OPEN 9600: Open ED Policy and Leadership, Assignment 4.4.

Assignment Instructions:

In this assignment, we are asked to blog about our views on the role of collaboration in sustaining open education. By drawing on examples from our own experiences and supporting the writing through examples from course content, readings, videos, and forum discussion (forum discussion examples are noted as personal communications)

The Role of Collaboration in Sustaining Open Education

There are many examples of collaboration in open education, ranging from grassroots, such as open calls to write open educational resources (OER) collaboratively, to top-down examples, such as open policy made explicit in strategic plans (Czerniewicz, 2021. Carson, 2020). Collaboration requires support in the form of funding, such as virtual learning strategy (VLS) funding via eCampus Ontario, institutional support through funded OER creation, adaptation, and adoption and integration into courses that includes release time, short-term contracts, and wrap-around support for editing and publishing. Tlili (2020) noted that participants viewed a positive and transformational outcome when there was an institutional commitment to support collaboration. Collaboration has the potential to sustain open education, but only if that collaboration is supported financially.

My Experiences in Collaboration

I have led, supported, and participated in many multi-institutional Open Educational Resources (OER) creation projects, which led to long-term collaborations. For example, members from the original collaboration team for Building a Medical Terminology Foundation OER came back to collaborate and develop Therapeutic Communication for Health Care Administrators’ digital text and companion game simulations. A collaboration for the second edition of the first OER is now underway, based on a remixed version of the original OER. When funding is unavailable, we use components of a community model used by FemTechNet and share workload and costs across institutions (deLanghen, 2018). For example, the creators who developed Global Value Supply Chain used this approach, with the two creators supported by their institutions, working together and with facilitated integration into one OER. I recommend this approach to faculty considering adapting or developing new creations. Taking on a large project in isolation can be daunting, and working with others produces higher-quality resources. Czerniewicz (2021) suggests that when you write collaboratively, you build a community, have accountability to others, and the project remains high on the priority list. There are many positive reasons to work collaboratively on supported OPEN projects.

Challenges to Collaboration

Anyone involved in collaborative project work knows the challenges of keeping a project within scope and on time. Collaboration on open projects is no different. I wonder if they are more challenging since many open projects rely on funding, often with short timelines. Utilizing a community model means there must be time allocated to consensus building, and often the funding due dates do not allow for the time it takes to build consensus well. deLanghen (2018) found that community building was an essential part of keeping open education sustainable because it connected the values of open with the needs of stakeholders.

In this course, we discussed how open collaboration means viewing collaboration from a social justice lens, asking us to examine our practices critically and determine who has been excluded from our open projects and how we can be inclusive moving forward (personal communications, 2023). Open collaboration as defined in our course material, means more people and diverse people are included in the project (de Langen, 2018). The feminist ideology used by community groups such as FemTechNet works toward making the invisible visible and ensuring equity in workload (deLanghen, 2018). Open collaboration requires funds to ensure people are fairly compensated for their work, form partnerships with other institutions, and allow time for consensus building and recruitment of diverse perspectives.

Open collaboration does not guarantee adoption. It is essential that before writing starts, learning outcomes are agreed upon, matched to the course outlines from participating institutions, and that the people who make the decisions on adopting course materials are included in the project decisions (personal communication, 2023). Measuring the impact of OER development through adoption for the funders of OER projects is a challenge. Wepukhulu, 2021 noted in her interview that the platform used for the African Storybook project could not measure downloads. Since the storybooks are free, it is challenging to track how many children read them (Wepukhulu, 2021). Much like Wepukhulu (2021) noted, we do not have effective ways to report and measure OER adoptions because they are free for students, usage stats are not calculated through sales, and much of that work is done manually.


Supported collaboration has the potential to sustain open education but it is not without its challenges. Sustainable funding models that go beyond one-time lump sum support, include impact measurement tools and compensate people fairly from conception to adoption including integration into courses, will lead to the greatest chance for long-term sustainability. From my humble view, It will be important for open community groups to work collaboratively when advocating for funding models in the same way that they collaboratively generate content.


Ahmed Tlili, Fabio Nascimbeni, Daniel Burgos, Xiangling Zhang, Ronghuai Huang, Ting-Wen Chang. (2020) The evolution of sustainability models for Open Educational Resources: insights from the literature and experts. Interactive Learning Environments 0:0 pages 1-16.

Carson, B.T., (2020). Breaking barriers: understanding and removing barriers to OER use. Royal Roads University

de Langen, F. (2018). Sustainability of Open Education Through Collaboration. The International Review of Research in Open and DistributedLearning,19(5).

Wepukhulu, D. (2021) African Storybook: Interview with Dorcas Wepukhulu. [Video]. OPEN ED 9600: Open Ed Policy in Leadership. Activity 3.2, Kwantlen Polytechnic University.

Stranger-Johannessen, E., Doherty, L., & Norton, B. (2018). The African Storybook and Storybooks Canada: Digital Stories for Linguistically Diverse Children. Language and Literacy, 20(3), Article 3

This post is licenced CC-BY-NC-SA unless otherwise noted.

OPEN 9400: Open Educational Technologies

I am now in Week 2 of OPEN 9400: Open Educational Technologies. This is one of three electives in KPU’s Professional Program in Open Education. I chose this course because this topic is not a strength of mine. My work in OER has been largely on end-user-friendly programs built for people who don’t code.

You can’t work in OPEN or even live in our current technology-saturated world without realizing how little we understand about the long-term implications of not understanding what goes on behind the applications (that we use daily) on our long-term viability as individuals or as a people. I mean, it is all doom and gloom, right? If you believe the hype, Artificial Intelligence (AI) will take over. I suspect it will change how we live, work, and educate. I mean, it already has. Don’t worry, I didn’t use ChatGpt to write this blog post, but I could have. So, with that in mind, I thought this was a good elective to take.

2.4 Assessment: The Bigger Picture

In this first assignment, we are asked to reflect on two weeks of personal reflections, course readings and a list of questions. We are to consider the bigger picture, including the social, community, and sustainability of open educational technologies.

The open software I primarily use to develop Open Educational Resources (OER) is Pressbooks and H5P, either with the Pressbooks plug-in or eCampus Ontario H5P studio. This blog post is written using the WordPress application on Domain of One’s Own. As the Reclaim Hosting site described, “Domain of One’s Own is a fully-featured Reclaim Package for your Team, Organization, or Institution.”

These applications are free open-source software (FOSS) which means that the code is available to be distributed, adapted, and fix bugs by anyone who wants and has the ability to do so (Wilson, n.d). Wilson (n.d) proposes that making code open source increases profiles, frees up resources for improvements, and is one way to expand quickly into the market. Aside from those benefits, companies make money by offering various support options for content developers like me or for institutions that would prefer to pay a subscription fee rather than in-house tech support (Thé, 2016). 

What all of the FOSS (that I use) have in common is that I was introduced to them through eCampus Ontario initiatives. eCampus Ontario is the Ontario Online Learning Consortium, a non-profit funded by Ontario institutions to advance technology in education and digital learning environments (eCampus Ontario, 2023). They are supported at least in part by eCampus Ontario, my own institution, and I pay a small fee for the Domain each year.

What I like about Pressbooks, H5P, and WordPress is that they are easy to use for people with little to no experience with coding. Khale (2008) proposed five open technology design principles: access, agency, ownership, participation, and experience. Since the applications are easy to use, they meet the design principles of access, and I enjoy using them, so my experience as an end-user is pleasant. Since I am able to develop my own content and share it with others, I have agency in what I create and ownership as I choose the creative commons license that I apply to my OER creations. I am able to use the technologies with other faculty and learners, and so they also meet the design principle of participation.

eCampus Ontario regularly asks for participation and feedback on the new technologies they support. Engagement with the community occurs through conferences, webinars, and surveys. They offer pilot programs where institutions can have limited supported licenses for trial use. Then feedback is sought before a member institution decides on a purchase. Support is provided to educators and institutions in implementation, use, and feedback.

I am fortunate to live in Ontario and have a consortium such as eCampusOntario that supports individuals and institutions with FOSS applications. I think a level of sustainability is provided by introducing FOSS applications, supporting their implementation in institutions, and consulting with the community on what is needed.


eCampus Ontario (2023) About eCampusOntario: committed to the evolution of teaching and learning. eCampus Ontario.

Khale (2008). Designing Open Educational Technology, Opening Up Education: The Collective Advancement of Education through Open Technology, Open Content, and Open Knowledge pp. 27 – 75 Opening Up Education: The Collective Advancement of Education through Open Technology, Open Content, and Open Knowledge (

Thé, D (2016). What is Open Source? Your phone probably runs it! (with LEGO). [YouTube Video file].

Wilson, S. (n.d) Open Source in higher education: how far have we come? The Guardian Open source in higher education: how far have we come? | Universities | The Guardian

This blog post is licensed CC-BY-NC-SA

Open Education Resources & Pedagogies OPEN 9200

6.4 Assessment: Multimedia

I am a little late blogging out this final assignment reflection for OPEN 9200, but it is December and better late than never, right?

This is the second course in KPU’S Professional Program in Open Education. The OPEN 9200 course was developed by Dr. Karen Cangialosi and facilitated by Dr. Carlos C. Goller. I am grateful to learn from such experienced leaders in Open Education.

In this final reflective assignment, we were required to create a 10-minute recorded presentation in a digital format on open science, open data, or open access.

Inspired by Autumn Wade’s Monday Dose of Sunshine events, I created a journaling activity for the assessment. Autumn facilitates journaling events most Mondays, they are free, and I find them an energizing way to start the week. I created a PowerPoint presentation, recorded it using Screencast-O-Matic, uploaded it to YouTube, and adjusted the captions.

Participate in the Journaling Activity by Watching the Video Below

The video and the slides are licensed CC-BY-NC-SA so feel free to re-purpose them for your context.


Bothello, J. & Roulet, T.J. (2018) The Imposter Syndrome, or the Mis-Representation of Self in Academic Life. Journal of Management Studies. Wiley Online Library

Nielson, M. (2011) Open science: Michael Nielsen at TEDxWaterloo. TedxTalks

What is Open Data (2021) What is Open Data? The Open Data Handbook. The Open Knowledge Foundation.