An excerpt from the Working Group Guide, by Krista Lambert and Lucas Wright.
What roles at an institution have a role in open? There are many! By expanding your open working group membership in different areas, you can bring new perspectives into the discussion around open education and create and sustain new partnerships.
Do you have membership in your group to get the best uptake for open at your institution? Who should you partner or collaborate with to increase support for and interest in open? Keep the conversations going by identifying and raising open as part of institutional/departmental conversations (e.g., new technology assessments, copyright strategies, teaching and learning support).
- Faculties. Depending on the size of your institution, different faculties or faculty units may be key drivers and supporters of open educational resources (OER) and open educational practices (OEP). This also can open up questions of what does open education look like and how is it used in different disciplinary contexts. The use of OER is approached very differently in different faculties.
- Curriculum committees.
- Articulation committees.
- Textbook committees.
- Student unions or groups. Advocate for and develop awareness among students, and support students in their own advocacy efforts. You can assist students in applying for OER grants, work with students around #textbookbroke campaigns, support students in conducting environmental scans, and more.
- Program council.
- Cross-institutional committees.
- Library. As described in more detail below, the library is typically a key stakeholder in advocating for and supporting open.
- Teaching and learning centres. Determine how a teaching and learning centre already engages with OER. Connect OEP with OER and open education in general.
- Administration. Share and connect with these groups about how OER adoption relates to student retention and cost savings. The college or university administration can be a key partner in advocating for and supporting open. In institutions such as UBC and KPU, the administrations have made significant commitments to OER and OEP in a number of ways, including adding goals and visions around OER within their strategic plans.
- Accessibility office. One goal of open education programs and movements is to make education more accessible. Partnering with your institution’s accessibility office can help ensure that the resources that you create and share are accessible to each and every student. The BCcampus Open Education Accessibility Toolkit provides resources to make truly accessible OER.
Questions to Consider
Reflect on the different roles at your institution:
- Who is already engaged in an aspect of open practice?
- What people and roles at your institution should be included in your open working group?
Partnering with your library
Your library is an excellent resource for open-related activities. Reach out to your librarians to learn how they can partner with your open working group. There is a B.C. Open Education Librarians group that is also actively engaged in open activities. The library may be able to offer the following support for open:
- Assist faculty in finding OER by
- Assist faculty in creating and adapting OER by supporting instructors working in Pressbooks. For example,
- KPU librarians support faculty in publishing open textbooks. Librarians are increasingly working with faculty to help them design and develop their textbooks in Pressbooks and to use the platform successfully, and
- at the University of Victoria, the library has partnered directly with faculty on OER grants and worked with them to publish open textbooks, such as Knowing Home: Braiding Indigenous Science with Western Science.
- Assist faculty in integrating OER and no-cost resources in their teaching by
- helping faculty link to open and non-open works within their course sites,
- using existing pathways to ship textbooks using interlibrary loans,
- working with the bookstore to provide on-demand printing of open textbooks, and
- purchasing print copies of open textbooks for course reserve.
- Align library priorities with the larger institutional priorities on open (will depend on the institution) by
- rebranding existing library programs with “open” in mind and
- streamlining support needs and offerings (e.g., library staff support).