A Midsummer’s Day Hackfest

On Friday July 17th,  BCOER held a summer hackfest. We didn’t get the turnout we originally hoped for— with many of the BCOER away on vacation—but there’s something to be said about small, nimble, and focused teams. We had a very productive day with five of us accomplishing what we set out to do and even ending the day with energy to spare!

Post by Leva Lee, manager, Learning + Teaching, BCcampus

To start, we identified two high priority projects for our hackfest: drafting a BCOER librarians guide to strategic planning for OERs and working with our mediawiki site to add OER guide content and organize it.  With increasing requests from faculty for help with open textbooks and OERs, a strategy guide or “map” was identified as a must-need tool for libraries to plan how best they can provide support. And since our initial orientation to the mediawiki earlier this year, few of us have had a chance to actually work with it. Dedicating time now to learn the ins and outs of  mediawiki was at the top of our list given BCOER’s goal to create and share more subject guides in the coming year.
Lessons learned from our first hackfest included ensuring participants had a good, bright, and comfortable working space with plenty of refreshments and food.  We had ample space and goodies galore. This time though, we encouraged people to take a break at lunch.  Some of us went for a walk, while others (those keeners) stayed on to push through their work and aim for an earlier finish to the day.
All in all, it was a good little hackfest. We finished the day with a draft for a strategic planning guide and with hands-on mediawiki experience under our belt , as well as, new content on the mediawiki site. With Open Access Week coming up in October, followed by the OpenEd conference in November, we will be ever OER ready for Fall 2015. Bring it on!

BCOER librarians at our mid-summer day's hackfest:  Brenda Smith, TRU and Martin Warkentin, UFV (background) and Kevin Stranack, PKP and Caroline Daniels, KPU (foreground)
BCOER librarians at our mid-summer day’s hackfest: Brenda Smith, TRU and Martin Warkentin, UFV (background) and Kevin Stranack, PKP and Caroline Daniels, KPU (foreground)