B.C. makes free online textbooks available

Rosanna Tamburri, Informatics in Education, May 22, 2013
Commentary by Stephen Downes
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According to this University Affairs article, "the B.C. government said it will make available up to 20 free and open online textbooks for some of the most popular first- and second-year university and college courses... it has committed $1 million to fund the venture. BCcampus, the provincial agency overseeing the project, is rolling it out in phases. It recently released a list of the 40 most highly enrolled first- and second-year subject areas for which it is sourcing textbooks. It also identified 10 existing open textbooks, mainly first-year introductory texts. The agency issued a call for proposals to faculty members and teaching assistants to peer review the books and is making available an evaluation rubric to use for the reviews." The proposal received a good response from Tony Bates, who calls the idea "shrwed," especially as it implicates faculty in review and selection. It is estimated to save students $1000 per year. No response from publishers in the article.

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