Thursday, March 6, 2014

Open textbooks are key to skills training

Industry Voices - Jeff Skosnik

BCcampus is a publicly-funded organization that is mandated to serve B.C.'s post-secondary sector on our shared journey to the next generation of educational tools that will keep our workforce globally competitive.

In the post-secondary education world, online courses and open textbooks are now widely available.

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.

They significantly reduce student textbook costs, while giving instructors the flexibility to reformat and customize their course material.

They are an affordable and flexible alternative to traditionally-published textbooks.

BCcampus has made many such open educational resources available to B.C.’s higher education system.

The use of open textbooks is saving tens of thousands of dollars for the province’s university students this year.

When fully implemented, about 200,000 students per year could benefit from B.C.’s open textbooks.

A number of reviewed textbooks are already available at

Now, the B.C. government, through BCcampus, is providing funding for an additional 20 open textbooks for trades training in the areas aligned with the B.C. Jobs Plan.

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Asia Pacific Gateway Skills Table wishes to acknowledge the funding support from the Sector Council Program, Human Resources and Skills Development Canada and the Asia-Pacific Gateway and Corridor Initiative led by Transport Canada.