The Union is excited to announce that TRU will be launching a new program to create more free textbooks and course materials. Following a collaborative process with the TRU Open Education Working Group a funding request for the TRU Open Press has been approved to provide opportunities for faculty and students to work together to publish new multi-media open educational resources through a variety of multi-media content.
Textbook costs create a major barrier for students in post-secondary, often resulting in students not buying the course material, delaying a class, or dropping a course. Open-access materials not only address the upfront cost but can be developed to promote different learning styles and make education more inclusive to the needs of students. To help address this, the TRU Open Press is planning to ensure that publications reflect the Indigenous, local, and international contexts through which students engage. Additionally, students will have the opportunity to apply for researcher and developer positions where they can gain skills in web development, content design, audio/video production, and editing.
“Whether it’s a free textbook or a more interactive learning tool, some of the best courses I’ve taken have had open education resources,” said Anika Jovner, the International Students’ Representative, and a participant on the 2023 Open Education Week Student Panel. “It’s important to advocate for opportunities like this, and to emphasize that making education more affordable and accessible for future students is necessary.”
Over the last year, members of the Student Caucus have represented their peers on the Open Education Working Group, hosted a consultation session to help direct the TRU Open Press funding request, and participated on a student panel for Open Education Week 2023.
In fall 2023, there will be several new student representative positions available on the TRU Open Press Advisory Board. Students interested in these positions are encouraged to apply to the Student Caucus in August.
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