Provincial open textbook project launched with support by Campus Manitoba
The government of Manitoba has announced its support for the Manitoba Open Textbook Initiative, a project to encourage and increase the use of openly licensed textbooks at Manitoba’s post-secondary institutions.
Manitoba’s Minister of Education and Advanced Learning James Allum announced the Manitoba Open Textbook Initiative at the University of Winnipeg on September 11, 2015. The goal of the initiative is to increase access to higher education by reducing student costs through the use of openly licensed textbooks in Manitoba.
Campus Manitoba and BCcampus have partnered to build this website, which allows students and faculty to browse, view, and download open textbooks for use in their courses. The textbooks in the collection have all been created, reviewed, or adapted by faculty at post-secondary institutions in British Columbia.
The website and its textbook collection are modeled on the BCcampus Open Textbook Project. When the BCcampus project was launched, Cable Green, Creative Commons’ director of Global Learning, congratulated the BC government for its vision and leadership: “BC is leveraging 21st century-technologies and licensing to ensure its citizens have affordable access to high-quality post-secondary textbooks,” he said. “Open licensing on publicly funded content ensures the greatest impact for the public dollar.”
In the coming months, Campus Manitoba will also publish open textbook reviews by Manitoba faculty. The Manitoba government has agreed to fund 25 faculty reviews of open textbooks, with support provided by BCcampus. The call for open textbook reviews is important to the goals of creating faculty engagement, assuring the quality of learning resources, and reducing costs for students. The review process will also encourage voluntary adoptions of textbooks available under Creative Commons licensing.
“This new agreement with Manitoba will allow Manitoba faculty to contribute their knowledge and expertise to the growing body of open textbook reviews, strengthening the collection of open textbooks for everyone.” – BCcampus Fall 2015 Update
“This is a positive step forward being undertaken by the provincial government. Students will benefit from this new initiative and we look forward to continue to work together in order to achieve more accessible, affordable and high-quality post-secondary education in Manitoba.” – Michael Barkman (Chair, Canadian Federation of Students–Manitoba)