Camosun College Open Education Recognition Awards: A Reflection

Post by Emily Schudel, Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning, Camosun College

Open Education Week was celebrated on March 4-8, 2024. The week ended with a bang celebrating the Camosun College Open Education Recognition Awards. A big thanks to BCcampus that provided funding for this event.

When I really think about the role of open education in our learning spaces, I think of Kayla Lar-Son’s (Indigenous programs and services librarian at the University of British Columbia) 6Rs of Indigenous Open Educationrespectrelationshipsresponsibilityreverencerelevance, and reciprocity. These concepts are not only vital to honouring Indigenous knowledge and sovereignty in our work as educators, but also key to the work we do in open education in general.

  • When working in open education we must have respect for the work we do in this space, the students we are doing it for, and for the people who engage in the work.
  • We have a responsibility to provide our students with affordable education and to our colleagues to support them to meet that goal.
  • Building and nurturing relationships are key to collaborating and working together.
  • Reciprocity is central to the ideals behind open education through sharing the open work we create.
  • Because open educational resources (OER) are flexible and can be adapted, we can provide more relevant resources and curriculum for our students.
  • And we need to remember how important it is that we show reverence for the people who engage in this work – and this is what we are gathered here today to do, celebrating for the second year in a row the open education work of our faculty at the college.

This year’s recipients embody these 6Rs, as faculty members who have made profound contributions to open education at Camosun College and demonstrated an impact on student learning and student costs by using, designing, or adapting open resources in their instruction.

Puja Gupta, School of Access: Puja has, until recently when she moved into the Acting Associate Dean role in the School of Access, taught math in both the Community Learning Partnership and the Academic Career Foundations programs. She is passionate about providing her students access to free resources, especially since her programs are tuition free, and has adapted a combination of existing open textbooks for her courses. I got to know Puja through the open education sustainability project where she worked to create an extensive math test bank in the MyOpenMath platform. Puja is also generous with her time and her open resources, sharing them with colleagues across the college.

Diane Gilliland, Val Neaves, Allyson Butt, Education and Career Planning Certificate Program, School of Access: The Education and Career Planning Certificate Program (EDCP) is a seven-week tuition-free program providing its learners with free online readings. Diane Gilliland and Val Neaves are both instructors in the program, and Allyson Butt is the instructional assistant. In 2020, they worked together to move EDCP to fully online blended synchronous/asynchronous by adapting the B.C. open course pack EDCP: Career Planning. I interviewed Diane, Val, and Allyson about their work in the EDCP program, and these three do amazing work together and with their learners. The EDCP program is proof that community can be created online, which Diane points out is rooted in Martin Brokenleg’s work and in the work this group did to indigenize their curriculum in order to acknowledge and strengthen belonging, mastery, independence, and generosity. Diane, Val, and Allyson also wanted me to recognize the assistance from Monique Brewer, Deidre Murphy, and the CETL group who helped, and continue to help, create clear, organized, and accessible curriculum.

Katie Waterhouse, Anthropology, Arts & Sciences: Katie has been a user of open textbooks for a while now, using an open text produced by the American Anthropological Society for her ANTH260 course since 2020. In 2020, she also moved away from textbooks and started using library resources for her ANTH250 course thereby creating a zero textbook cost (ZTC) model. More recently, Katie has been creating H5P interactive objects (an open learning object creation tool) to support her students’ learning in all of her courses. She has co-facilitated the H5P workshop and shared examples with faculty members. Katie continues to explore OER for her other courses.

Leanne Pyle, Geoscience, Arts & Sciences: Leanne teaches geoscience courses, including physical geology (GEOS100) and earth-ocean-atmosphere system (GEOS110). She has been using open textbooks to support her students in GEOS100 since she started at the college in 2019, using the Thompson Rivers University Online Physical Geology open textbook. In 2020, she switched over her GEOS110 course to all open texts, combining pieces from several open textbook. 

Susan Chen, Math and Statistics, Arts & Sciences: Susan is passionate about providing high quality OER for her students and ten years ago discovered, and began using, an open textbook (OpenIntro Statistics) and online homework system (MyOpenMath) for her STAT116 course. After many years of searching, her goal is to find an open textbook for another statistics course or to create a zero-cost course pack for the students. Susan’s department chair, Patrick Montgomery, also had this to say, “The work to support an evolving discipline such as statistics is ongoing, as new examples appear regularly and can only be included in the classroom by either buying new and expensive textbooks or by spending the time and effort to incorporate the information into in-house course packs. Susan is a department leader in building online resources for her classes and has made statistics even more affordable.”

Patricia Wrean, Math and Statistics, Arts & Sciences: Pat has been a determined and steadfast supporter of her students, and has actively looked for ways to make her classes more accessible and at minimal cost to the student.  According to her department chair Patrick Montgomery, the WeBWorK system she uses provides free access to students to learn through online homework problems, but it needs a knowledgeable support person to make this work.  Pat has been that person and her knowledge and expertise is appreciated by her students and colleagues.

Stephanie Ingraham, Physics, Arts & Sciences: Stephanie teaches in the physics department, where she is also the chair. I had the pleasure of working with Stephanie for the open education sustainability project where she worked on creating an open textbook for Physics of Medical Imaging and Radiation Therapy. While the MRT course she created this for has been altered, the true joy of creating open textbooks is being able to adapt them to different courses, so Stephanie is hoping to take some of what she created and use it in future teaching. She is also a big supporter of her faculty in using OER for their own courses.

Randal Tonks, Psychology, Arts & Sciences: Randal has been using the Introduction to Psychology open textbook by Stangor and Walinga for ten years to support his section of PSYC130, impacting approximately 80 students per term. He also offers it as an optional textbook when teaching PSYC100A and 100B at the University of Victoria. In addition, Randal has helped to create an instructor’s test bank to support this text – work that is important since one of the stumbling blocks faculty face with adopting open textbooks is the lack of testing materials and other ancillary resources.

Michelle Clement, Marketing, School of Business: Michelle has taught marketing in the School of Business since 2004. I got to know Michelle during the open education sustainability project when I supported her with adapting an open textbook, The Power of Selling, in Pressbooks. The textbook was over 600 pages long and ten years out of date, so Michelle had her work cut out for her, but she reduced the text to just over 200 pages, added images to make it more engaging, and brought the content into our current context. The year after she adapted the text, Michelle added supplementary material for faculty including PowerPoint slides and in class activities for each chapter to encourage them to adopt the book. Michelle has adopted and adapted many open textbooks over the years, and continues to do so, but she also integrates library resources and her own materials into the mix, and generously shares her course materials with her colleagues.

Adventure Education, Centre for Sport and Exercise Education (John Telford and Michael Pardy) and Sport Management, Centre for Sport and Exercise Education (Charles Parkinson, Brianna Waldman, Chris Psutka, Anthony Pluta, Robert Bettauer, Michael Suraci, Graham Thomson, Simon Cass): I am pleased to be recognizing these two programs in the Centre for Sport and Exercise Education. When I was emailing chairs to find out who at the college is teaching ZTC courses for the strategic plan metrics, Charles Parkinson responded that two of his programs were ZTC: Sport Management (20 courses) and Adventure Education (ten courses), whose instructors use a combination of academic articles, research studies, guest experts, applied learning, and other vehicles to support their courses. Courses can also be ZTC by using library resources, online resources, course packs in D2L, in addition to open textbooks, especially if there is no one textbook that meets the course needs.

Liz Morch, Dental Hygiene, School of Health and Human Services: Liz has taught in the dental hygiene program at Camosun since 1990. I got to know Liz during the open education sustainability project when I supported her with creating a WordPress site to house five modules covering basic topics in nutrition. This open site was created not only to support her DHYG328 nutrition course (giving students the option to learn the content at their own pace), but also for anyone who might need access to academically sound resources related to nutrition, knowing that this is a subject covered in many programs at Camosun and beyond. Liz is an education innovator and mentor to Camosun faculty who are interested in exploring creative approaches to teaching, and a huge champion of open education, supporting her students in whatever way she can – and providing free course materials is definitely one way in this world of escalating costs to support our students.

Brian Coey, Sheet Metal, Trades and Technology: Brian formerly taught sheet metal and is now the chair of trades development at Camosun. I got to know him during his work with the open education sustainability project, but that was not Brian’s first BCcampus-funded foray into open education. In addition to the work he did on Camosun’s project, he also worked on sheet metal program materials with Okanagan College. Like many of the trades, updated resources and textbooks were just not available for sheet metal, and Brian wanted to create materials to support the four levels of sheet metal apprenticeship training. He has since completed pattern development for all four levels, including videos and animations, and is acknowledged as an author and reviewer of the open Trades Access Common Core series, which contains 23 books that are used across the province for entry-level trades training in various apprenticeship programs. Brian was a recipient of a BCcampus Award for Excellence in Open Education award in 2021.

Kyle Broad, Sheet Metal, Trades and Technology: I was so pleased when Kyle was nominated for an open education recognition award. Kyle is the chair of motor vehicle and metal trades and as a chair, he is the workplace leader for faculty in a large number of disciplines. Ken Kosik, the associate dean of trades and technology, said, “While Kyle has not himself been directly involved in the development of OER, he is supportive of faculty in his area, who are engaged in OER development, particularly for Brian Coey, for example adjusting schedules and bring in temporary faculty to allow Brian to pursue open education opportunities.” 

Plumbing and Pipe Trades Department, Trades and Technology: I have been aware of this group’s work, especially through collaborating with Rod Lidstone when I first started at Camosun. Rod and plumbing and pipe trades, are responsible for a number of early-created open textbooks in the BCcampus trades collection. The dean of trades and technology, Eric Sehn, says “The entire plumbing/pipe department faculty have been trailblazers in open education for years. Rod Lidstone – now retired – was our resident expert and completed a number of contracts for BCcampus. The current chair is Darren Vaux, who also has developed distributed delivery materials in the past with CETL.” Department chair, Darren Vaux, said, “As you are aware, Rod is the reason that we have had so much success with OER, both in their creation and adoption, for our trades. Rod is the one who had the foresight to pioneer and navigate all the awesome things that we get to do here at pipe trades. I am fortunate to have taken over an amazing program that we are all very proud of. Thank you again for the recognition.” The plumbing and pipe trade department is Al Paterson, Alasdair Reid, Andrea Durdle, Andy Wilson, Darren Hall, Darren Vaux, Dennis Morris, Derek Meadows, Josh Stull, Landon Martin, Robert Medwid, Rodney Lidstone, Ron Perkin, Steve Nixon, Steve Bitschy, Flynn Boles, and James Smyth.

And finally, we recognized Gwenda Bryan, a librarian at Camosun: Open education has much of its roots in librarians and their support for open access resources, and the librarians here are no exception – every program at Camosun has a liaison librarian and they work with faculty to find ZTC and open options to support their courses. We wanted to recognize Gwenda this year for her work on the new Open Education LibGuide and many other advocacy pieces with me, faculty, and students in spite of being extraordinarily busy.

The text of this blog post is from “Camosun College Open Education Recognition Awards” by Emily Schudel on the Camosun College Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning website. Adapted by BCcampus. Licensed under a CC BY 4.0 licence.