Open UBC

Open UBC Snapshots: OER Adoption on the Rise

Thanks to the amazing faculty and students, there’s a lot of open educational activities happening at UBC. In an attempt to quantify and explore some of the trends, I, along with some of my colleagues, have tried to dig into some of the nitty gritty details in a new resource published at that I’m calling Open UBC Snapshots.

This first Snapshot attempts to look at how open resources are replacing traditional textbooks and what we found is that the number of UBC students impacted by open resources has doubled in 2016 compared to 2015. A large driver of this trend is the great faculty in the Math Department, who have replaced textbooks with open resources in all first year and most second year courses.

In trying to quantify OER adoptions, it quickly became apparent that much of it is happening below the radar and we’ve tried our best to surface and verify OER adoptions. Largely, there is no real radar for how and which educational resources are used and I suspect that we’ll have missed some very important open practices. If you know of any open resource adoptions at UBC that do not seem to be reflected in the Snapshot, please let me know so we can be as accurate as possible. In the next Snapshot, we’ll move away from resources and examine some of the open practices have long been adopted or are emerging.

You can check our first Snapshot here: Open UBC Snapshots: Textbook Displacements by Open Resources

BCopenEd, Open UBC

Lots of Great Open Education Workshops at ETUG in June

I can’t believe how many great open education workshops are happening in the lower BC mainland in the next month. In addition to the stuff happening on my own campus, the ETUG Spring Workshop takes place on June 12-13th and there are lots of amazing open ed sessions listed on the agenda.

ETUG is the BC Educational Technology Users Group, which is a grassroots community of BC educators that are interested in teaching, learning and ed tech in higher ed. Some of  the open education themed sessions that I’m looking forward to include:

Plus, there will be a poster session, 3D printer demo, and, most importantly, a pub night. There’s also nice parallel thread in both the ETUG Workshop and the CTLT Institute on a “do it yourself” approach (something, for example, that can be seen in the ETUG Keynote by Jentery Sayers on maker cultures or in the CTLT VideoCamp).

BCopenEd, Open UBC

Open Education Related Events at the CTLT Institute

Every spring, the UBC Centre for Teaching, Learning & Technology hosts the CTLT Institute, a series of workshops that share practice and research around teaching, learning and educational technologies. This year, the CTLT Institute takes place from June 3-10, and features 27 workshops led by 44 facilitators from 36 UBC departments and four universities. A number of these workshop are organized around the theme of “opening pedagogies” and relate to different aspects of open education. There are some really amazing speakers and interesting sessions planned, including:

Open Badges, Flexible Pedagogies
Jun 4, 2014, 1:15pm – 2:15pm
Irving K Barber Learning Centre – Fraser River Room 2.27

An open badge is a digital symbol that signifies concrete evidence of accomplishments, skills, qualities, or participation in experiences. It can provide a visual record of a learner’s achievement and development combined with the required proof. Furthermore, instructors and instructional designers can use educational badges to influence engagement and learning through the provision of focused goals, tasks, and affirmation of performance. This interactive session will explore open badges and how they may be used in higher educations. It will also be used to help inform the development of a Flexible Learning-TLEF funded project that will be developing a badge infrastructure and framework at UBC.

Teaching and Learning in the Open: Why/Not?
Jun 5, 2014, 1:15pm – 3:45pm
Irving K Barber Learning Centre – Fraser River Room 2.27

Open education has been much in the news lately in the form of Massive, Open, Online Courses (MOOCs). But there are numerous ways to engage in “open education,” some of them lost in the MOOC-hype of late. In this session we will discuss several ways in which one might make one’s courses more open, ranging from putting course materials online with a license allowing them to be revised and reused, to assigning open texts (those that are free to use, reuse and revise), to inviting people outside the university to participate in one’s on-campus course in limited ways (without making the course into a MOOC). We will also engage in a discussion of the possible upsides and downsides of doing any of these things.

VideoCamp: Let’s Make Some Videos!
Jun 6, 2014, 1:15pm – 4:00pm
Irving K. Barber Learning Centre – Seminar Room 2.22A/B

VideoCamp is an informal, three-part participatory workshop focused on building skills and community for “do It yourself” (DIY) style media creation at UBC. We’ll strap on our hiking boots and backpacks and set out together to explore the ins-and-outs of creating effective educational videos. Come share your own projects and ideas as we take a hands-on look at principals, techniques, and best practices for self-created media. Inspire and be inspired as we play with different tools and look at some available resources for creating videos without large budgets.

Student as Producers: Enhancing Student Learning Through Meaningful Participation
Jun 9, 2014, 1:15pm – 3:45pm
Irving K. Barber Learning Centre – Seminar Room 2.22A/B

The student as producer pedagogical model emphasizes the role of the student as collaborators in the production of knowledge. In this model, the university’s approaches to learning and research are closer aligned; for example, students, similar to researchers, are asked to share their work with others and not only with their immediate instructor or advisor. This session will examine both how educators and technologies can support learners’ in their role as active participants in their learning. We will hear from educators and academic leaders at the University of British Columbia and Vanderbilt University.

Be sure to check out the full listing for more information, including speaker bios. Registration for these events are free.

Creative Commons, Open UBC

The Library & Open Education: Updates on Good Stuff at UBC

One of the trends at UBC that I’m excited about is the increasing support of the UBC Library for open education. I wanted to call attention to a couple of updates on the open front that are coming from the Library. First, the UBC Scholarly Communications and Copyright Office has posted new copyright guidelines for open courses and OER.  As the introduction to the guidelines state:

To create and preserve knowledge in a way that opens and facilitates the dissemination of knowledge to the world, UBC instructors are encouraged to utilize Creative Commons licenses, digital repositories and other open access channels to distribute their teaching materials broadly. These guidelines are intended to help instructors and course support teams make responsible use of third-party copyrighted materials in courses or in educational resources that will be shared openly on the Internet.

I think this is an important resource (disclosure: I was part of a group that helped review/draft the guidelines) as instructors are often worried that by embracing open pedagogies and open courses, they will run afoul of copyright laws. In my experience, the opposite is true, those instructors who are embracing open are often much more knowledgable and compliant about their copyright footprint than those behind firewalls. However, being able to point to a clear resource on how copyright works on the open Internet is a great first step to pre-empting copyright concerns for open education. Even better, the resource clearly states the Copyright Office’s commitment for providing direct support for navigating the various shades of copyright grey in teaching in the open.  Related, the Copyright Office has also published a general guide on Creative Commons.

Another update is from UBC’s institutional repository, cIRcle. In cIRcle, users already have the ability to select and attach a Creative Commons License to their work thus stipulating how others can share, remix, or reuse their work. However, the folks over at cIRcle recently released version 2.0 of their standard license that users grant to the repository for the purpose of archiving their content. For the first time, the license (pdf):

will provide re-use rights. The Re-use rights spell out the conditions under which people who find your work in cIRcle are allowed to re-use that work. This Creative Commons license is known as the Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs, or CC BY-NC-ND license.”

By baking in reuse rights directly into the new license, the folks at cIRcle are clearly highlighting the value of UBC’s intellectual output and underscoring how the institutional repository is also an OER repository.

Too often the conversation about open education is “why open?”, not “why not open?” The Library, though, is working to shift that outlook.
Library Icon by Pieter J. Smits from the Noun Project; CC-BY-3.0