Open Textbooks: Trades Access Common Core

Overview: Trades Access Common Core open textbooks are designed to assist students taking entry-level training in various trades apprenticeship programs.

The Challenge: Creating this type of resource presented two key challenges:

  • Being able to identify all the entry-level skills and competencies that are common to several different trades
  • Creating educational resources that are openly available to everyone – without copyright infringement

The Approach: With support of the Industry Training Authority, BCcampus, Camosun College and Open School BC partnered to combine their industry knowledge and instructional design expertise. The team’s goal was to update and realign Trades Common Core resources already in use for trades apprenticeship training in B.C.

Subject matter experts, instructional designers and other specialists joined forces to analyze existing program modules for common entry-level learning tasks and then create a template for updating them. Assembling the package meant the team had to tackle writing, photography, design (formats and layouts), rendering technical drawings, creating language conventions, procuring copyright permission and using appropriate Creative Commons licensing.

The Outcome: The texts are now part of the BC Open Textbook Collection and available for free use, reuse, revision, remixing and redistribution in accordance with Creative Commons licensing. The Trades Access Common Core instructional lines and competencies are in PDF, ePub and HTML format – they’re used by students as both an online study resource or as standalone course textbooks.