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The fruits of BC’s focus on “open”

fruit ripeningHave you been following the development of open textbooks on the BCcampus OpenEd Resources site – https://open.bccampus.ca/?

If you visit the website, you’ll find some exciting statistics about the amount of money saved by students, the number of textbooks created and adopted, the progress made in funding the development of ancillary resources. You can learn more by reviewing Dr. Tony Bates blog post “Acorns to oaks? British Columbia continues its progress with OERs

While I’ve been appreciative of the efforts of the Open Textbooks project I’ve been far more impressed with their efforts to develop a broader understanding (and integration) of the “open” approach through their events and workshops, and the support of various special groups that pursue a particular aspect of OERs (eg, librarians, instructional designers, educational technologists).

I was particularly impressed with Lauri Aesoph’s decision to “walk the talk” by making the development of the popular guides:

BC Open Textbook Adaptation Guide

BC Open Textbook Pressbooks Guide

visible and transparent by posting, in the Pressbook for each guide under development, a page that lists the dates and progress of various sections. AND she’s going to cc-license the “in process” material as well as the final version – very gutsy but definitely in keeping with the spirit of “open” I admire.

While the cautious side of my personality looks ahead and sees the potential chaos if people see too many “warts” in an open development project (i.e., lack of trust in the final product), the side that has always been thrilled by the possibilities of crowdsourcing and open learning/education/development approaches, applauds Lauri’s “big sky” thinking “A New Future for Open Textbooks” at the end of her blog post “From Transparent to Invisible: Open Creations

What I see missing is a way for people to connect with each Pressbooks project and to volunteer to contribute or to report back whatever they take and use or repurpose. The shareback step seems to always be forgotten (cuz it’s hardest maybe). But kudos to Lauri and BCcampus.

You go grrrl!