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BC Campus – BC Open Textbook Project

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Image by Kreatikar on Needpix. CC BY.

Open textbooks are textbooks that have been published with an open license, which means they are available to students free of cost digitally (or at the cost of printing for those who desire hard copies). BCcampus is a publicly funded agency that offers yearly funding opportunities for individuals and institutions. One example is the ‘BC Open Textbook Project’ launched in 2012. . This project aims to connect BC’s post secondary institutions in creating and gathering openly licensed textbooks in order to make higher education more accessible by reducing student textbook costs. Now, BCcampus has more than 225 open textbooks available to institutions, students and the public, including materials for subjects as wide-ranging as history, physics, psychology, tourism and common core trades. Check out their Open Textbook collection here!

Thompson Rivers University (TRU) was  awarded funding through the BC Open Textbook Project to develop a Zed Cred Certificate in General Studies. Zed Cred or Z-Degrees refer to programs where all courses utilize Open Educational Resources (OERs) removing all traditional textbooks costs for students.

The cost of textbooks has risen by 1,041 per cent since 1977, more than triple the rate of inflation. Textbooks can cost anywhere between $50 and $450 for a single course, accounting for up to 40 per cent of a postsecondary student’s educational costs (Jhangiani, 2 Jan. 2018).