Tap into a World of Open Knowledge
Open Education is a form of learning that is accessible to individuals on a grand scale; OER (Open Educational Resources) are free, making them accessible for learners of all socioeconomic backgrounds. eCampusOntario is a current leader in the field of Open Education, offering a variety of educational tools and resources to learners and post secondary institutions across Ontario.
Open Textbook Library
A collection for learners and educators alike.
The Open Textbook Library is a way for students to access free textbooks and academic materials. It’s both accessible and free, two factors that students value at a time when traditional textbooks are costly and printed in limited quantity. All of the resources and textbooks in the Open Textbook Library can be downloaded for free and printed on demand for a minor fee.
Under Creative Commons licensing, the library also benefits Ontario educators by allowing them to adapt, adopt and remix materials, which can then be used by colleagues or students in new contexts.
The future of online textbooks
By allowing both learners and educators to have access to the library, eCampusOntario can help facilitate the circulation of Open knowledge and ensure that the library expands and flourishes as its user base grows.
Open Publishing Infrastructure
The Open Textbook Library will be equipped with cutting-edge technology thanks to a joint effort between eCampusOntario and Ryerson University. Both partners will be spearheading an Open Publishing Infrastructure prototype project, a community project that will work towards ensuring the Open Textbook Library is future-proofed and built with the right technology.
The full team from Ryerson University includes the Learning and Teaching Office, the Office of eLearning, staff from Library and Archives, individuals from the Chang School of Continuing Education’s Digital Education Strategies, and staff from Computing and Communications Services. The infrastructure project will be developed with open source software from Pressbooks. Overall, the project will be a vital addition to the expansion of the capabilities of the Open Textbook Library and OER in the province of Ontario.
Open Textbook Initiative
The Open Textbook Initiative funded the creation of high-quality digital course content that can be freely reused, revised, adapted, remixed, redistributed, and retained by institutions to support online and technology-enabled teaching and learning. The Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development, through the initiative invested $1M towards the creation and adaptation of open textbooks including French language content, Indigenous studies and subject areas of high enrolment in first and second year college and university courses.
About Creative Commons Licensing
What is a Creative Commons (CC) license? In simple terms, it’s a public license that allows copyrighted materials to be freely shared and expanded upon. It’s a form of copyright that Open Education relies on in order to ensure that knowledge is accessible and available to individuals around the world. Without it, many important educational materials would be restricted for private use.
Creative Commons and the Open Textbook Library
With Creative Commons licensing, educators who contribute research and course materials to the library can ensure that their work is easily accessible to students and adaptable by their peers and colleagues. Through this ongoing peer revision and review, every new material that enters the library is academically strengthened.
Need more information about Creative Commons and the Open Textbook Library? Please don’t hesitate to contact eCampusOntario by email.
Benefits of OERs
Open Educational Resources (OER) are materials, textbooks, documents, and other academic resources that are openly available for public use. These types of resources are generally low in cost, if not free, and they can usually be accessed online and/or easily downloaded for later use. All of these factors work together to make OERs extremely accessible and integral to the growth of eLearning.
OERs benefit learners who:
Need accessible resources
Have a unique learning style
Have a tight budget
Have access to the Internet
OERs benefit educators who:
Need accessible resources
Have students on a budget
Want to utilize eLearning in lectures
Want to publish under a CC license
Not simply resources….
…but tools that stem from innovation
eCampusOntario is rethinking learning resources. Through seminars, sponsorships and educational events, we are advancing very important conversations around the concept of Open. The organization has been involved in the development of three major industry events which have encouraged universities and colleges to learn more about Open and the practical uses of OER.
These include the Open Education Ontario Summit (hosted by eCampusOntario), the Creative Commons Global Summit (sponsored by eCampusOntario), and the ORION THINK: Open Conference (also sponsored by eCampusOntario).
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