B.C. makes free online textbooks available

Rosanna Tamburri, Informatics in Education, May 22, 2013
Commentary by Stephen Downes

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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