“There is nothing ever static, it is always growing or building or changing” — Amanda Coolidge

I had the pleasure of hearing Amanda Coolidge, Director of Open Education BCCampus, speak at the 2021 MALAT Virtual Symposium on Open Education: what it is; what it does and its amazing impact!  The idea of open education and open textbooks was a foreign concept to me at the time.  I recall thinking about how much I had paid for my university textbooks.  How some were hardly used and how they were now gathering dust on my bookshelf.  While listening to Amanda speak, I also thought about how amazing it would have been to customise some of these textbooks based on personal experiences.  

I have chosen Amanda Coolidge based on her significant contributions and advocacy work in the field of Open education and Open textbooks in British Columbia.  Highlights of her and her team’s work include:

    • 2012: BC Open Textbook Project.  Since its launch the project has
      • Saved students more than $14 million in textbook costs
      • Impacted 130,000+ students
      • Experienced growth of the Open textbook collection.  The collection includes books and guides for post secondary education
    • 2012:  BC Open Education Librarians
      • Creation of the first open education librarians community in BC to learn about open education practices through sharing knowledge and providing support for others
    • 2014: Faculty Fellow Program 
      • Instructors brought together to determine efficacy of open textbook use and to provide mentorship to those new to open textbooks
    • 2016: Start of project to bring OpenStax books into Pressbooks
      • These books which could be edited, adapted and customized to meet students’ needs
      • By the Fall of 2019, there were 33 OpenStax books available in Pressbooks
    • Current:  Indigenization Project
      • Co-create open education resources to support incorporation of Indigenous epistemologies into professional practice

It is clear how passionate Amanda is about creating an equitable environment which embraces inclusion, diversity and accessibility.  She emphasizes the importance of collaboration and stepping out of our silos in order for change to occur.  

“Our greatest resource is the relationships we build in our community through collaboration” –Amanda Coolidge

I have included the following links for more information about Amanda Coolidge and her work:  

Amanda Notes

Between the Chapters 25 Years of Ed Tech:  Open Textbooks

From Lost to Belonging by Amanda Coolidge – OpenEd 2019 Keynote

Open Education BCCampus

Teaching in Higher Ed Podcast Episode 299


BCcampus.  (2019, October 28).  From lost to belonging by Amanda Coolidge – OpenEd 2019 keynote.  BCcampus.  https://bccampus.ca/2019/10/28/from-lost-to-belonging-by-amanda-coolidge-opened-2019-keynote/

Pasquini, L. (Host). (2021, March 25). Between the chapters #20 opening up a textbook & more access to learning with @acoolidge. [Audio podcast episode]. 25 Years of Ed Tech: The Serialized Audio Version Bonus. https://25years.opened.ca/2021/03/28/between-the-chapters-open-textbooks/

Stachowiak, B. (Host). (2020, March 5). Growing up open (Episode 299) [Audio podcast episode].  In Teaching in Higher Ed.   https://teachinginhighered.com/podcast/growing-up-open/#transcript



3 thoughts on ““There is nothing ever static, it is always growing or building or changing” — Amanda Coolidge”

  1. Gail,

    Thank you so much for the profile! What a honor. I am also really glad that Open Education has resonated so deeply with you. How do you plan on using OE in your Master’s work and in your professional life?

    Also great news- as of today we have a student savings of more than $27 million! Another question I have is how would you customize a textbook to meet the needs of your learning experience?

    Looking forward to hearing your thoughts,

    1. Wow! I am humbled that you took the time to comment on my blog so, thank you. In my field, there is a strong historical hierarchy where things have always been a certain way because it just is. I would like to challenge those in my field to think outside of the box and be open to the idea of OE. I am in the process of connecting with those stakeholders who may be able to help start this process. I also wear multiple hats and so in other areas of my work, I gravitate towards working with First Nations communities and stakeholders to improve the oral health of children.

      $27 million? That is great news! One of my colleagues reported that she was using one of her most expensive university textbook to raise/lift her computer monitor. Still putting that textbook to good use!

      In short, I would love to customize a textbook which is Canadian based with those in the field contributing to it and inclusive of the diverse populations.


  2. Great post Gail. Amanda Coolidge’s talk at the 2021 MALAT Virtual Symposium on Open Education: what it is; what it does and its amazing impact! Also resonated with me. Thank you for sharing some more of her work.

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