Students could start saving on textbooks with Open Access Week

Photo of Christina Hendricks via Event Brite
Photo of Christina Hendricks via Event Brite

DSU to host Open Access Week events every day this week

By Chandler Walter, Editor-in-Chief


Douglas College is working to keep some cash in the pockets of students.

The College is a successful recipient of an Open Education Resource (OER) grant from BCcampus, which will lessen the burden of textbook costs on students, according to a July 13 release from BCcampus. The school will also be participating in International Open Access Week, with events being held every day of the week from Monday, October 23 to Friday, October 27, spanning both campuses.

According to “A Very Brief Introduction to Open Access” from the International Open Access Week website and written by Peter Suber, “Open Access is digital, online, free of charge, and free of most copyright and licensing restrictions.”

“What makes it possible is the internet and the consent of the author or copyright-holder. OA is entirely compatible with peer review, and all the major OA initiatives for scientific and scholarly literature insist on its importance. Just as authors of journal articles donate their labor, so do most journal editors and referees participating in peer review.”

Douglas College will be hosting six events over five days this week, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday, at the New West campus on Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday, and at the Coquitlam campus on Tuesday and Thursday.

There will also be an Open Access Week event from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the New West campus on Friday.

Thursdays event will be called “What’s Open About Open Pedagogy?” and will be hosted by UBC professor Christina Hendricks. She will explain what open pedagogy is, and why it should be considered as “open,” according to the event’s Eventbrite website.

Another local professor to contribute to the discussion around open access is Douglas College’s own Jennifer Barker, who is featured in a video posted by BCcampus.

In the video, she explains an incident in which a student had answered questions to a test that raised some red flags because student’s answers were “sort of related, but way too specific.”

It turns out that the student couldn’t afford the textbook, so they were studying instead from Wikipedia. This spurred Barker towards becoming an advocate for open access, so students could get the information they need without paying the steep textbook prices.

“Ultimately, at the end what I would like is a single resource that I can hand to my incoming students coming into our anatomy and physiology courses that I can say, ‘this is the course,’” Barker said in the BCcampus video.