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Media Release
Release Date: September 28, 2016

Advanced Education Minister Andrew Wilkinson visited plumbing and pipe trades students at Camosun College this week to see the benefit of open textbooks in action. The visit also celebrated the first anniversary of common-core-trades open textbooks, which offer resources for skills relevant to many trades.

In British Columbia, more than 160 open textbooks are currently available online for free through the Open Textbook Project, ranging from the most popular first- and second-year areas such as math and business, to skills and technical subjects such as trades foundation courses and adult upgrading. More than 190 faculty members at 24 public post-secondary institutions in BC are currently participating in the project.

“Open textbooks offer exceptional learning flexibility in the classroom for instructors and students alike,” said Camosun Dean of Trades and Technology Eric Sehn. “Open textbooks are also saving money for students at Camosun, allowing them more focus on their studies.”

Open textbooks offer instructors the flexibility to adapt and customize digital course materials for students, making course information more relevant and accessible. In addition, 23 of the trades books are also available for download as free audiobooks, which helps students who face barriers to education such as physical or learning disabilities.

“I've been involved in this project from the onset,” said Rod Lidstone, Open Textbook Project Lead at Camosun. “Thanks to our team and partners at the ITA, Open School BC and BCcampus, we were able to bring this project through to fruition. The flexibility and adaptability of open education resources with the use of educational technologies have the ability to really transform trades education as we know it today.

Andrew Wilkinson, Advanced Education Minister attends a lecture with Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Mechanic Foundation students utilizing open textbooks

The Ministry of Advanced Education says the BC Open Textbook Project is the first government-sponsored initiative of its kind in Canada, and has saved up to $2 million for more than 17,000 post-secondary students in BC in the last few years.

“I was pleasantly surprised when I was told that I would not have to purchase any textbooks for the first 10 weeks of my 30-week plumbing and pipe trades foundations course,” said Camosun College plumbing and pipefitting trades foundation student Mike Scinocca. “These e-books helped me because they saved me money, made re-reading much easier and kept me from lugging around a physical copy. They are part of the reason I would recommend this course and Camosun as a whole, to anyone considering enrolling in the future.”


Rod Lidstone
Camosun Open Textbook Project Lead

Last updated: October 4, 2016 11:56 am

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