Since October of 2015, Campus Manitoba has supported open education in Manitoba through the Manitoba Open Textbook Initiative. Through a partnership with BCcampus, we created a website that helps Manitoba instructors and students access free textbooks. We also introduced a process for faculty to review a textbook in their subject area.
These were the first steps to raise awareness of open educational resources (OER) in Manitoba. Open educational resources, including open textbooks, are free for students and allow educators to modify or adapt the resource to the course.
Our efforts to promote open educational resources at universities and colleges in Manitoba will continue under a new name and a new website. As part of Campus Manitoba’s transition to a new look, the project will continue at OpenEd MB.
We are nearing our original goal to approve 25 faculty reviews of open textbooks in our catalogue. A handful of reviews have already been submitted, and more are on the way. All contributions to the growing body of open textbook reviews help improve the open textbook collection for everyone.
The following textbooks have all been reviewed by Manitoba faculty:
- Anatomy and Physiology
- Research Methods in Psychology
- Analytical Chemistry
- Introducing Marketing
- Principles of Marketing
- English Literature: Victorians and Moderns
Several reviews are still in progress. The textbooks being reviewed include Introductory Chemistry, Canadian History: Pre-Confederation, Introductory Business Statistics, Writing for Success, and Introduction to Financial Accounting.
You can read the reviews by going to the collection at OpenEd MB.
The call for reviewers is open indefinitely. Reviews are important to the goals of creating faculty engagement, assuring the quality of learning resources, and reducing costs for students. Interest is growing at Manitoba’s universities and colleges for resources that meet the needs of students and faculty. We will continue our role in informing students, educators, and the broader public about the value of open educational resources.
About open textbooks and open educational resources
Open textbooks are a type of open educational resource, commonly referred to as OER. These are free educational materials with open licenses provided by Creative Commons.
Publications with open licenses can be shared and customized for a variety of purposes. The Hewlett Foundation’s definition of OER is a widely accepted way of thinking about open educational resources: “teaching, learning, and research resources that reside in the public domain or have been released under an intellectual property license that permits their free use and repurposing by others.”
Open textbooks are important to Manitoba’s post-secondary community because they have the potential to:
- make education more affordable and accessible for students
- improve learning experiences by allowing faculty to customize resources
- create possibilities for sharing, creating, and collaborating to expand knowledge
The 5 rights of open educational resources
“Open” means many things in education, but when we talk about resources, we commonly refer to David Wiley’s 5 R’s of open education. These are the rights granted to students and educators who are using educational content with open licenses (including textbooks, quizzes, videos, and even whole courses):
- Retain – You are welcome to download and keep the materials whether you are an author, an instructor, or a student.
- Reuse – You are free to use materials in a wide variety of ways without expressly asking permission of the copyright holder.
- Revise – You can adapt, alter, or modify the content to suit specific purposes, such as educators who make the material more relevant to their students. You can also make the resource available in a number of different formats.
- Remix – You can pull together a number of different resources to create something new.
- Redistribute – You are free to share with others, so they can reuse, remix, improve upon, correct, or review the work.
Head over to OpenEdMB.ca for more!
More information about the project and open educational resources can be found at OpenEdMB.ca.
OpenEd Manitoba one of several services maintained by Campus Manitoba. We are a consortium of Manitoba’s public post-secondary institutions. Through collaborative projects and shared services, Campus Manitoba facilitates student mobility and expands access to post-secondary programs. In addition to OpenEd MB, Campus Manitoba websites include setyourcourse.ca, ecoursesmb.ca, and the forthcoming transfermb.ca.