In the North, open educational resources are being discovered

From supporting the administrative side of institutions to building new programs based on open educational resources (OER), the North is looking to embrace Open. 

Post by Carolee Clyne, Open Education Advisor, Regional Representative, BCcampus

Coast Mountain College is developing a cohort of trades faculty to learn about and explore open educational resources and how they can adopt and adapt resources to meet their students’ needs. The idea was kicked off with a successful trades OER day. Coast Mountain College has also introduced an incentive program through their library. Their energy and focus are enabling a strong uptake in OER. 

Easing the financial burden is paramount to success for students seeking to upgrade and get ahead. Brad Bell, instructor at College of New Caledonia Burns Lake campus, uses the Adult Literacy Fundamental English books to empower his students. Often, online access is impaired in rural areas, and the multiple formats of these books help to provide solutions that fit everyone. In a new curriculum development project launched by the College of New Caledonia’s Centre for Teaching and Learning, open textbooks became the first choice for updating courses at the institution that are aimed at reducing barriers and improving accessibility for all students.

At the University of Northern British Columbia, Student Services is using the Pulling Together: A Guide for Indigenization of Post-Secondary Institutions books to develop guidelines for their leaders and front-line staff. “We wouldn’t have been able to do this without them,” said Amelia Kaiser, Director of Student Services at the University of Northern British Columbia, “because we wouldn’t have had the capacity to develop something [like the Guides] on our own.”

In the northeastern part of the province, at Northern Lights College, the Power program to be launched in September is completely based on OER to help reduce the financial burden on students and increase accessibility for all. This program arms students with the skills necessary for college or a workplace apprenticeship. New programs at Northern Lights College are being built on OER to ensure that students can access the material necessary for success.

As the success stories emerge, the North continues to embrace Open.

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