FIMS Publications

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Working Paper

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In 2012, the British Columbia government announced a plan to fund a program that will result in the creation of open access textbooks for 40 lower-year university courses — the first such program in any of the provinces. This paper will argue that Ontario should follow British Columbia’s lead and invest in the development of a project to create and promote the use of open textbooks. The introduction will discuss the concept of open textbooks and the various initiatives and legislation that have been introduced in the United States, and British Columbia’s plan will be described in more detail. The second section will put forth the reasons that British Columbia’s approach is superior to Ontario’s current approach to rising textbook prices, addressing such issues as affordability, flexibility in teaching and learning, and the commodification of information. Section three will address and respond to several concerns and criticisms of government funding of textbook publishing and open textbooks.

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