quill West, MA, MLS, Open Education Project Manager at Pierce College, Puyallup, WA)
- Heather Ross, M.Ed., Educational Developer (Digital Pedagogies) at University of Saskatchewan suggests “…picking a variety of artifacts and having them determine if each open or not and how open is it based in the license.”
- Wm. Preston Davis, Ed.D., Director of Instructional Services at Northern Virginia Community College says: “I have had success by creating a scenario where I assigned the audience to teach a specific course (real or made-up) and asked them to find a specific item for a lesson. I would assign the item per table or section of the auditorium. Some items I would request include: an open textbook, an openly-licensed image or photo, a video, a public domain book/article/audio file, etc. related to the specific lesson. You can specify the type of licence for a more OER aware audience, or post a cheat sheet slide with web links for a novice group. I would have the audience report what they found, and would share some of my own findings to demonstrate how simple it is to find OER.
- Barbara Illowsky, PhD, Dean of Basic Skills & Open Educational Resources at De Anza College in Cupertino, CA does this activity with those new to OER:
- Ask faculty to think of 1 course they teach.
- Estimate new, used and rental costs for the textbook.
- Provide a link to college bookstore.
- Have faculty check their guesses.
- Can have a small group discussion then. Or, you do poll of people over estimating, under estimating or accurately guessing the prices.
Survey and Research Tools
Pragmatism vs. Idealism and the Identity Crisis of OER Advocacy, by Rajiv Sunil Jhangiani (KPU), Open Praxis, Vol 9, No 2 (2017)
Conceptualizing Open Educational Practices through the Lens of Constructive Alignment, by Michael Paskevicius (VIU), Open Praxis, Vol 9, No 2 (2017)
The Adoption of an Open Textbook in a Large Physics Course: An Analysis of Cost, Outcomes, Use and Perceptions, by Christina Hendricks, Stefan A. Reinsberg, Georg W. Rieger (UBC); IRRODL, Vol 18, No. 4 (2017)
Investigating the Perceptions, Use, and Impact of Open Textbooks: A survey of Post-Secondary Students in British Columbia, by Rajiv Sunil Jhangiani (KPU), Surita Jhangiani (JIBC), IRRODL, Vol 18, No. 4 (2017)
Incentivizing the Production and Use of Open Educational Resources in Higher Education Institutions, by David Annand, Tilly Jensen (Athabasca U.); IRRODL, Vol 18, No. 4 (2017)
Liberals write off $200 million in student loans feds will never collect – February 16, 2018 (taken from The Canadian Press, published in NationTalk)
VP University Affairs advocates for open educational resources at McGill – February 6, 2018 (The McGill Tribune)
To combat soaring textbook costs, look to an open-source approach – January 2, 2018 (Globe and Mail)
British Columbia university profiles to help you choose – October 18, 2017 (Globe and Mail)
- See KPU’s entry: “In support of students facing financial barriers, KPU participates in the BC campus Open Textbook Project, which provides free digital textbooks, as well as low-cost print textbooks. More than 180 titles are currently offered through this initiative, and KPU’s adoption rate of open-access textbooks has nearly doubled over the past year.”
B.C. students work more, owe more than other Canadian students – September 20, 2017 (Vancouver Sun)
How are you paying for post-secondary education? – June 28, 2016 (Globe and Mail)
Canadians shouldn’t be complacent about our student debt – November 1, 2015 (Globe and Mail)
Data on Textbook Costs – February 26, 2015
Average student debt difficult to pay off, delays life milestones – March 11, 2014 (CBC News)
Report and Track Open Textbook Adoptions
We ask B.C. post-secondary faculty to fill out the Adoption of an Open Textbook form if they have adopted an open textbook from either the B.C. Open Textbook or another collection. This information is anonymized and included in our general adoption statistics.
To help track potential and confirmed adoption numbers at your own institution, use the Open Textbook/OER Adoption Tracker spreadsheet. This resource was developed by Lansing Community College in Lansing, Michigan.