Mary Burgess, Director of Curriculum Services and Applied Research
Open textbooks are textbooks that are licensed in such a way that enables them to be adapted by faculty who want to use them as teaching resources; so make modifications to them that make them more appropriate for the teaching and learning context. The other big benefit .. is that they are free for students in the electronic versions of them.
[There are] a couple things that make [this project] special: one is that ultimately out of this project, we will produce 60 open textbooks that can be used by anybody in our post-secondary system or anywhere in the world; free to adapt and free to use. And the other thing that makes it special is that it’s the first government-funded initiative of its kind in Canada.
I think open textbooks are going to change the world! Fundamentally the reason we are doing this project is to increase access to higher education by lowering the cost.
So, if people don’t have to pay for textbooks, then that means that they are more likely to be able to afford to go to any kind of post-secondary education. And that just opens up the world of education to a much greater population.
Dr. Takashi Sato, Professor at Kwantlen Polytechnic University
My experience with going to this book has been very seamless. The book that I have adopted [first year physics] is on par with anything else that is already existing … it’s very high quality and it’s structured very similar to presentations I am used to; and it’s not really been much of a transition. Despite the fact that it is free, the quality is as good as anything we see.
Robert Payer, Student at Kwantlen Polytechnic University
It’s been great! You know, we spend so much money on textbooks every semester.
Its really adds to the cost of tuition. And it’s nice to be able to go online, just download the chapters that you need. You don’t have to carry this giant textbook around with you, you can just upload it to your computer and it makes life really easy. I wish that all of our textbooks were free and open!