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BCcampus Award for Excellence in Open Education: Michelle Harrison

For her long-time advocacy and many contributions to open education in the B.C. post-secondary system, Michelle Harrison of Thompson Rivers University is the recipient of the BCcampus Award for Excellence in Open Education for July.

Post by Tannis Morgan, researcher, Open Education, BCcampus

In her roles at TRU as senior instructional designer, assistant professor, and co-chair of the Learning, Design and Innovation Department in the Open Learning Division, Michelle has quietly had an outsize influence on the advancement of open education at TRU and in B.C. Michelle’s work in open education extends beyond open educational resources (OER), encompassing open education advocacy, research, and scholarship. In her role as instructional designer, she has had an impact on incorporating OER into course development and design at TRU.

Michelle Harrison

Some of her many accomplishments include being part of the TRU open education working group, teaching for the Master of Arts in Learning and Technology program at Royal Roads University, and being editor-in-chief of the International Journal of E-Learning & Distance Education. But where Michelle really shines is her open education research.

In 2019, Michelle was a BCcampus open education faculty fellow, during which time she conducted research exploring the impact of open learning. More recently, Michelle and her colleague Irwin DeVries at TRU published a study in the Canadian Journal of Learning and Technology on how instructional designers advocate for openness. Currently, Michelle is part of a BCcampus-led research team that is investigating a tool that institutions may use to self-assess their open education initiatives.

Michelle is an indispensable part of the open education community in B.C., and for that, we thank her.

“Dr. Harrison is deeply committed to students and to the intersecting fields of open education and instructional design. Throughout her career, she has focused on enhancing access to learning in her research, teaching, and instructional design practice. Michelle has rightfully earned the respect of her colleagues and her peers. Michelle is unquestionably deserving of the recognition provided by the BCcampus Award for Excellence in Open Education.”


—Irwin DeVries, adjunct faculty, Thompson Rivers University, and associate faculty, Royal Roads University

Previous honourees

Jennifer Kirkey, Rajiv JhangianiCindy UnderhillMichael PaskeviciusMaja KrzicGrant PotterIrwin DeVriesTara RobertsonChristina HendricksTannis MorganInba KehoeDiane PurveyErin Fields, Arley CruthersChad Flinn, Aran ArmutluTerry BergWill EngleFlorence DaddeyBrenda SmithLindsay TrippMary ShierBrad Bell, and Debra Flewelling

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