INSTITUTIONS: Statistics and Support
BCcampus has been gathering and reporting open textbook adoptions by post-secondary faculty in British Columbia since 2013, though records go back to 2011. In fact, BCcampus Open Education is required to track these adoptions as part of its accountability agreement with B.C.’s Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills & Training.
Statistics involves the collection, organization, and interpretation of numerical data. In the case of adoption statistics, it is generally understood that these collected data provide a snapshot of how many individuals are using open textbooks (instructors and students) and approximately how much money students are saving.
At BCcampus this work has proven to be more than just about numbers. Tracking adoptions has helped the open education team connect with and support faculty and staff interested in open education. Paying attention to who is using open textbooks has revealed open education trends with B.C.’s post-secondary sector and made it easier to bring together individuals and groups working in this area.
Before embarking on an adoption statistics project, a college, institute, or university begins the work of tracking and recording open textbook adoptions, the open education department should describe for itself the benefits gained by doing so and how these advantages might guide the adoption task. These might include:
- Gauges open textbook usage over time
- A chance to introduce faculty, students, staff to open education
- Creates an opportunity to teach community about open education and open textbooks
- An opportunity to survey instructors about open textbook interest or usage
- It illustrates leadership in open education
- Is a step toward operationalizing open education on campus