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The UCT Open Textbook Award

The UCT Open Textbook Award is an initiative of UCT Deputy Vice-Chancellor Teaching & Learning Associate Professor Lis Lange, which 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.

The award, launched in 2020, was shared between Professor Johan Fagan for his Open Access Atlas of Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Operative Surgery and Dr Michael Held for his Orthopaedics for Primary Health Care textbook in its first year. Read more about the 2020 award winners here.

Open Book Award

Open textbooks are 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. The “ground up” approach adopted towards developing these textbooks provides opportunities for collaborative, more inclusive authorship strategies. The open licensing aspect also means that these resources can be legally shared and redistributed in their entirety online, both within and beyond the institution.

Like traditional textbooks, open textbooks are written by academics and disciplinary experts, and are subject to usual quality assurance methods. They are increasingly digital, although they can be designed to be or include versions that can be printed on demand and distributed to students who are constrained in terms of internet connectivity and digital access.

The UCT Open Textbook award carries a value of R30 000 and may be shared between more than one recipient. There is no time limit in terms of publication date. Prior award recipients are asked to observe a two-year waiting period before submitting nominations for subsequently published works.

Nominations for the 2021 award is closed.

Review and selection process

  • Proposals will be screened for eligibility
  • Eligible proposals will be evaluated
  • The award committee and invited subject experts will review the open textbooks
  • Successful applicant/s will be notified by 30 November 2021

Click here to access the nomination form

Please address any queries to Dr Glenda Cox.

The UCT Open Textbook Award is a symbol of institutional commitment to supporting ongoing work in this area. The award has an explicit social justice focus and aims to recognise activities which support the university’s transformation efforts. In line with this approach, the award aims to reward open textbook development efforts 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

Single or multiple-authored textbooks may be nominated for the UCT Open Textbook Award, on condition that at least one of the primary authors or editors is based at UCT and the work is openly shared under an open licence. No restriction is placed on disciplinary orientation, language or format in which the book is written. There is no time limit in terms of publication date.

WATCH: UCT Open Textbook Award video