Ryan McAllister is a second-year environmental studies student at Okanagan College.

Online texts saving Okanagan College students money

BCcampus’s Open Textbook Project is an online repository of open educational resources

Okanagan College students are saving big with an innovative provincial program that gives access to free textbooks.

Ryan McAllister, a second-year environmental studies student at the college, has already felt the positive impacts from using open textbooks in four of his courses.

“The biggest perk of open textbooks are the cost-savings. Saving money as a student will always come first,” he said.

Okanagan College ranked third in open textbook adoptions out of 31 participating post-secondary institutions in BCcampus’s 2015/16 annual review of its Open Textbook Project.

BCcampus’s Open Textbook Project, an online repository of open educational resources (OERs), allows students and educators to use textbooks at no cost under a Creative Commons license. It currently has more than 170 books on a wide range of common post-secondary course subjects ­– everything from social science and business to trades and adult literacy upgrading courses.

“Okanagan College is committed on a number of fronts to minimizing barriers to post-secondary education,” said Jim Hamilton, OC president.

“It’s encouraging to see our professors supporting the Open Textbook Project and helping students save on the cost of their education.”

Arthur Gill Green, a geography professor at the college, has been an advocate of OER since 2010 when he discovered three of his students sharing a textbook because they couldn’t each afford to purchase one.

Green became involved with the Open Textbook project in 2012 and doesn’t just teach with the materials, he creates them. In 2014, he co-wrote British Columbia in a Global Context, which is published and available in the online repository.

BCcampus reports that since 2012, 1,260 Okanagan College students have saved more than $190,000 across 76 different course sections where faculty and instructors have adopted an open textbook to replace a primary textbook or educational resource that must be purchased.

“Students are responding really well to open textbooks on multiple levels,” said Green.

“They appreciate the cost savings and the freedom of not having to rely on a heavy book that becomes out of date as soon as they purchase it. The biggest benefit is the ability for students and faculty to work together to actively create materials that further student knowledge linking to educational and occupational outcomes.”

OERs are peer-reviewed to maintain quality standards and offer the added benefit of allowing for collaboration among educators and students. Open Textbook content can be edited and updated instantly and students can view the resources in various online or printable formats.

Because they are openly licensed, OERs can be used and re-purposed by others. This allows for adaptation to a specific course and enables access to students with learning challenges.

For more information on the Open Textbook Project, visit bccampus.ca

 

 

Just Posted

Food hamper program in need of more donations

More than 125 hampers are given out to residents of the Lower Similkameen before Christmas.

Alleged affair leads to assault in Princeton

Remorse and a clean record result in suspended sentence

Pepperoni costs Hedley man $500

A Hedley man enjoyed a snack and then refused to pay for it - landing him in court

OSNS #SmileWithOtis making the rounds in Penticton

The 38th annual Shaw Share a Smile Telethon in support of OSNS is Saturday

Penticton treatment centre owner says she plans to raise the bar in care

Michelle Jansen has been an outspoken advocate for the development of rules

Run, hide, fight — surviving an active shooter situation

A former Kelowna cop teaches how to survive an active shooter situation

Homeless count returns amid Penticton’s housing crisis

Volunteers are hitting the streets this week to find solid data on Penticton’s homeless population

Federal funding to combat guns, gangs and opioid crisis

Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale said illicit drugs are often main cause of guns, gangs violence

Riverview youth mental health centre proceeds

Replacement for Maples Treatment Centre first announced in March

Dead boy’s father posts Facebook response after Appeal Court upholds conviction

David, Collet Stephan were found guilty in their son Ezekiel’s 2012 death from bacterial meningitis

Trudeau mania, Scheer enthusiasm in B.C. this week

Prime minister, Conservative leader drop in on Surrey, White Rock

Forecasters promote avalanche safety awareness to kick off season

Avalanche Canada advising backcountry enthusiasts to get proper training and equipment.

B.C. church defaced with disturbing anti-Christian graffiti

Staff at Crossroads United Church reported the vandalism to police late last week

PayPal ordered to disclose business accounts to Canada Revenue Agency

Online payments company has 45 days to hand over information identifying its account holders

Most Read