Make your nomination for the 2021 UCT Open Textbook Award

02 June 2021 | Story Staff writer. Photo Robyn Walker. Read time 3 min.
 Open textbooks are digital, free-to-use and openly licensed collections of course-related teaching and learning content.
Open textbooks are digital, free-to-use and openly licensed collections of course-related teaching and learning content.

The University of Cape Town (UCT) is calling for nominations for the 2021 UCT Open Textbook Award.

The award, which was launched in 2020, is an initiative of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (DVC): Teaching and Learning, Associate Professor Lis Lange, and aims to incentivise innovation in teaching and learning, recognise the efforts of open textbook authors and promote the creation and reuse of open educational resources.

“Open textbooks are digital, free-to-use and openly licensed collections of course-related teaching and learning content published on platforms and in formats that provide affordances for the integration of multimedia and ancillary practice and assessment components,” wrote Associate Professor Lange in a recent campus communication.

“These locally published textbooks provide opportunities for inclusive, collaborative authorship strategies. The open licensing aspect also means that these resources can be legally shared and redistributed, both within and beyond the institution.”

More about the award

The UCT Open Textbook Award has a social justice focus and aims to recognise activities that support the university’s transformation efforts. In line with this approach, the award recognises open textbook development initiatives which address any of the following criteria:

  • curriculum transformation / decolonisation
  • pedagogical innovation
  • inclusion of students and marginalised voices
  • disability access
  • relevance to local context
  • multilingualism
  • technical innovation.

The award may be made to single or multiple-authored books. No restriction is placed on disciplinary orientation, language or format in which the book is written. There is no restriction in terms of the publication date of the work. All nominated works must carry a Creative Commons or similar open licence.

The UCT Open Textbook Award carries a value of R30 000 and may be shared between more than one recipient. Prior award recipients are asked to observe a two-year waiting period before submitting nominations for subsequently published works.

2020 winners

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’s Open Access Atlas of Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Operative Surgery (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 two million downloads. Components of the textbook have been translated into French, Spanish and Portuguese.

Dr Held’s Orthopaedics for Primary Health Care (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 that 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.

The deadline for nominations is 30 July 2021.

For more information and to make your nomination, please visit the UCT Open Textbook Award page on the Centre for Innovation in Learning and Teaching (CILT) website.

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