Student Resources

Open Courses and Advocacy Groups

There are a number of student organizations advocating support for making textbooks more affordable.

Open Courses

There are a number of free on-line courses available for students to explore.
  • Coursera Coursera is an education platform that partners with top universities and organizations worldwide, to offer courses online for anyone to take, for free.
  • edX EdX offers interactive online classes and MOOCs from the world’s best universities. Online courses from MITx, HarvardX, BerkeleyX, UTx and many other universities.
  • Khan Academy Interactive exercises, videos, and assessments in math and sciences, primarily k-12 but useful as review tools for undergrads. Donor supported, not-for-profit.
  • MIT OpenCourseWare MIT OpenCourseWare (OCW) is a web-based publication of virtually all MIT course content. OCW is open and available to the world and is a permanent MIT activity.

Infographic from BC Campus showing the impact of the BC Open Textbook project over 2 years 2012-2014


There are a number of student organizations advocating support for making textbooks more affordable.

BCcampus Advocacy Toolkit

The high cost of educational resources and textbooks create a serious obstacle to the accessibility and affordability of a post-secondary education. Traditional educational resources also present barriers to innovation in pedagogy and curriculum design. Fortunately, open educational resources (OER) are a viable solution to both these problems, since they can be accessed for free online or printed at a fraction of the cost of a traditional textbook. They can also be edited to better fit the curricular or pedagogical goals of an instructor.

UVic Student Society (UVSS)

The UVSS has launched a #TextbookBroke campaign that aims to “bring awareness to the problems in the publishing business, where students are captive consumers and there is little correlation between product value and price. In addition, the UVSS is advocating to professors, administration, and government to explore the many opportunities to make education more affordable without sacrificing the quality of the learning experience.” The texbookbroke campaign was highlighted on  CBC News on September 7, 2016.Listen to the interview on All Points West on September 6, 2016 (podcast)

UPEI pilots a new open textbook project

The University of Prince Edward Island received provincial funding to pilot a new open education resources program. UPEI’s Robertson Library, in collaboration with the UPEI Student Union (UPEISU), received $25,000 in funding from the provincial government to pilot its OER development program through 2020.

U of Saskatchewan agrees to open textbook program

The University signed a memorandum of understanding with British Columbia and Alberta to collaborate and develop open educational resources.

Student PIRGs

Student PIRGs (Public Interest Research Groups) are campaigning to make textbooks more affordable. The say that “the real momentum comes from lasting solutions like open-source textbooks, which could literally revolutionize the textbook market by offering free online access and reducing costs up to 80%

Inba Kehoe
Head, Scholarly Communication &          Copyright Officer

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