Metro Vancouver, B.C. – Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) is championing accessible education as the first educator in B.C. to reach over 100 open textbook adoptions, nearly double that of any other post-secondary institution in the province.
Over 100 different academic sections across arts, science and horticulture, and trades and technology have incorporated free, digitally accessible textbooks into their coursework, collectively saving more than 2,500 KPU students over $230,000.
“Open textbooks provide our students with free, permanent and flexible access to their course textbooks while simultaneously giving our instructors the ability to modify these materials to reflect our local context, and incorporate recent developments within their field. I am proud that KPU is leading the way among B.C. post-secondary institutions in adopting this innovative and student-centered approach to teaching and learning,” said Dr. Rajiv Jhangiani, a psychology instructor at KPU and a past faculty fellow with the BCcampus B.C. Open Textbook team.
“The B.C. Open Textbook Faculty Fellows program, now in its second year, will be announcing three new members on Feb. 16 for 2016/17. We’ve thoroughly enjoyed, and benefited, from our work with the faculty members who have been selected for this program,” reports Lauri Aesoph, manager of open education with BCcampus. “These individuals bring the instructor’s perspective to our project and are key to assisting us with advocacy, research, and consultation with other faculty about open textbooks and open educational resources.”
Launched in 2012 by the provincial government and managed by BCcampus, the B.C. Open Textbook Project aims to increase the flexibility, affordability and access to higher education resources in the province. KPU has been at the forefront of pioneering open education initiatives. Along with the most adoptions of any post-secondary institution in B.C., KPU faculty have edited some of the 139 open textbooks available through the project. KPU’s psychology department will soon be activating a website with openly licensed instructional materials to support the teaching of introductory of psychology, and the university has established an Open Studies group, which is working on a number of initiatives.
“KPU faculty have shown a cross-institutional interest in applying, adapting and assessing open textbooks. It demonstrates a commitment to reducing student costs, increasing accessibility, and innovation, and at the same time we’re going in eyes-open, keen to critically examine this initiative. At this time, it’s all green lights. Open textbooks are a good example of the KPU culture of continuous pedagogical growth and evolution,” said Diane Purvey, dean of KPU's Faculty of Arts.
On March 11, KPU will welcome Paul Stacey from Creative Commons for Open Education Week. To register, visit kpu.ca/CC.
More information on the B.C. Open Textbook Project is available here.
Kwantlen Polytechnic University has served the Metro Vancouver region since 1981, and has opened doors to success for more than 200,000 learners. Four campuses—Richmond, Surrey, Cloverdale and Langley—offer a comprehensive range of sought-after programs in business, liberal arts, design, health, science and horticulture, trades and technology, and academic and career advancement. Over 19,000 students annually have a choice from over 120 programs, including bachelor’s degrees, associate degrees, diplomas, certificates, citations and apprenticeships. Learn more at kpu.ca.
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