eCampusOntario Launches Open Textbook Library to Address Student Affordability
Anyone who has been to college or university remembers the financial burden of buying expensive textbooks. For many who are contemplating post-secondary education, affordability remains a barrier with the high cost of books being a major contributing factor.
In response to this urgent need eCampusOntario has announced the launch of a virtual Open Textbook Library. Working in partnership with BCcampus, the new library will offer college and university students across Ontario access to a repository of learning resources that are licensed to be freely used, adapted, and distributed.
When fully online, the library will contain 180 textbooks that have been peer reviewed by faculty from a variety of colleges and universities to assess and approve their quality. These resources can be downloaded at no cost or printed for a very low cost.
The Open Textbook Library is a part of our commitment in Ontario to open educational resources (OER) and making post-secondary education more affordable. OER are teaching, learning or research materials that are in the public domain or released with an intellectual property license that allows for free use, adaptation and distribution.
The Open Education Movement is not just about cost savings and easy access to openly licensed content — it’s about participation and co-creation. Open is a global movement that brings people together, encourages collaboration and creates a framework where people can share their knowledge freely with others.
It also represents a tremendous opportunity for systemic change in terms of teaching and learning by engaging educators in the new participatory process, and leveraging effective technologies for positive outcomes.
“One of the things that we’re trying to do is broaden the impact of open from 5% to a much higher adoption rate and the key is to work directly with faculty and post-secondary institutions,” said David Porter, CEO, eCampusOntario. We also need to collaborate more broadly to better communicate and share the benefits of open education across Canada’s post-secondary sector.”
The Open Textbook Library will be online in late June 2017 and and will be fully stocked and ready for the fall academic year. This exciting new resource can be found at Open.eCampusOntario.ca.
A not-for-profit corporation, eCampusOntario is funded by the Government of Ontario to be a Centre of Excellence for Online and Technology-Enabled Learning for a membership composed of all 45-public colleges and universities in Ontario.
For more information, please visit www.ecampusontario.ca