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The UCT Open Textbook Award


Open Textbook partners


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.

Open textbooks are digital, free to use and openly licensed teaching materials. They can be broadly defined as digital collections of course related teaching and learning content published under an open licence on platforms and in formats that provide affordances for the legal integration of multimedia and the modification of various content components, as well as printing and redistribution.

Open textbooks are one form of what are commonly referred to as “open educational resources” (OER). OER are part of a set of solutions and practices encompassed within the concept of open education. These teaching and learning materials, which are openly shared on websites and repositories under Creative Commons licences, enable educators and students around the world (as well as anyone else who is interested) to legally reuse or adapt that content, provided that licensing conditions are adhered to.

Like traditional textbooks, open textbooks and other forms of OER 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. This Award will be open for nominations in 2021. Dates for the call will be released in May.

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

Please address any queries to Dr Glenda Cox.

The benefits of OER in terms of offering universal access to equitable, inclusive, open, participatory and high quality education are well documented. UCT has positioned itself as a world leader in open education since the early 2000s and currently hosts a collection of more than 500 OER produced by UCT academics in the OpenUCT repository.

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 code in which the book is written. There is no time limit in terms of publication date.

WATCH: UCT Open Textbook Award video