The University of Cape Town (UCT) Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Teaching and Learning, Associate Professor Lis Lange, has announced the winners of the inaugural UCT Open Textbook Award. The award, which recognises outstanding and/or influential open textbooks written by UCT staff and students, is an initiative of the DVC in collaboration with the Digital Open Textbooks for Development project and carries a value of R30 000.
The UCT Open Textbook award is a symbol of institutional commitment to supporting ongoing work in the area of OER and open textbook production. It has an explicit social justice focus and aims to reward activities that contribute to the university’s transformation efforts. In line with this approach, the award recognises open textbook development efforts that address any of the following areas: curriculum transformation, pedagogical innovation, inclusion of students and marginalised voices, disability access, relevance to local context, multilingualism and technical innovation.
The 2020 Open Textbook Award is shared by Professor Johan Fagan and Dr Michael Held for their respective contributions to the open access teaching and learning of two important healthcare fields.
Professor Fagan’sOpen Access Atlas of Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Operative Surgery, published in 2017, includes contributions from authors in 23 countries and provides step-by-step descriptions of surgical procedures. It aims to address the lack of access to textbooks experienced by students and practitioners in developing countries and has to date had more than 2 million downloads. Components of the textbook have been translated into French, Spanish and Portuguese.
Dr Held’sOrthopaedics for Primary Health Care, published in 2020, was produced by the Learning Innovation via Orthopaedic Network, which aims to improve learning and teaching in orthopaedics in Southern Africa and to provide much-needed, locally authored learning materials which are tailored to local pathology and circumstances. The content creation process was strongly student-focused: students participated in the process of identifying key aspects to incorporate in the textbook and the undergraduate teaching curriculum. The textbook content is supplemented by videos created by UCT medical students to demonstrate procedures.