Introducing the 2019/20 Open Education Advocacy and Research Fellows

BCcampus welcomes three Open Education Advocacy and Research Fellows, who will help raise awareness of open educational practices through advocacy and will conduct, present, and publish research on open educational practices at B.C. institutions throughout 2019–2020.

It is with great pleasure that we introduce you to the following fellows:

Chad Flinn, Electrical and Entrepreneurship Instructor at BCIT

Chad will be conducting research on open education and vocational trades. He will be working on his master’s thesis, which is on the topic of the co-creation of OER with trades students. Chad is also part of a research team that is investigating removing barriers to online learning through a teaching and learning lens with a trades-based focus.

Chad Flinn

“I am very excited for this fellows position for a few reasons. I am very much looking forward to seeing the results of the two research projects I am involved in this year (co-creation of OER with trades students and Barriers to the use of online resources and OER with vocational instructors in BC). I am looking forward to sharing my journey through blogging and sharing the results of the findings at various conferences. I also look forward to continuing to spread the word on OER and OEP with trades instructors at articulation meetings and workshops throughout the year.” —Chad Flinn

Michelle Harrison, Senior Instructional Designer, Learning Design and Innovations, Open Learning at Thompson Rivers University

Michelle’s research will investigate learners’ perspectives on open educational practices. Specifically, Michelle will investigate, How do learners currently understand open educational practice? How do they see themselves navigating open platforms, open digital pedagogies and practices, and critical digital perspectives? What practices, values, and strategies are shared by students who are working within an open educational practice framework?

“I am very excited to get to work more closely with the fantastic team at BCcampus and to make further connections with open education practitioners and advocates at other B.C. institutions. We have a variety of ongoing OER projects here at TRU, and it would be great to work collaboratively with other institutions to tackle some larger projects. I am also looking forward to connecting and researching with students about their perceptions of learning and practicing in the open and how they see themselves as open practitioners.” —Michelle Harrison

Karen McMurray, Instructor in the Business Administration program, Coast Mountain College

Karen will conduct action research asking the question, What is the impact of the adoption of open educational textbooks on students at Coast Mountain College? Her research will look at both qualitative and quantitative data. She will utilize the approaches that practicing economists use to analyze the impacts of government spending decisions. Taking an open pedagogy approach, students in first-year economics at Coast Mountain College will plan approaches to the work, conduct the work for this research project, and receive assistance from economists to verify findings.

“I am grateful and excited for this fellowship as I believe that OER can be a key component of building mutual respect and community in a classroom and institution. This fellowship will allow my students to explore this belief through the creation of a sound, unbiased study of the impacts of OER. I am eager for the results and to share our findings.”—Karen McMurray

Notable quote:

“To help us better understand the impact open education practices have on teaching and learning, we’ve brought in open education researchers for annual fellowship roles with BCcampus. This year, we have three exceptional and diverse fellows exploring the topics of trades, learner perspectives, and adoption impact. Their passion and dedication to access and equity for all students will help us develop and promote the OER movement throughout the province and across the country.” —Amanda Coolidge, Senior Manager, Open Education, BCcampus

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