eCampusOntario, Ryerson University to Create Open Publishing Infrastructure for Ontario Post-Secondary Educators, Learners

Press Release | eCampusOntario, Ryerson University | May 16, 2017

eCampusOntario Announces Ryerson University to Manage Prototype Development for Open Publishing Infrastructure of Curriculum Resources in Summer 2017                             

TORONTO, May 16, 2017 /CNW/ - This summer, eCampusOntario and Ryerson University will be spearheading an open publishing infrastructure project designed to enhance and expand eCampusOntario's planned Open Textbook Library. This library, developed and shared by BCcampus, will provide access to over 180 high-quality, academically reviewed textbooks and open education resources (OER) for Ontario post-secondary students.

"Ryerson University is proud of its continued and ongoing work and collaboration with eCampusOntario. Ryerson is deeply committed to and passionate about the ability to provide world-class open educational materials and resources to Ontario post-secondary learners to lower the barriers to access and empower localization by instructors," said Dr. Wendy Freeman, director, Office of E-Learning, at Ryerson University.

To provide this extension of the Open Textbook Library, a cross-functional team at Ryerson University will be prototyping an open publishing infrastructure system for the province of Ontario. A team that includes the Office of E-Learning, Ryerson University Library & Archives, the Chang School of Continuing Education's Digital Education Strategies (DES) team, Computing and Communications Services (CCS), and the university's Learning and Teaching Office (LTO) will manage the development of the open source technology platform based on Pressbooks and Book Oven Inc., a Pressbooks open source software developer.

"The college Heads of Libraries and Learning Resources (HLLR) and their partner, the Ontario Colleges Library Service (OCLS) are excited to support this initiative in open education resources and open publishing," said Tanis Fink, Director Seneca College Libraries and Chair of HLLR."This great work complements HLLR/OCLS projects underway including the development of a Faculty OER Toolkit to help our faculty navigate and embrace the world of OERs, and the college libraries' Learning Portal providing open learning resources to support students in their academic success."

The Open Publishing Infrastructure prototype project will help to position Ontario as a leader in OER creation, remixing, and the dissemination of open textbooks. The collaborative infrastructure will enable the creation, editing, remixing and distribution of a wide range of knowledge resources across Ontario's post-secondary education institutions.

"We've been developing the open source Pressbooks book publishing platform since 2011, and it's so exciting to be part of this project to make Pressbooks a much more powerful tool for Open Textbook and Open Courseware creation and dissemination," says Hugh McGuire, Founder of Pressbooks, CEO of Book Oven Inc."Ontario can become the leader in this innovative approach to education, and we are very happy to be part of it."

Working in partnership with Ryerson University, a consortium of Ontario higher education leaders will collaborate with open education resource (OER) experts at Rebus Foundation, Ontario Council of University Libraries (OCUL), the college Heads of Libraries and Learning Resources (HLLR), and the Ontario Colleges Library Service (OCLS) for the design and development of the prototype. The Ryerson team will also research and recommend a direction for an open education resource library and a collaborative textbook authoring system in consultation with University of Waterloo and Queen's University.

"The Ontario Council of University Libraries, along with our Scholars Portal team, are excited about this initiative. We look forward to supporting Ryerson University's efforts and to benefitting from the knowledge they gain as they move forward with this project," says John Barnett, University of Toronto. "We feel that the work accomplished will contribute significantly to post-secondary teaching and learning in Ontario and beyond."

"University of Waterloo has extensive experience in providing open educational resources (OER) and open access (OA) content to learners worldwide. Open learning is an increasingly important and growing mechanism for scholarly communication throughout the world. We look forward to sharing our expertise as a key advisor and helping to guide the direction of this initiative," said Cathy Newell Kelly, ‎Director, Centre for Extended Learning at University of Waterloo.  "We have a proven track record of championing projects that benefit the OA community."

About eCampusOntario

eCampusOntario is a not-for-profit organization whose membership is composed of all publicly-funded colleges and universities in Ontario.

Our mandate is to promote access, collaboration and innovation in online and technology-enabled learning to enhance the student experience, support faculty development and extend Ontario's global reputation as a leader in teaching and learning through technology.

Funding for eCampusOntario comes from the Government of Ontario.

Ryerson University

Ryerson University is Canada's leader in innovative, career-oriented education. Urban, culturally diverse and inclusive, the university is home to more than 44,500 students, including 2,400 master's and PhD students, 3,200 faculty and staff, and nearly 170,000 alumni worldwide. For more information, visit

For further information: Dean Lloyd, Manager, Marketing & Communications, eCampusOntario, [email protected]