10 things to know about Open Education in Manitoba

Carley McDougallBlogs

It’s Open Education Week, and to celebrate this worldwide event, we’re sharing 10 facts about the open education movement, and highlighting its traction in Manitoba.

Open Education Week

1. There is an Open Education Initiative in Manitoba

Campus Manitoba launched the Manitoba Open Textbook Initiative in 2015. The goal was to make higher education more accessible by reducing students’ costs through the use of open educational resources (OERs), specifically openly licensed textbooks. So far, students in Manitoba have saved over $368,000 through the use of open textbooks.

2. An OER pilot project happening right now

Red River College and The Manitoba Flexible Learning Hub are currently collaborating to create the first OER under the Manitoba Open Textbook Initiative. The resource is called “Teaching Instructional Methods in Adult Education.” The first module, which focuses on the methodology of teaching adult learners, is nearly complete and will enter the review process this spring.

The project will then work to secure more funding to build out additional modules and create a robust resource that can be adopted, adapted or remixed by other teachers and learners.

3. Manitoba has an open textbook library with 276 resources

On openedmb.ca, you’ll find 276 open textbooks available to use and download. No matter where you’re from or what you’re teaching, you can use the OERs listed on our site or around the web.

Seven of Manitoba’s post-secondary institutions support the use of open textbooks in their programs: Assiniboine Community College, Brandon University, Red River College, University College of the North, Université de Saint-Boniface, University of Manitoba, and University of Winnipeg. To date, they have reported the use of open textbooks in 19 of their courses and programs.

If you use an open textbook or know someone who is, please let us know. This data ensures that the open education movement will continue to gain momentum in Manitoba.

4. Open textbooks are peer-reviewed

Open textbooks in the Manitoba repository are peer-reviewed and of high quality; they’re written by the same experts who write traditional textbooks.

Right now, a $250 honorarium is available to Manitoba instructors for reviewing open textbooks. In the last few years, 17 Manitoba instructors have reviewed 14 textbooks, and one review is currently in progress. There are seven more honorariums available to claim: review a textbook.

5. OERs are live documents

OERs are continuously updated, so they evolve organically. If you have adopted an open textbook and want to ensure you’re using the latest version, you can subscribe to receive notifications as new updates become available. Visit our Open Textbook Collection, click on the title you’re interested in following, then click on “Stay informed about updates to this textbook.”

6. Open education is a national movement

  • BCcampus: over $10 million in savings for students through open textbook adoptions
  • eCampus Ontario: nearly $2.2 million in textbook and course material cost savings
  • University of Saskatchewan: free, online textbooks have saved students about $1.18 million since 2014

7. Librarians and Teaching and Learning Centres are key influencers for OER adoption

Librarians and the staff in Teaching and Learning Centres are often the ones sourcing resources for faculty members and students. They invest the time to research available options, including OERs.

SPARCopen.org is one group of librarians that offers mentorship and guidance in this area. They share leadership training, resources, and impact stories on open education.

8. There are many national conferences on open education

Over the past year, we’ve attended OpenEd18, the Festival of Learning, and the OER Francophone Conference. The next open textbook event is the Cascadia Open Education Summit in Vancouver from April 17-18, 2019.

9. Anyone can create an OER

The only thing you need to create an OER is a heart to share your knowledge. An OER can be as simple as a lesson or activity, or as robust as a textbook.

If you’re thinking about writing a textbook, consider developing it as an open textbook. Campus Manitoba can help you set the wheel in motion. We can point you to the many support resources available, connect you with experts who will guide you through the process, and identify funding sourcing.

10. Campus Manitoba loves speaking on open textbooks

If you want to share information on OERs with administrators, librarians, or faculty members, contact us to schedule a presentation or lunch and learn.

Campus Manitoba is a consortium of Manitoba’s public post-secondary institutions. Through collaborative projects and shared services, we facilitate student mobility and expand access to post-secondary programs for students in Manitoba. In addition to campusmanitoba.ca, our websites include ecoursesmb.casetyourcourse.ca, and openedmb.ca.