Staff Spotlight: The BCcampus Open Education team

BCcampus contributes to the development of an open future for teaching practices and educational resources. We encourage educators to develop and share educational resources and expertise by promoting open and accessible networks and educational practice models. Wherever possible the use of OER and open applications are encouraged, particularly through our major collaborative project in open textbook adoption, adaptation, and creation: the B.C. Open Textbook Project.

This is the third installment in the staff highlight series, following in the footsteps of Denise Goudy, and the Professional Learning team.

The Open Education team are the people who manage the B.C. Open Textbook Project, and bring you many wonderful workshops, sprints, sessions and more! Find out which projects have been their favourite, what excites them in the open education realm, what’s next on the horizon.

Leva Lee, Manager, Professional Learning and Open Education Resources

What excites you about Open Education?

I’m really excited about the creative and regenerative possibilities open education opens up for teaching and learning by allowing for individuals to more easily explore and build on the ideas of others and riff on them!

Open education sparks the mobilization of knowledge and learning, reducing barriers to education.

LauriLauri Aesoph, Manager, Open Education

Do you have any favorite open projects you have worked on?

There are many projects that I’ve enjoyed such as working with authors who were writing
or adapting an open textbook, as well as designing and developing resources to assist instructors and others to more easily use these resources. However, my passion lies in connecting people in this field. Particularly, individuals within an institution who are involved with OER or open textbooks and are not aware that their colleagues are doing the same. It’s like introducing people to friends they didn’t know they had.

Joey Joey Ma, Open Education Research Assistant (Co-op student)

School/ Program: I am in the School Interactive Arts and Technology (SIAT) program at Simon Fraser University. SIAT is an interdisciplinary program where students collaboratively work together and explore new media and interactive applications.

How much money did you spend on books last year?

I estimate to have spent about $200 on textbooks during the winter term. As a
full-time student, who also works part-time, I find it difficult to purchase the newest editions of textbooks, in addition to course projects materials and other school supplies – laptop, printing, etc. I’ve found some of the textbooks to be so pricey, that I’ve had to share with friends, buy used copies, or borrow/read the textbook from the library. However, if a textbook is reasonably priced and the topic is of interest to me, I would be more likely to purchase the textbook new and keep it.

AmandaAmanda Coolidge, Senior Manager, Open Education

What’s next on the Open Education horizon for BCcampus?

I am really excited about all of the possibilities and projects that are emerging as a result of our active open education group across British Columbia. We are working with Institutions across B.C. to deliver adoption and adaptation of OER workshops. We are working with student government leaders from UBC and SFU to create a Student Governance Toolkit for OER Advocacy. Our call for proposals are out and there are grants available for the development of ancillary resources as well as open education resource grants to help support open development, e.g. open course redesign, open textbook adaptations, etc. We recently received an Open Education award for the Accessibility Toolkit that was co-developed with Tara Robertson of CAPER-BC and Sue Doner of Camosun College, and we are continuing our work in that area to expand the toolkit to include teaching and learning best practices for students with learning disabilities. As for future opportunities, it is our hope that we can work with our Institutions across B.C. to consider developing a zero-cost resource degree, aka Z Degree.

While our primary goal is to have mainstream adoption of open education practices (open textbooks, open pedagogy, open educational resources, open course design), we are in the business of open because we fundamentally believe it is the right of every person to be able to access quality educational materials and to improve student learning. B.C. is a leader in the field of open education across Canada and Internationally and we hope to continue the good work over the coming years.

I absolutely love working in open education. I love the camaraderie of the community, internationally, nationally and provincially. Knowing that the work I do is making a significant impact on student learning and access to education is a driver for me to keep doing the work I do.

Workshop Development Sprint

On March 31 and April 1, 2016, the BCcampus Open Education team will bring together representatives from a variety of B.C. post-secondary Institutions for a two-day workshop development sprint. The intention of the sprint is to develop workshop lesson templates on how to adopt and adapt open textbooks. These templates will then be used to deliver workshops to faculty and staff, both face-to-face and online, during the upcoming year.

Awards, nods and recognitions

For two years in a row, the B.C. Open Textbook Project has been recognized for creative innovation by the Open Education Consortium, a worldwide community of higher education institutions and organizations devoted to open education and global education

2014: The B.C. Open Textbook Project was a regional finalist for a British Columbia Premier’s Award for Public Service Excellence. The award recognizes achievements in the public service that significantly benefit the people of British Columbia.

Learn more:


Join us at an upcoming event:

Stay informed with BCcampus by signing up for our newsletter, visiting our calendar and following @BCcampus on Twitter.