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 Collection which contains hundreds of high quality resources selected for post-secondary curricula in British Columbia and Canada.

Top 40 Subject Areas

  1. Year 1 Accounting
  2. Year 2 Accounting
  3. Year 1 Anthropology
  4. Year 1 Applied Science
  5. Year 2 Applied Science
  6. Year 1 Biology
  7. Year 2 Biology
  8. Year 1 Business, Business Admin, and Management
  9. Year 1 Business Info Systems/Business Computer Systems/Business Info Tech
  10. Year 1 Chemistry
  11. Year 2 Chemistry
  12. Year 2 Commerce
  13. Year 1 Communications
  14. Year 2 Communications
  15. Year 1 Computer Science
  16. Year 1 Criminology
  17. Year 1 Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Science
  18. Year 1 Economics
  19. Year 2 Economics
  20. Year 1 English
  21. Year 2 English
  22. Year 1 French
  23. Year 1 Geography
  24. Year 1 History
  25. Year 1 Human Resources and Organizational Behaviour
  26. Year 2 Human Resources and Organizational Behaviour
  27. Year 1 Kinetics/Kinesiology
  28. Year 1 Marketing
  29. Year 1 Math and Stats
  30. Year 2 Math and Stats
  31. Year 1 Philosophy
  32. Year 1 Physics and Astronomy
  33. Year 1 Psychology
  34. Year 2 Psychology
  35. Year 1 Political Science
  36. Year 2 Political Science
  37. Year 1 Sociology
  38. Year 2 Sociology
  39. Year 1 Visual Arts, Media, and Design
  40. 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.

  1. High volume/strategic foundational trades including career pathway programs and programs that cross multiple trades training programs (e.g., workplace safety).
  2. Oil and gas courses and programs focused on supporting the Natural Gas industry.
  3. Tourism/Hospitality programs.
  4. Adult Basic Education essential skills for trades and technical programs as well as programs focused on up-skilling and job-readiness.
  5. Mining related programs.
  6. 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.