Open Education Resources & Pedagogies

OPEN – 9200

I am now in Week 4 of the second course of KPU’s Professional Program in Open Education. If you haven’t checked it out yet, I highly recommend it.

In this second course, we have been exploring concepts around OER & associated pedagogies. I have been involved in OER work since about 2018. Although many of the open practices have been part of my personal teaching pedagogy for many years. I did not think about them as OPEN. Still, definitions that are challenging for me to describe to others are the differences between Open Educational Practices and Open Educational Pedagogy.

Cronin (2019) posits that Open depends on the context and is continually negotiated. DeRosa and Jhangiani (2018) describe open pedagogy as a point where multiple educational, technology, and social justice theories come together to inform praxis and are negotiated and constantly in revision. In a simple definition with layers of complexity, I am leaning towards describing Open Educational Pedagogies as a group of pedagogies that combine to underpin the principles of Open Educational Practices. This is congruent with my experience of unknowingly using Open Educational Practices in my teaching pedagogy before I came to think about OPEN as its own discipline.

The assignment that I am sharing today is the accumulation of two projects. I like how it was scaffolded with the first project asking us to think about future aspirations for a future OER project, an annotated bibliography, and a connection to social justice, racial equity or cultural relevance. The annotated bibliography was helpful and, moving forward, something I will do for all my writing projects. Describing the license for each reference solidified my understanding of the creative commons licenses and how I could utilize them in Assignment 4.3: Assessment: Open Pedagogy Plan.

Assignment 4.3 Assessment: Open Pedagogy Plan

This assignment is a plan for a renewable assignment specifically for: Voices from the Community: Enhancing Therapeutic Communication for Health Care Administrators OER project in development. However, the instructions could be repurposed and utilized for other disciplines beyond Therapeutic Communication for Health Care Administrators. Please see below the renewable assignment opportunity. I welcome your comments and feedback.

Renewable Assignment Opportunity: Voices from the Community: Enhancing Therapeutic Communication for Health Care Administrators.

Introduction

In February 2022, Therapeutic Communication for Health Care Administrators Digital Textbook and companion Game Simulations were published. The projects were made possible with funding from the Government of Ontario and through eCampus Ontario’s support of the Virtual Learning Strategy. A new companion resource project is in development, and you may be interested in contributing.

This project is an opportunity to expand upon the Therapeutic Communication for Health Care Administrators collection by inviting educators and learners to share what they would find helpful (when communicating with Health Care Administrators) based on their experiences, cultural expectations, and differing abilities. Health Care Administrators are often the first person that people seeking health care communicate with. That initial communication can influence the success of people seeking health care will have their needs met (Carter, Rutherford, Stevens, 2020).

The Invitation

We invite educators preparing learners for roles as Health Care Administrators to incorporate this project opportunity as a renewable assignment in their classes. A renewable assignment is an assignment, activity, or task where learners are invited to license and share their work in the open (Katz & Van Allen, n.d.). This differs from disposable assignments, where an assignment is submitted, graded, and rarely shared (Wiley, 2013).

Learners must understand Creative Commons’ licensing options and have the choice to not share publicly or openly license their assignment without peer pressure and with no fear of it impacting their grades. Cronin (2019) posits that open is complex; by providing choices when people will share their work, we nurture digital literacy as people consider the implications of sharing their work for themselves. Katz & Van Allen (n.d.) suggests a class discussion with learners about open sharing with options for sharing or not. We recommend inviting your institution’s copy-right and creative commons library specialist(s) to discuss licensing options and answer questions.

The Goals of the Project:

  • Create opportunities for learners to have their lived experiences validated, learn from other learners, and then apply what they have learned in the context of their role as Health Care Administrators.
  • Provide opportunities to hear from more voices with greater representation than was possible in the first publishing of Therapeutic Communication for Health Care Administrators.
  • Maintain a dynamic resource utilizing the Pressbooks Publishing platform where contributions are updated regularly, and that resource becomes part of the Therapeutic Communication for Health Care Administrators collection.  

The Value Proposition:

This renewable assessment opportunity is one example of integrating open educational practices with social justice principles. Utilizing Lambert’s (2018) comparison chart, we propose that this project is a form of redistributive justice providing a free resource to those that need one, recognitive justice because it will include diverse experiences, and representational justice as the project will facilitate equal opportunities for sharing and validating experiences for those that may not otherwise have opportunities to do so. These principles align with the importance of enhancing therapeutic communication for health care administrators because people seeking health care are from the same diverse populations as learners and educators.

Project Resources:

Project Instruction Template Example

Contact:

To learn more about the project and how you and your learners can participate, please reach out to Kim Carter through email: kcarter@conestogac.on.ca

References

Carter, K., Rutherford, M., & Stevens, C. (2022) Welcome. Therapeutic Communication for Health Care Administrators https://ecampusontario.pressbooks.pub/therapeuticcommunicationforhealthofficeadministrators/front-matter/introduction/

Cronin. C. (2019). Open education: Walking a critical path. In D. Conrad, & P. Prinsloo (Eds.), Open(ing) Education: Theory and Practice. Leiden: Brill.

DeRosa, R., & Jhangiani, R. (2018). Open pedagogy. In Open pedagogy notebook (CC BY 4.0). http://openpedagogy.org/open-pedagogy/

Katz, S., & Van Allen, J. (n.d.) Evolving into the Open: A Framework for Collaborative Design of Renewable Assignments. Open Pedagogy Approaches. Retrieved from Evolving Into the Open: A Framework for Collaborative Design of Renewable Assignments – Open Pedagogy Approaches (geneseo.edu)

Lambert, S. R. (2018). Lambert, S. R. (2018). Changing our (Dis)Course: A Distinctive Social Justice Aligned Definition of Open Education. Journal of Learning for Development5(3), 225-244.https://jl4d.org/index.php/ejl4d/article/view/290/334

Wiley, D (2013) What is Open Pedagogy? Improving Learning. https://opencontent.org/blog/archives/2975

6.3 Assignment Two: Applying A Critical Approach

Theory and Philosophy of Open Education (OPEN9100) Final Assignment Summary of Instructions:

Produce a list of design principles or key considerations (by drawing on course readings) that could support the adoption of Open Educational Practices (OEP) for more equitable approaches to teaching and learning.

Situating Myself

My set of key considerations is situated as a new administrator leading OER development, creating ongoing processes and resources to grow and guide OER creation at a higher-ed institution.  For me, this includes Open Educational Practices (OEP) and, in the context of this assignment, focuses on open practices that can provide equitable approaches to learning and teaching.

Why Learning Before Teaching?

I use learning before teaching intentionally because long before I knew about constructivism and this approach to teaching, I always thought that the teacher is not the only person that can contribute to knowledge-making. For me, transformative learning occurs when the person named teacher/professor/instructor actively engages with the people named learners to co-construct meaning, learn from, and teach each other. Bali M. et al. (2020, para 6) propose that a constructivist approach ensures relevancy while fostering learning communities.

Key Considerations and Related Questions

Representation

My first two key considerations focus on Representation. For me, this means diverse perspectives are included by inviting the participants to OER work. Representation also applies to the content of OER material that goes beyond images and includes the representation of voices as active participants in OER development and processes. Veletsianos, G. (2020) argues that we can not assume that Open is inherently equitable and that we must scrutinize our practices, or we risk missing out on the equity benefits espoused by open advocates and, worse, may perpetuate inequities. Diversifying the content of OER to include representation of a mix of people supports equity in education, and it can be one example of Recognitive Justice (marginalized and underrepresented people are seen and legitimized) and Representational Justice (marginalized and underrepresented people speak for themselves) (Lambert S. & Czerniewicz, L., 2020).

  1. Representation in participation in open initiatives
    • What opportunities and resources are available to invite participants from under-represented and marginalized groups into OER/OEP initiatives?
    • How do we identify and support the people who have been under-represented and marginalized so they can participate in a way that is meaningful to them?
  2. Representation in OER adoption, adaptation, and creation
    • When supporting the adoption of OER into courses, how do we support the labour of resource review to ensure multiple perspectives are represented in the course materials?
    • When supporting the adaptation and creation of OER for course material, how do we embed (in our workflow) the inclusion of marginalized and underrepresented people?

Open Educational Practices: Open Sharing

My next key considerations focus on asking people to share openly. Cronin (2017) posits that it is important to support learners and faculty in navigating the tensions that open sharing has with privacy concerns. Singh (2015) suggests that we miss people’s perspectives when we do not have safe and inclusive spaces. It has been my own experience that it depends on the context when I decide when and how much I will share. I have witnessed the hesitancy of others to share what I perceive as fear of judgment. Still, I must continually scrutinize that perception because it is an assumption and is not the only reason people hesitate or do not share.

  1. Assess the risk of open sharing
    • What processes are in place or need to be put in place to address risks that open sharing may cause for people
  2. Open is not fully open or fully closed.
    • Have we created options for people to participate safely, and how will they and we know?
  3. Has training been provided for people to make an informed decision about open sharing?
    • Licensing training
    • Social media training
    • Time to evaluate what it means to share openly

The Digital Divide

Open Educational Resources (OER) are largely digital and often require internet access to utilize interactive components and a device to download or read online. When those options are not available, then access to a printer or printing company to make hard copies is needed. A large part of my work around OER has been ensuring learners have access to their learning material at the beginning of a course. Lambert’s (2018) example of OER being a form of Redistributive Justice ( providing learners with free educational resources when they may not have been able to afford them) aligns with my OER work. However, understanding that socio-economic conditions may preclude learners from accessing digital resources, even free ones, is another barrier for my consideration list.

  1. How do we ensure offline options are available when people cannot access the internet and/or devices?
    • Are print copies made available?
    • Are downloads on devices made available?
    • Are these alternative formats accessible?

References

Bali, M., Cronin, C., & Jhangiani, R. S. (2020). Framing Open Educational Practices from a Social Justice Perspective. Journal of Interactive Media in Education2020(1), 10. DOI: http://doi.org/10.5334/jime.565

Cronin, C. (2017) Open Education, Open Questions. Open at The Margins. https://press.rebus.community/openatthemargins/chapter/open-education-open-questions/

Lambert, S. and Czerniewicz, L., 2020. Approaches to Open Education and Social Justice Research. Journal of Interactive Media in Education, 2020(1), p.1. DOI: http://doi.org/10.5334/jime.584

Lambert, S. R. (2018). Changing our (Dis)Course : A Distinctive Social Justice Aligned Definition of Open Education. Journal of Learning for Development https://jl4d.org/index.php/ejl4d/article/view/290/334

singh, s. (2015) The Fallacy of Open. Open at The Margins. https://press.rebus.community/openatthemargins/chapter/the-fallacy-of-open/

Veletsianos, G, (2020). Open educational resources: expanding equity or reflecting and furthering inequities?. Education Tech Research Dev 69, 407–410 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11423-020-09840-y

Licensed CC-BY-NC-SA unless otherwise indicated

Epilogue

This first course in the KPU Professional OPEN program has me looking forward to Open Educational Resources and Pedagogies (OPEN-9200) starting Monday. I wish to thank Irwin Devries for his thoughtful audio reflections, which solidified my learning. For my co-learners, thoughtful posts and prodding questions made me dig deeper in critically evaluating my assumptions about my work in OPEN.

Forward for the Blog

I am currently enrolled in the inaugural cohort at Kwantlen Polytechnic University’s Professional Program in Open Education. I plan to publish my assignments in the OPEN as part of my own reflective practice but also for critical and respectful reflection from the OPEN community that I value. So thank you in advance. The following reflection is related to the first-course Theory and Philosophy of Open Education (OPEN 9100)

2.4 Assignment 1: Defining OPEN

Open Education is at its foundation a social justice movement with a shared goal to re-examine educational practices by engaging collaboratively with others. That engagement seeks to understand the contexts and lived experiences of others so that together meaningful changes to accepted educational practices can be made to improve people’s daily lives.

Kim Carter, October 2022

My definition of Open Education is based on my fundamental belief that quality education should be available to all people. This aligns with UNESCO’s Sustainability Development Goals (SDGs) and specifically #4 Quality Education for all (UNESCO, 2022). The challenge to my definition is to determine what specifically are the shared goals of such a complex topic. Suppose a proponent of Open Education wants to engage collaboratively with others to make meaningful change. In that case, a critical examination of what is shared experiences combined with the assumptions that the proponent is bringing to the collaboration is necessary.

Cronin (2019) challenges open advocates to critically examine the underpinnings of idealistic and utopian beliefs of Open Education or run the risk of exacerbating inequalities. With this thought in mind, I find it helpful to think about co-construction as a tool for meaningful collaboration. Co-construction engages people in a way in which we can begin to understand the contexts in which each other lives. For example, if I am at a collaboration meeting and people share their goals, I may have a surface understanding of what they may need. Only through critical self-reflection of the assumptions I bring and building trust through activities such as co-construction of knowledge may I truly begin to understand the contexts in which other people live and how their worldviews may differ from my own. Cronin (2019) supports this thought by indicating that OPEN is personal, and people re-examine and negotiate with themselves when they will share in the open and when they will not. Cronin (2019) also refers to the work of Jesse Stommel in co-constructing OER with learners in ways that are different than traditionally accepted practices and suggests that this is an opportunity for collaborators to think differently and challenge accepted norms.

A helpful reference from my co-learners was that of Lambert (2018 – para 10), who proposes that social justice successes are measured by their ability to provide resources to those that need them, recognize gender and cultural differences, and ensure that their voices are represented. I found that these three descriptions of justice helpful as a framework for discussion and co-construction for finding shared goals within the context of those that I am collaborating with. While the SDGs and Open Education remind us that Open Education is a Global social justice movement. I think that my definition also applies to my local context and within my own institution. It has been my experience that all people wish to be valued and understood, and engaging collaboratively to seek to understand what educational changes others need to improve their daily lives is important.

References

Cronin. C. (2019). Open education: Walking a critical path. In D. Conrad, & P. Prinsloo (Eds.), Open(ing) Education: Theory and Practice. Leiden: Brill.

Lambert, S. R. (2018). Changing our (Dis)Course : A Distinctive Social Justice Aligned Definition of Open Education. Journal of Learning for Development https://jl4d.org/index.php/ejl4d/article/view/290/334

UNESCO (2022). Leading SDG 4 – Education 2030. UNESCO Education transforms lives. https://www.unesco.org/en/education/education2030-sdg4 

This post is licensed CC-BY-NC-SA unless otherwise indicated.

About Me

My name is Kim Carter, and I am in a newly created position of Open Educational Resource Consultant at Conestoga College ITAL. Leading OER development, creating ongoing processes and resources to grow and guide OER creation. I am so lucky to find purposeful work allowing me to pursue a passion for expanding Open Educational Practices at my institution. I am a first-generation learner from a working-class family and relate to some of the barriers that prevent people from pursuing higher education. I returned to school as an older adult, completed a B.Ed. in Adult Education, M.A. in Leadership, and began my teaching career. My teaching has always been influenced by education leaders such as bell hooks and Stephen Brookfield. Still, it wasn’t until I completed the eCampus Ontario Extend Empowered Educator program that I found Open Education an alignment with my values and passion worth pursuing.

In August 2020, I led and worked with a wonderful team of cross-institutional collaborators (including learners) to publish an Open Education Resource (OER) Building a Medical Terminology Foundation. What a wonderful collaboration it was and timely as the resource and many of the accompanying H5P interactives were so helpful for students in remote learning. This was such a wonderful experience that we did it again in 2021. Published in Feb. 2022  with the help of the Ontario Government’s VLS funding are Therapeutic Communications for Health Care Administrators digital text and Therapeutic Communication for Health Care Administrators Game Simulations.

I started a blog when I participated in eCampus Ontario Extend mOOC. Read those reflections here. I took a bit of a hiatus, but I am back blogging again as I participate in the Professional Program in Open Education at Kwantlen Polytechnic University.

Image of Kim Carter
Image Kim Cart

Share-Back Reflections on Cheggification and Open Pedagogy

I have always thought that students that cut corners and “cheat” do so out of desperation. I thought that if I can just support student’s learning then they won’t feel the need to cut corners. My recent awareness that there are hundreds of homework sites that essentially provide students with answers to assignments and tests was disappointing. I think that it was disappointing because is seemed to perpetuate the antagonistic relationship of teacher and student which seems counterintuitive to the supportive teacher that I aim to be. When I saw Dave Cormier’s invitation on Twitter to hear his CoOp students talk about their experiences with homework sites and how Open pedagogy could provide part of a solution…. well, I was in. The following reflection is my contribution to Conestoga College’s share-back session for #OEWeek 2021.

Themes from the Presentation

Student Perceptions

Student’s perceive that the faculty response to “homework sites” like Chegg has been to create assignments and tests that are more difficult, intensive, and time restricted. The thought being there will be no time to search out answers. This has resulted in a greater number of students going direct to Chegg for the answer than before. On the surface homework sites appear to provide help with homework by allowing students to verify their answers once they have completed their work. As one student presenter commented “co-students have completed their work but they want to make sure they got the answer correct so that their grades do not suffer”.

Chegg is expensive with multiple layers ranging from some limited free options to an expensive subscription. Subsequently, disadvantaging students without the means to pay for subscriptions. That being said there is nothing stopping someone with a subscription from sharing the answers with others and I learned today that there are hundreds of companies that do just that with varying fee structures.

I was surprised to learn that many publishers sold homework answers to Chegg. Read more about that in this article by Michael Feldstein.

Is Cheating a Faculty Construct?

Since information is readily available on the internet no longer does the faculty or the textbook hold all the answers exclusively. So, faculty respond by making the assessments harder and/or restricted by time. Dave Cormier posed the notion that cheating may be a faculty construct because cheating only happens when faculty withhold the answer. Faculty may construct the notion of cheating by telling students that they can’t see the answer that they must memorize the answer to be regurgitated on a test and then be judged competent or not. By the time a student reaches Higher Ed they believe that this is how “school” works.

In this current way of responding to homework sites faculty are punishing all students even those students who do not want to rely on these types of sites, students who want to engage in their own learning and complete their own work. The term used in today’s presentation was The Assessment Stick. Meaning using the assessment as an extrinsic motivator or worse as a type of punishment.

How Do We Stop Cheating Behaviours?

So the question turned to how than can we stop cheating? The response was faculty need to treat students like the professionals that they are training to be. Faculty need to show students the how and why we choose to layout the course the way that we do. So, that we can prepare students for the occupation that they are training and educating for. We need to inspire intrinsic motivation for completing course work.

Deconstruct our goals for the course, consider why we give students assignments and for what purpose? This requires a degree of self-reflection to really unpack the why and what for in how we prepare courses and assessments. Prepare assignments that introduce students to the work field, habits expected in the work field, and practical context for learning. .

Deconstruct with students their motivations and expectations and re-establish the social contract with students at the beginning of the course. Talk with the student about goals for learning and expectations, agree to those goals and then hold for accountability.

Provide iterative assignments with formative feedback check-ins. Avoid well structured problems and instead provide ill-structured problems. Ill-structured problems are those that are not directly measurable, do not have a solution or clear definition and/or only work on part of the problem. The pushback is that this is difficult in classes with large numbers and will be difficult to manage. The question posed back was do you think what we do know works? Isn’t it always difficult in classes with large numbers?

How Can OPEN Pedagogy Help?

Open Authored Textbooks introduce students to someone doing the work in the field. The Open texts are often networked so opportunities exist for students to make connections in the field of knowledge with a variety of perspectives. Cormier (2021) suggested that we allow students the space to “go down the rabbit holes” with their curiosity subsequently building intrinsic motivation . Click here to learn how to use Wikipedia games for intrinsic motivation.

Open Pedagogy allows for student choice in assignments, be open to how students choose to learn and pick what they want to explore. This doesn’t mean they can just study whatever they want. It requires a collaborative discussion between faculty and student to ensure alignment with the outcomes and goals for the course.

Build Trust with students by deconstructing the power relationships between faculty and student and change from a combative and antagonistic relationship to a trust relationship. Expect pushback, remember students have been doing “school” for many years and have been conditioned to expect “school” experiences in a particular way.

Final Thoughts….

A concern I heard today and one I hear often within my own teaching environment. What do we do about students who are not motivated by a desire to work in this field. A student presenter responded with but many students do care and are invested in their learning what about us? Cormier, suggested that a core value is to design courses and assessments for the student who does care. This is a core value that I share and another reason that I believe open educational practices is the way forward.

“A Core Value to Design Assessments for the Students Who Do Care” (Cormier, 2021).

Another Path: Program for Open Scholarship and Education – Winter 2021

Open Access

This semester I am continuing my OPEN journey by participating in The University of British Columbia’s (UBC) Program for Open Scholarship and Education (POSE). Through this program I plan to expand my knowledge of OPEN scholarship.

On Wednesday 100+ participants came to the kick-off and we even enjoyed a break-out room activity. The participants in my break-out room activity are from varying backgrounds such as library services, research, and public health. It was interesting to learn the reasons that brought us all to this course.

According to the website the program should take about 3 – 5 hours each month. Yesterday, I started my course readings and due to exploration of many deeper learning readings, I may have already already spent close to three hours. As I excitedly shared what I was reading with my partner (he nodded appropriately but not enthusiastically) about the structure and history of publishing I have more questions than answers.

Down the path I go.

Photo by Aswathy N on Unsplash

Tech@Conestoga Panel Interview 2020

Photo by Sam McGhee on Unsplash

The following blog post is a summary of the questions and my answers for the Tech@Conestoga Panel Interview May 26, 2020

Q 1) Please share a bit about yourself in your role at Conestoga and about how you’ve embraced tech in your teaching

A: Hello my name is Kim Carter and I am a Professor in the Business School. I have been teaching at Conestoga for over 10 years

  • I noticed worrisome trends in the past few years.
    • Student were not purchasing textbooks
    • Students did not seem to have the digital competencies/computer skills that I was expecting
    • Ed tech options were multiplying so quickly that I didn’t have the time to keep up with them all

So, I went on a quest to update my own digital literacy skills and I discovered Open Educational Pedagogy (OEP) which is sometimes described as critical digital pedagogy (Rosen & Smale, 2015). OEP is a large topic to unpack in a few minutes but what it means to me is to view course construction through an inclusive lens, co-construct learning with students, build digital literacy skills, and consider when tech is problematic.

What I would like to share with you today is the Medical Terminology Open Educational Resources (MT OER) collaboration project.

  • I am co-creating with a collaborative team (from 8 Ontario Institutions) of SMEs, students, library, ed tech and many others on Open Educational Resources (OER) for Medical Terminology (MT) in context with Introductory Anatomy and Physiology.
    • These customized MT OER are targeted for health office administration (HOA) students and the plan is to replace two paid textbooks with these MT OER
    • Variations of the HOA program is offered at 18 colleges in Ontario and Medical Terminology and Introductory A&P are included in all of them
    • We will publish in the eCampus Ontario Open Library in August for adoption in the Fall semester.
    • To learn more about OER and why it is important to me, visit my blog post here
  • This Means:
    • Students will have resources that are customized to their program of study on the first day of class and at no cost to the student
    • The resources are interactive using PressbooksEDU platform with many formative H5P activities built into each chapter
    • Chapters can be linked individually to weeks in the LMS
    • The H5P activities can be embedded in the LMS for ease of use even before publishing
  • Students are Co-constructing the MT OER:
    • Students started participating in Fall 2019 by making (as low-stakes formative assessment) H5P activities
    • Students (Fall 2019/Winter 2020) edited and gave suggestions for the H5P activities as they were being built
      • Seeking out errors and putting forth corrections
      • Making suggestions such as the audio addition to the dialog cards
    • Students (Conestoga College and Georgian College) continue to collaborate by providing the student perspective on the MT OER, creating formative activities, and reinforcement activities
      • They have put in many hours (part of placement and co-curricular record) and still wish to contribute in the process
    • Future students will continue to co-construct because this is a living textbook to which we can pull back, add to, or publish future modified editions.

Q 2) How did the switch to remote learning impact you? In what ways were you ready to tackle this challenge?

A) Remote learning during a world-wide pandemic is stressful. Decisions need to be made quickly combined with heightened anxiety and stress, this wasn’t, and probably won’t be easy for a while.

  • Feeling somewhat prepared:
    • During the bus strike and prior to remote delivery, I had introduced students to virtual conferencing software, MS TEAMS was already set up in my sections, and students knew how to use it.
    • Students were familiar to experimenting and co-constructing with me.
      • For example, students knew that we were going to use FlipGrid for a scaffold assessment in therapeutic communications. They had to make the adjustment from videotaping their group skit together to using virtual conference software (physically distanced)
      • They exceeded my expectations with their ability to problem solve, find creative and kind solutions to the varying levels of computer access, internet access and schedules among their peers.
    • I have a large personal learning network (PLN) through my involvement with eCampusOntario and OEP both within Conestoga and outside Conestoga.
      • I was able to draw from and sort through the large amounts of information on remote delivery because I was able to leverage trusted contacts in my PLN.
      • I was able to anticipate problems because they were already being discussed in my network. For example, students not having access to internet.
    • The MT OER collaboration team proved invaluable. Since, we teach in the same programs we were able to share problems and solutions specific to our programs. We already had a good working relationship and a MS Team set up so that expedited those conversations.

Interested in being part of my PLN? Follow me on Twitter @Kcarte02

Q3) How has remote teaching led you to re-think your pedagogy and practices? How does this impact the learners in your courses/programs?

A) Remote teaching has reinforced the core values of OPEN and critical digital pedagogy for me. The sudden shift required me to think through the accessibility and inclusivity of my delivery and assessments. Consider which tools I use and which tools (if any) did I need to adjust. I also needed to consider low-tech options for students with limited internet accessibility.

  • Moving forward one of my biggest considerations is the amount of assessments in a course and how efficient and equitable they are they at measuring course outcomes.
  • My re-think will benefit students through:
    • Increased flexibility and choice for how students participate in lessons and complete assessments.
      • offering multiple ways to participate: synchronous and asynchronous lessons including low-tech options for students to participate in courses.
      • Morris & Stommel (n.d) posit that we must have multiple entry points for students to participate in our courses.
    • Using a critical lens to view tech options particularly around assessments
      • heightened awareness regarding privacy concerns
      • building and keeping trust with students through assessment choice
        • A helpful tool for assessing tech is the SECTIONS model (Bates, 2019)

Q4) What advice would you give to others who want to pursue new learning to enhance their use of technology

  1. Model curiosity, experimentation, and innovation and be prepared to make mistakes in front of students.
  2. Be honest with students, that this is something you haven’t tried before and that you will be learning together. Most students are happy to help.
  3. Build time into your lesson plan to work through the tech without grade penalty.
  4. Digital literacy skills might just be the most important skills that you teach your students so build them yourself (JISC, 2018).

References

Bates, T. (2019). Teaching In A Digital Age (2nd ed.). Retrieved May 2020, from https://opentextbc.ca/teachinginadigitalage/part/9-pedagogical-differences-between-media/

JISC. (2018, 09). Developing Digital Literacies. Retrieved from JISC Guides: https://www.jisc.ac.uk/full-guide/developing-digital-literacies

Morris, S. M., & Stommel, J. (n.d.). An Urgency of Teachers. Pressbooks. Retrieved from https://criticaldigitalpedagogy.pressbooks.com

Rosen, J. R., & Smale, M. A. (2015, Jan 1). Open Digital Pedagogy = Critical Pedagogy. Retrieved from Hybrid Pedagogy: https://hybridpedagogy.org/open-digital-pedagogy-critical-pedagogy/

Sharing Resources: What We Can Learn from the Little Neighbourhood Library

Kitchener Ontario: Neighbourhood Little Loaning Library

Today, I had the opportunity to meet with some inspiring individuals. Many like-minded in the concepts of sharing. Sharing in the form of creative commons licensing your work. Through this inspiring exchange a thought crossed my mind and it has been stuck in my head through two more meetings.

What if we promoted licensing our work (faculty created resources) openly with the same concept as those little neighbourhood libraries?
Give One – Take One

In the sudden shift to remote delivery, people in all levels of education have been working collaboratively to ensure students are supported in their studies. This has required efficiencies. Sharing resources is efficient. It takes a heavy workload and disperses it among many people.

Colleagues, like students are overwhelmed with balancing home life, work life and challenging internet stability. If we share the workload we are displaying kindness and empathy not only to our colleagues but by extension to their students.

I know, some of you are going to say that is very altruistic. People, do not want to openly share their work. How will I differentiate myself from others? What if my work isn’t good enough to be put out in the open. Who owns my work and the list goes on and on.

Here is my thought. I think we need to help each other out. It doesn’t have to be huge and require more energy than we can spare. Maybe we share just one thing.

I challenge you to openly license one of your educational creations and share.
Then look for an openly sourced resource you can use.
Give One – Take One

Even better… be the person who stuffs the little neighbourhood library full of books.

Want to take the challenge?
Start Here

Finding Joy in the Creation of OER

Jumping for Joy
Photo by Mohammed Hijas on Unsplash

If you had the opportunity to give each of your students a financial scholarship would you? What if I told you that you could, in the form of open educational resources (OER). Initially, that was my motivation to find and use OER. I recognize that I am gaining so much from the experience and to borrow a sentiment from Marie Kondo, It brings me joy and I am going to keep (doing) it.

In this blog post I will share what I have learned about OER and why I think that they are important to students and to educators. I will interject with questions that I am still pondering and I welcome your participation (in my reflective practice) by commenting below the post. In a series of blog posts I will reflect upon and share my journey exploring Open Educational Pedagogy (OEP).

What are OER?

According to United Nations Education, Science, and Culture Organization (UNESCO) the definition of OER first emerged in 2002 and is defined as:

teaching, learning and research materials in any medium – digital or otherwise – that reside in the public domain or have been released under an open license that permits no-cost access, use, adaptation and redistribution by others with no or limited restrictions.

UNESCO (2019)

Why I was intrigued?

I was initially intrigued by the idea that a textbook could be a living resource, meaning that educators could make corrections, add content and update the textbook regularly. I teach in programs that are part health and part business and it is rare to find resources that match perfectly to the outcomes of my courses. This means that I am continuously editing, adding, and modifying content to ensure course outcomes are met.

Students Challenged by Costs

One of the main challenges with paid textbooks is that students do not have the required resources on the first day of classes. The reasons are complex but often tied to finances. I attended a Textbook Broke campaign and students explained that sometimes they had to choose required textbooks and access codes over groceries, signing their children up for sports, or future courses.

To see more reasons log on to twitter and look for #TextbookBroke

Aren’t Textbooks Part of Education Costs?

I know you might be thinking aren’t textbooks just part of the cost of going to school. Certainly, this has been the accepted practice. I am not suggesting that authors and businesses should not be fairly compensated for intellectual property and production of textbooks. However, it has been reported that textbook costs have out paced inflation significantly and that 65% of students do not purchase textbooks because of it (Del Valle, G, 2019). Is this a problem? I think so. Is this fair? I do not think so. Something to pause and reflect upon.

OER Increase Student Completion Rates

The benefits for students go beyond saving money on textbook costs. The benefit to having the resources the first day of class means that students can engage at the start, stay on top of homework, and course preparation. So it should not be a surprise that this leads to higher course completion rates and we can anticipate higher program completion rates (Skidmore, 2019). This impacts students who may be disadvantaged, marginalized, and first-generation students (Jhangiani, 2018). The notion that OER/OEP can address concerns in regards to equity, diversity and inclusion is certainly worth exploring.

Benefits for Educators

OER do so much more then save students money the curation and creation of OER also benefits educators. Skidmore (2019) found that when faculty are engaged and involved in the process of creating resources it leads to high quality teaching. As I curate and create OER I am realizing that I am deeply engaged with the material. As I work collaboratively with colleagues and students I am challenged to decide what is required, to view from their perspectives and this process is transformative. My courses will now be driven by collaboratively created OER in a different way then paid textbooks have been. My engagement with the material is deeper and my hope is this will be reflected in my teaching and in my student’s learning.

Why Does it Bring Me Joy?

Curating, creating and organizing collaborative OER is hard work and time consuming but it is breathing new life into my teaching practice. The challenges that OER may assist in addressing are exciting and worth exploring. I have had the opportunity to talk to and learn from OER advocates, students, and colleagues at a deep level and this brings me joy. So, I am going to keep (doing) it.

References

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