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In the Making: An Open Working Group Guide

There are currently more than 10 open working groups at post-secondary institutions across British Columbia who support and advocate for the adoption and creation of open educational resources (OER) and open education. One of the goals at BCcampus has been to look into how we can best support and connect these groups.

Post by Lucas Wright, Senior Education Consultant, University of British Columbia (UBC)

In 2017 and 2018, BCcampus brought together members of these open working groups to share their work and create a resource to help others set up, run, and sustain open working groups and open practices in their post-secondary institutions. The result was the creation of the BCcampus Open Education Working Group Guide, which shares practices, strategies, and approaches used at different institutions to support and sustain open. The guide attempts to capture the different ways that these groups have been established, run, and sustained, and also provides a Sprint Toolkit to support the development of OER.

The writers included librarians, instructional designers, instructional development consultants, and educational technologists from eight post-secondary institutions in B.C. The group brought both an incredible knowledge of ways to support open education and how to successfully set up and run open working groups.

The group met twice virtually, and we worked together in two day-long sprints at the BCcampus offices. During the sprints, we completed a collaborative design process, during which we developed a vision for the resource, set goals, and created a table of contents. The final stage of creating the guide involved Krista Lambert of JIBC and myself revising and adding to the guide and then Josie Gray of BCcampus completing a final edit and accessibility review. This part took quite a bit more time than expected. This experience has left me with a deep appreciation for those faculty who are creating OER and the time and dedication that this process takes.

Now it is over to you. This guide is in draft form, and we see it as a growing and evolving resource. We have activated Hypothes.is on the guide to allow you to annotate it. What would you add? What lessons can you share from your own work supporting open education? What is important to keep in mind when setting up and running an open working group?

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