It was on October 16, 2012 at the annual OpenEd conference in Vancouver that then British Columbia Minister of Advanced Education, John Yap, announced the creation of the B.C. Open Textbook Project (now BCcampus Open Education), to be administered by BCcampus. The goal of the project was to make higher education more accessible by reducing student cost through the use of openly licensed textbooks. BCcampus was tasked with co-ordination of the project because of its 10-year experience funding open educational resources (OER) through the Online Program Development Fund.
Specifically, the project was asked to create a collection of open textbooks aligned with the top 40 highest-enrolled subject areas in the province (see list below). A second phase was announced in the spring of 2014 in which an additional 20 textbooks–targeting trades, technology, and skills training–would be developed.
Today, BCcampus Open Education hosts and maintains the B.C. Open Textbook Collection which contains hundreds of high quality resources selected for post-secondary curricula in British Columbia and Canada.
Top 40 Subject Areas
- Year 1 Accounting
- Year 2 Accounting
- Year 1 Anthropology
- Year 1 Applied Science
- Year 2 Applied Science
- Year 1 Biology
- Year 2 Biology
- Year 1 Business, Business Admin, and Management
- Year 1 Business Info Systems/Business Computer Systems/Business Info Tech
- Year 1 Chemistry
- Year 2 Chemistry
- Year 2 Commerce
- Year 1 Communications
- Year 2 Communications
- Year 1 Computer Science
- Year 1 Criminology
- Year 1 Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Science
- Year 1 Economics
- Year 2 Economics
- Year 1 English
- Year 2 English
- Year 1 French
- Year 1 Geography
- Year 1 History
- Year 1 Human Resources and Organizational Behaviour
- Year 2 Human Resources and Organizational Behaviour
- Year 1 Kinetics/Kinesiology
- Year 1 Marketing
- Year 1 Math and Stats
- Year 2 Math and Stats
- Year 1 Philosophy
- Year 1 Physics and Astronomy
- Year 1 Psychology
- Year 2 Psychology
- Year 1 Political Science
- Year 2 Political Science
- Year 1 Sociology
- Year 2 Sociology
- Year 1 Visual Arts, Media, and Design
- Year 2 Visual Arts, Media, and Design
Trades, Technology, and Skills Training
In the second target area of trades, technology, and skills training, the following areas were identified as priority funding areas for the BC Open Textbook Project. For each subject area, there is a link to the textbooks currently available.
- 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.
- Health Care programs (e.g., Health Care Assistant, Practical Nursing and Registered Nursing).
One of the successes came out of Camosun College. Watch this video that explains how.