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Award for Excellence in Open Education – Michael Paskevicius

Keeping the momentum going, it is our pleasure to announce the newest winner of the Award for Excellence in Open Education: Michael Paskevicius. Please join us in congratulating Michael Paskevicius, Vancouver Island University (VIU), on being the 9th recipient of the Award for Excellence in Open Education. Previous honourees include Maja Krzic, Grant Potter, Irwin DeVries, Tara Robertson, Christina Hendricks, Tannis Morgan, Inba Kehoe, and Diane Purvey.

Nomination by Liesel Knaack, Director, Centre for Innovation and Excellence in Learning, Vancouver Island University

For over six years, Michael has been with Vancouver Island University expertly building engagement and enhancing knowledge in open educational practices. Michael has moved the needle in terms of awareness and activity supporting open education, building and collaborating on outstanding projects – all while undertaking open education doctoral studies. From research projects and papers, non-disposable assignment learning series, faculty supports, and an OER website, to building VIU’s Open Ed working group, Michael’s accomplishments will be valued contributions to VIU for years to come.

Michael has infused openness into much of his work as an educator and educational developer in the Centre for Innovation and Excellence in Learning at VIU. His interest has morphed from supporting the use of OER to considering how openness might lead us to change how and what we teach.

Engaging with faculty in this way has led to several open pedagogy initiatives, transforming the educational experiences of students to use more authentic assignments and projects that leverage the principles and practices of open. Additionally, Michael has conducted his doctoral research in the space of open education, exploring educators’ experiences implementing open educational practices across the province.

Michael firmly believes we need to engage students further with openness, giving them the tools and knowledge needed for working impactfully in a more open world. He does this by challenging faculty to build openness into their own courses and assignments. He also does this by working with students to expand their knowledge and application of learning with OERs.

Some of his most notable achievements (linked below) include:

  • Developing an open education resource search engine for VIU
  • Forging connections between a departmental tablet initiative and the use of OER, including a research study and published paper
  • Supporting faculty through the development of several outstanding open pedagogy projects, including the Cowichan Intercultural Society Cookbook, VIU Ornithology, Spoken Letters Project, and the Advanced Anatomy student-generated textbook
  • Getting a VIU Open Education working group off the ground

Some of these projects were the result of an assignment redesign program co-developed with Liesel Knaack (Director, CIEL, VIU) to help faculty build non-disposable, student-interest-driven digital media projects.

Michael will start a faculty position at the University of Victoria in January 2019 to continue his passion for open education.

Please join us in congratulating Michael on winning this award and for his incredible contributions to open education.

Notable quote:

“Michael has been an incredible open education advocate, practitioner, and researcher in the field for quite some time. His dedication to improving the student learning experience is evident in his commitment to working with faculty on open pedagogical practices.” – Amanda Coolidge, Senior Manager, Open Education

Learn more:

These links demonstrate more clearly the incredible contributions Michael has made to VIU, working collaboratively with faculty and students to build meaningful examples of open pedagogical learning experiences:


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