Textbook project celebrated during Open Access Week

By Public Affairs | October 20, 2020
           

Open Education Resources

Students at Okanagan College have many reasons to celebrate Open Access Week – more than a million in fact.

Since 2013, access to open education resources (OERs) and free access e-texts through the College’s library has saved students more than $1 million and that number continues to pick up the pace with each semester.

A new OER developed by Okanagan School of Business Professor Michael Orwick is just one of those resources that is enhancing access to information and improving student outcomes, all while saving students money.

“We used an open textbook (Principles of Marketing) last year and found that — while it saved the students money — without any support material, it created more work than we could handle because it lacked test banks, PowerPoints, quizzes, videos, flashcards and such,” Orwick explained, adding that the lack of additional materials created a barrier for students in completing the required readings.

He applied for a BCcampus grant designed to encourage the development of OERs across the province, with the goal of possibly creating a “zero textbook cost” program in marketing.

“The investment in creating peripheral material offered a chance to make the open textbook a more valuable tool; one that is flexible and adaptable for each specific class,” Orwick said.

“I really appreciate being able to use a free textbook. As a student on a fixed income it really helps with the finical burden of school,” adds OC business student Laurissa Ivany.

With students not having to spend money on the textbook or ancillary materials, Orwick estimates the one-year savings to marketing students to be $65,000. Orwick contributes to the more than $658,000 in savings overall that OC students have seen thanks to OER adoption since 2013.

OC Kelowna

While cost is one barrier that is reduced when faculty choose to use an open textbook, there are other benefits as well. Students can access the resources in different ways: a downloadable PDF, an online format or even in some cases a format maximized for mobile devices, which adds to their ability to read and learn in multiple locations.

Also saving students money and offering increased flexibility are the free access e-texts offered by the College’s library. Since June 2018, these resources have yielded more than $420,000 in textbook savings for students.

Roen Janyk, Web Services Librarian at OC notes: “The Library has long been supportive of initiatives that support open education and equitable access to information. Whether it is through open teaching resources such as H5P, or our e-textbook program, these examples demonstrate how small investments made by the College can have profound impacts on our students, instructors, and faculty. We have shown that it is possible to create more affordable and equitable access to educational resources.”

To mark Open Education Week, Janyk is presenting on the topic virtually, along with colleagues from four other BC post-secondary institutions, during a webinar offered by BCcampus. Tune in to watch “Open Access in Action: Tales from Five Institutions,” on Wednesday, Oct. 21 at 1 p.m. Details can be found on the BCcampus events page: https://bccampus.ca/events/.

Open Access Week is an annual, global event to raise awareness about open access and to call for open access to be the norm in scholarship and research. This year’s theme is “Open with Purpose: Taking Action to Build Structural Equity and Inclusion.”

“Accessibility of learning materials is a key component of an accessible and inclusive learning environment. Okanagan College is taking strides to remove the barriers of traditional learning materials, and the work by Okanagan School of Business is an example of how education can be more accessible and equitable,” said Meri Kim Oliver, Vice President Students of Okanagan College.



Tags: Okanagan School of Business, Library, Open Education Resources

TOP STORIES

RELATED STORIES

Sign up for weekly stories




Trending

Culinary Arts student shows off salmon fillets on stakes that will go onto the fire.
Meet Ruby Pahtayken

October 7, 2020

What is your full name? Ruby Denise Pahtayken, kîhew Iskwēw- ᑭᐦᐁᐤ ᐃᐢᑫᐧᐤ. What program are you enrolled in at Okanagan College? Culinary Arts, currently in Professional Cook Level 2 for 2020. Where is your hometown? Onion Lake Cree Nation, Saskatchewan. Wîhcêkaskosîwî - Sâkahikanihk What brought you to OC? Why did you come to Kelowna to study? In pursuing my culinary career, I moved to Kelowna. I love that I come from the beautiful Cree plains and moved to a different territory. I w...

Read more...
Outdoor courtyard with picnic bench on the Penticton campus
OC brings new counselling initiative online to support students

September 3, 2020

For students navigating stepping into a new semester amid a time of uncertainty and anxiety around COVID, Okanagan College’s Counselling Services team is creating a new opportunity to connect and build resilience. GROW @ OC is the College’s newest counselling initiative, an online drop-in group to learn practical tools and strategies to become a more proactive student. Designed directly for OC students by OC counsellors, the six workshops offered throughout the fall semester focus on setting students up for success amid a semester during w...

Read more...
Grid of images from OC campuses, clockwise from top left: Penticton, Vernon, Kelowna and Salmon Arm
Physically distanced but still fun: College Orientation serves up info, activities and prizes

September 2, 2020

Okanagan College will welcome back students with a range of virtual and in-person physically-distanced, curbside Orientation Day activities next week – all geared toward making them feel connected and starting their post-secondary experience off on a positive note. “Okanagan College is about people – our students, and employees coming together in a truly supportive community,” said Meri Kim Oliver, OC’s Vice President Students. “As much as COVID-19 has changed how we connect, all OC campuses are committed developing the best student experie...

Read more...
Okanagan College
Students will park for free at OC this fall

August 31, 2020

Okanagan College is waiving parking fees for students this coming semester. “Many of our students will be learning online or via remote delivery this fall, and we expect that those who are on campus for experiential learning in labs or shops may be spending less time on campus than normal,” explains Curtis Morcom, OC’s Vice President Employee and Corporate Services. “In light of that, we wanted to take this step to pass on some savings to students, which we hope will be a welcome relief.” Students can park for free and do not have to displa...

Read more...