An excerpt from the Working Group Guide, by Krista Lambert and Lucas Wright.
Working together to develop resources can help bring open working groups together and provides a way to share resources and showcase open practice at an interaction. For some working groups, the shared work of developing an open resource can provide a sense of purpose and increase connection.
Types of resources
There are a number of different resources that open working groups have collaboratively developed. These range from extensive resources such as websites supporting open to brief guides about different elements of open practice.
Open web spaces/portals
Institutions such as the University of British Columbia (UBC) and the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) have developed websites to showcase and support open at their institutions. These sites often highlight examples of open practice at the institution. These examples are explored using interviews, videos, and databases of examples from practice. On the UBC Open site, the group has a growing inventory of open practices ranging from examples of open textbooks to students participating in open projects to open data and science examples. There is also a form so that instructors can submit an open resource or example of an open practice. The BCIT open site has an inventory of open textbooks that have been created or adapted at BCIT. Open sites also might include information about aspects of open practices, including creation, licensing and adapting open resources. They can also be a space to share upcoming events and workshops.
In Practice: Open Education Sites in B.C.
Here are examples of B.C. open education sites that showcase and support open education:
- BCIT Open Website. This website includes an inventory of open textbooks used and adapted at BCIT, a collection of open related resources, a description of the open working group, and open education grants.
- KPU Open Website. This is a web page that has been created on the main KPU site. It includes information about open education, programs at KPU, and available grants.
- UBC Open Website. This is a comprehensive website that includes an inventory of open education examples; an overview of open practices, open resources, and open pedagogy; a listing of open education-related events; and regular news updates.
As we discussed in the previous chapter of the guide, creating inventories of open practices is a good way for open working groups to support and advocate for open. A couple of open working groups have collaborated to produce annual or monthly reports about open practices at their institutions. The BCIT Open Working Group published the Open Education Report, 2018, which discusses grants that have been awarded and events. The Open Pack at UBC develops Open Snapshots each term that report on open activity. Completing reports can be a way of sharing and celebrating open work at an institution and provide the open working group with a sense of purpose and direction in collaboratively developing them.
How to create open resources
When you are ready to create open resources for your institution, you will want to review existing open resources to adapt and use open processes in your creation.
Adapt existing open resources
A great aspect of open education is that there are lots of open resources that you can adapt and reuse, so you do not want to reinvent the wheel. Instead, you should look into adapting open resources from other working groups, institutions, and organizations. Here are some places to start looking:
- Creative Commons search. Search Creative Commons licensed media, images, and audio.
- The Support Resources category of the B.C. Open Textbook Collection. A collection of support resources with information about open education, institutional policy, and adopting, adapting, and creating OER.
- B.C. Open Education Library Guides. A collection of openly licensed guides created by the BCOEL.
- Open UBC. UBC’s open site that includes resources about all aspects of open education. All of the resources are openly licensed.
Use open processes
As you adapt or create these resources within the open working group, it is worth considering open processes and open approaches to resources creation. Doing this can provide the members of the group with the opportunity to become more familiar with both open tools and aspects of creating open resources like licensing and creating accessible content. There are a number of ways that you can incorporate open processes into your resource development process:
- Use open tools for resources development. Examples include MediaWiki, WordPress, or Pressbooks for resource creation and Etherpad or Mattermost for collaboration. Many institutions have access to these tools. You may also want to check out the OpenETC group.
- License and share resources that you develop using Creative Commons licences.
Questions to Consider
Take stock of resources focused on open education at your institution:
- Are there resources dedicated to open education?
- What resources can your group adapt or develop?
- How will the resources that you create be designed, developed, and maintained?