UBC Library | Open Textbook and OER Projects


In April 2018, UBC Library began work on a 1-year project to collaborate with UBC faculty in creating open textbooks and open educational resources (OERs).  The project was funded by UBC’s Teaching and Learning Enhancement Fund (TLEF), which enabled subgrants to assist faculty in developing OERs, and supported Library staff working on the projects.  To learn more about the UBC TLEF click here.

Working with faculty partners, the Library assisted in updating and creating open learning resources in a range of formats including textbooks, videos, simulations, and more.  Where open textbooks were created, students were able to achieve savings by not having to purchase commercial textbooks. Faculty benefited from the ability to customize learning resources, in some cases directly involving students in content creation.

  • Created or updated 10 open textbooks and OERs
  • Involved students directly in the production of these resources
  • Contributed to student cost-savings for course materials
  • Provided faculty with expertise in copyright, open licencing and technical platforms
  • Permanently preserved these works in cIRcle, print, or other format
  • Offered training in Pressbooks, the BCcampus open textbook platform
  • Gained experience in all aspects of open textbook publishing and production

Surveys demonstrated this project offered important benefits to students in the courses involved:

  • increased their familiarity with open textbooks
  • enhanced their overall learning experience
  • saved them money buying textbooks

Browse through the open educational resources below:

Physics Meta-Cognitive Reader

Simon Bates
Physics and Astronomy

Professor Bates has worked with students in PHYS117 to create a student-generated metacognitive reader to accompany an existing open textbook. This resource highlights key concepts, points out student difficulties, and provides links to other course sections to support future learning in the course and to integrate it with previous knowledge.

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Human Geography Open Textbooks

Arthur Gill Green

Through developing Human Geography, Professor Green aims to provide a cost-reduced alternative to the traditional human geography textbook. The textbook introduces students to a context that is uniquely Canadian, while using a modular approach so that local examples can replaced as needed to adapt to international editions in the future.

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Digital Meijis Open Textbook

Tristan Grunow & Naoko Koto


This project, curated and edited by Tristan Grunow and Naoko Koto, culminated in the production of an open textbook: a collection of visual essays that have been adapted from The Meiji at 150 Project. Created in collaboration with the Library, this this project has fostered the exploration of the publishing of open textbooks from beginning to end.

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Open Data Structures Data Simulation

Cinda Heeren
Computer Science

Professor Heeren has worked towards the reorganization and modernization of an open content textbook called Open Data Structure by Pat Morin. The new text refocuses the content on abstract data types, and has been augmented with online tools and new course-specific exercises aimed at the learning objectives of that course.

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forall x: UBC Open Textbook

Jonathan Ichikawa

This is an open-access introductory logic textbook, modified from P.D. Magnus’ forall x and developed specifically for a course at UBC. Feedback from the students in that course was received throughout the production of the text, helping to create the version that exists today. forall x: UBC ed. is available free of cost for anyone who wants to use it.

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CLP Calculus Accessible Open Textbook

Elyse Yeager

Led by Dr. Yeager and colleagues in the Mathematics Department, this project focused on making an existing open textbooks more accessible by addressing inconsistencies in formatting which make it difficult to transfer between platforms, changing color palettes to make them more easily distinguishable for people with colorblindness, and standardizing the spelling.

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Under Creative Construction Video

Farah Shroff
Political Science

Two new videos, created in collaboration with the library, explore the importance of creativity in social and environmental justice movements around the world. This project has allowed the library to explore different kinds of open educational resources and to see how they can be implemented in the classroom to support learning.

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Social Work Simulated Case Studies

Barbara Lee
Social Work

Professor Lee has worked together with graduate academic assistant, Zachary Foote, to create a teaching tool for child welfare training. This Open Educational Resource takes the form of an online simulation with videos and decision-making opportunities with the aim of creating a distance-education format to reduce cost and increase sustainability.

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Please contact project leads Leonora Crema and Stephanie Savage, UBC Scholarly Communications Librarians. We gratefully acknowledge the many contributions of UBC students to this project, including Library team members Zachary Foote and Emily Homolka.
With the exception of the images, the content on this website is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.