Tag Archives: KPU

Improving the Adoption of Open Textbooks Through Faculty Advocates

BCcampus recently launched a faculty fellows program aimed at encouraging more instructor and faculty adoption and use of open textbooks in British Columbia. The fellows will engage in research that determines the efficacy of open textbook use in B.C. institutions and provide mentorship to faculty new to open textbooks through presentations and consultation. The first three fellows include Christina Hendricks, a Senior Instructor in the department of Philosophy at UBC; Dr. Rajiv Jhangiani, Instructor of Psychology at KPU; and Jessie Key, a Professor in Chemistry at VIU. According to Dr. Hendricks, benefitors of open textbooks include students who “don’t have to go into debt so much to pay for their education. And you’re not sacrificing quality by using open resources, so students still get very good materials for their courses”. Additionally, Dr. Hendricks points out that faculty themselves benefit by the ability to revise the textbooks and to fit them to their clases: “it’s much easier to teach with a resource you’ve managed on your own.”

Link: http://bccampus.ca/2014/10/09/improving-adoption-of-open-textbooks-through-faculty-advocates/

A Faculty Perspective on Open Textbooks

Dr. Rajiv Jhangiani, a professor of psychology at Kwantlen Polytechnic University and chair of the Provincial Psychology Articulation Committee, explores reasons why most faculty are not yet adopting open textbooks. These reasons include that open textbook may not be available for many disciplines and courses; some faculty are skeptical of open textbook quality and hold them to a higher standard than traditional textbooks; there is a need for additional learning materials, such as associated test banks; and finally that the choice of textbook is sometimes not an individual’s decision. Jhangiani summarizes the advantages of open resources and highlights that “there is some evidence to suggest that when an open textbook is carefully adapted to suit a particular program, student performance and retention is actually enhanced.” He concludes, “Ultimately, I believe that it is institutional culture that will need to shift. A university’s strategic priorities need to include moving towards open education. From the president’s office down, open education initiatives need to be supported for these to develop and mature. This includes time releases for faculty adapting/adopting open textbooks, institutional recognition of this work, practical and regularly offered professional development workshops, and the consideration of the development of open educational resources in the files of those on the tenure-track.”