UCT launches call for digital open textbook development proposals
3 Dec 2018 - 12:00
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The University of Cape Town (UCT) today launched a call for grant proposals to support the development of digital open textbooks at UCT.
Issued by Deputy Vice-Chancellor Associate Professor Lis Lange, the call highlights the work of the Digital Open Textbooks for Development (DOT4D) initiative in the Centre for Innovation in Learning and Teaching (CILT) which is aimed at promoting the use of open textbooks to address curriculum transformation and the cost/access crisis which plagues the South African higher education system.
An open textbook is an open educational resource utilised in a teaching and learning context that is released under an open licence and made freely available online to students, teachers and members of the public without any cost to the user. Like traditional textbooks, open textbooks are written by academics and other experts in their disciplines, and are subject to quality control measures.
DOT4D is offering grants of up to R80 000 to educators at UCT, which may be utilised to support existing open textbook authoring and publication activity or the conceptualisation and production of new open textbooks. The grants process is specifically aimed at supporting open content development processes which address curriculum transformation, inclusion of marginalised and student voices, relevance to local context, multilingualism, disability access, interdisciplinarity and strategies for ensuring long-term financial sustainability.
In issuing the call for open textbook development proposals, UCT joins a number of leading international universities which are adopting open textbook strategies to curb the prohibitive cost of textbooks and learning materials. Recent research suggests that open textbook initiatives in the US have the potential to save students more than a billion dollars a year in textbook costs.
The DOT4D grants initiative forms part of a sustained, long-term CILT agenda in undertaking research, implementation and policy-development work related to supporting open educational resource production and open scholarship. DOT4D and the grants programme are funded by the Canadian International Development Research Centre.