Catching the Open eText Wave

The latest round of projects funded by the Ontario government has been announced and we are excited to have six new projects approved in total. This latest call included a funding stream not available in previous years – a call for the development of open eTextbooks (eTexts) – and the University of Toronto has two projects that will focus on this new resource format.

2010 mavericks competition

An open eText is a textbook that is licensed under an open copyright license, and made available online to be accessed for free by students (as well as other instructors and the public). These books can be viewed online or downloaded for no cost and they can also be printed on demand for a much lower cost than a typical physical textbook. As the price of textbooks continues to rise, an increasing number of educators are looking at open textbooks to cut costs for students. We are very excited to begin offering our own eTexts to meet goals of openness and provide savings.

The two funded eText projects are:

Instructor Division eText/Project Title
Hakob Barseghyan FAS Intro History and Philosophy of Science
Ryan Hurl FAS Understanding American Politics

Both projects are due to be published by March 2018. Stay tuned for more information about the University of Toronto’s plans for hosting and sharing open eTexts.For more information about open textbooks see 7 Things You Should Know About Open Textbook Publishing.

We are also happy to announce the funding of four new Modules projects, another format for Open Educational Resources. These include:

Instructor Division Project Title
Brenda McCabe and

Arash Shahi

FASE Introduction to Heavy Civil Engineering Operations and
Equipment Management
Nick Eyles UTSC Planet Earth Online
Bethany White FAS Scientific Data Analysis with R
Marianne Touchie and Kim Pressnail FASE Building Science Fundamentals Open Course Modules

UofT’s success in securing funding for 6 new projects – including open eTexts – will allow us to continue to play a leading role in shaping the open education landscape in Ontario.

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