What is the BCcampus Open Education Research Webinar series?

The Open Education Research Webinar series is a monthly showcase of research on open education by people in the B.C. post-secondary sector. It will take place between May and August 2020 and is being organized and hosted by BCcampus. This webinar series aims to bring attention to the important research work of BCPSE educators and to make this work visible more broadly. Hopefully, this series will also inspire others to build on this work and to consider applying for the BCcampus Research Fellows program, which helps to build research capacity in our province.

How did this come about?

BCcampus has had a Faculty Fellows research program for several years now, and this has been an important catalyst in developing a body of research on open education in the province. Last year, BCcampus published a blog post about the range of research on open in B.C., which highlighted some of the great research happening in our sector on a wide range of open education topics. What was also interesting was that research on open education in B.C. is being produced not only by faculty, but also by administrative staff, librarians, support staff, and students. In fact, in the sample of research that we looked at, approximately 30 per cent of the research was undertaken by people in non-faculty positions.

What kinds of topics will be covered in this year’s series?

Open education is a broad category that goes beyond just open textbooks and open educational resources. There are intersections with adjacent areas of study that include digital literacies and open scholarship, for example, as well as areas of focus such as open education leadership, open educational resources and Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR). All of this contributes to a richer understanding of open education in our province, and it’s the goal of this year’s series to touch on that wide range of topics.

This year’s series will begin with a webinar on May 28 by Erin Fields, who was one of BCcampus’ Faculty Fellows in 2018–2019. Erin is a UBC librarian who has done some really interesting work at the intersection of information literacy and open pedagogy.

Our second speaker will be George Veletsianos on June 18, and he will share his work around framing quality in open and digital education to include equity. This is especially relevant to BCPSE, where diversity, equity, and inclusion have been top of mind in our efforts.

We will also have Michelle Harrison and Irwin DeVries sharing their recent research on the role of instructional designers as advocates for open educational practices, which addresses an important gap in open education research, as it has been largely centred on the role of faculty and students as advocates.

And last, but not least, we are reserving one session for student research on open education that will be posted soon.

Where can people register to attend?

Open Education Research Webinar Series: Authentic Student Participation — Information Literacies in Open Pedagogy on May 28 from 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

Open Education Research Webinar Series: What Makes for “Good” Open and Digital Education? on June 18 from 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.