Sharing, gratitude and hope: BCcampus heads to OpenEd17

OpenEd17: The 14th Annual Open Education Conference is just around the corner and we are excited as ever to attend and participate in this much-anticipated annual event. If you’re attending, either in-person or online, be sure to say hello! #OpenEd17

Post by Erin Beattie, Digital Media Strategist, BCcampus

In attendance from BCcampus, are Mary Burgess, Executive Director, Lucas Wright, Advisor, Open Education, Rajiv Jhangiani, Advisor, Open Education, Amanda Coolidge, Senior Manager, Open Education, and Lauri Aesoph, Manager, Open Education

Bookmark one of their sessions and join in on the conversation

Mary Burgess:

Using multiple metaphors, Mary will take participants through the development of strategies and activities that BCcampus has used in our Open Education work. As an entity that exists to provide support to BC post-secondary institutions, BCcampus is operating very much within a diverse system mired by the many challenges of the current post-secondary landscape. Our positioning as system supporters who are also responsible for advancing that same system’s teaching and learning practices enables us to help our constituents advance while also ensuring their basic needs are met. This focus on both current and future needs has driven our strategy on Open Textbooks and ultimately Open Education. While we have worked towards advancing other elements of Open Education besides textbooks, we think it’s vital not to get too far ahead of those we are trying to help. While working on Open Pedagogy and Policy, we are also looping back to pick up faculty who are completely new to Open Education and need very basic support and guidance. Meeting people where they are is the only way we will truly make the shift to openness as the default.

This will be a presentation followed by a hopefully robust discussion of how to support those just starting out in Open Education while helping those who further along continue to advance and innovate. Should we stop talking about Open Textbooks? If we do, how will we reach the majority of faculty who have not yet heard of OER?

Rajiv Jhangiani:

Over the past decade, the term —Open Educational Resources— has become clearly defined, in part by the 5Rs. In recent years the two terms—Open Educational Practices— and —Open Pedagogy— have been used in various ways, including as synonyms. In this presentation, we propose distinctive definitions for these terms and provide examples of each.

Openness is a process that requires and benefits from critical reflection. We believe that facilitating and stimulating critical discussion/debate about the contours and direction of the open education movement (OEM) is essential to its flourishing. In this spirit, the proposed session is intended as a space for participants to unearth and critically explore timely, perhaps uncomfortable questions that may not be at the surface of what we are doing as individuals or as collaborators within the OEM. The facilitators in this session do not have answers. Rather, we host an unconventional, interactive format designed to expose difficult topics and support innovative interventions. The session format supports both in-person and virtual (online) attendees working together on outlining and discussing pressing ethical questions in the OEM. This session allows participants to engage in a critical conversation that is liberating, paradigm-challenging, constructive, and inspiring.

Amanda Coolidge:

UnCommon Women sits at the intersection of Open, Social Change, and Tech. To celebrate the work and opportunities for women and to push for equal representation. To support the women in the field of open, we need clear paths to advancement, mentorship opportunities and ensure individuals identifying as female have a visible presence in leadership. We will announce survey results of women in the movement on the panel. Pulling together women across levels of experience working OpenEd, this panel is convened to discuss experiences, challenges, and successes, and to show the strength of women working in the open.

Open education in British Columbia, Canada is thriving. From open textbooks to virtual reality tours of Stanley Park, the creation, adaptation, and adoption of open educational resources (OER) have skyrocketed since the launch of the B.C. Open Textbook Project in 2012. In 2016, the BCcampus Open Education team, with the support of the Hewlett Foundation, distributed grants to B.C. public post-secondary institutions to create, adapt, or adopt OER. The successful recipients of these grants included: the creation of student-driven subject-specific case studies; creation of 3D videos to enhance trades education; creation of instructional videos to supplement open textbooks; student co-created virtual reality tours of B.C. geographical landmarks; the creation and implementation of the first OER protege program, a faculty development program dedicated to the creation and adaptation of OER; and the student-led adaptation of OpenStax’s Principles of Microeconomics open textbook.

This presentation will showcase what is next for OER and Open education in B.C., highlighting the collaboration that has taken place across the institutions, the student-driven open educational resource development, and the innovative practices that have led to the successful creation of OER.

Lauri Aesoph:

During the past 15 years, the open education movement has built and contributed to dozens of open textbook repositories and referatories. Today the challenge is to sustain, improve, and build upon these resources.

According to Opening the Textbook: Educational Resources in U.S. Higher Education 2015-2016 released by the Babson Survey Research Group, almost half of American faculty surveyed cited lack of resources for their subject area as a barrier to adopting open educational resources for the classroom. Canadian instructors expressed similar concerns in the 2016 Exploring Faculty Use of Open Educational Resources at British Columbia Post-Secondary Institutions with 58% stating relevant OER materials were difficult to find as well as those of high quality (49%).

Join us in this guided workshop as we explore the challenges of sustaining and growing an open textbook collection. Issues include discoverability, peer review, adoption data, user experience, as well as how to define the book of record, especially when there are derivatives in addition to new editions.

Adoptions and student savings are great outcomes of Open Educational Resources, but what OER really does for a community is provide freedom to do even more! Four leaders of OER programs will discuss how they took quality, already-existing OER content and utilized the freedom of open licensing to create and manage meaningful projects that go beyond the original textbook. Examples will include ancillaries, courseware, regionalization, and modification of OER.

During the past two years, the B.C. Open Textbook Project has moved from an advocacy and building phase to that of operationalization. This evolution has required a re-examination of the support offered to faculty, staff, students and others using open textbooks.

This session will illustrate how B.C. Open Textbook Project incorporates a multi-tier system of self-serve resources, educational workshops, and webinars, and helpdesk services to build and maintain an Open Support structure based on user’s questions, feedback, and comments. Open Support, a dynamic and iterative system, is an example of how the tenets of “open” are applied to supporting, educating, and ultimately creating self-reliance for those adopting, adapting, and creating open textbooks and other open educational resources and practices.

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