Author Archives: Will

Questions & Answers

I recently had the opportunity to be interviewed by my colleagues on the CTLT Indigenous Initiatives team around the intersections of open and Indigenization, Wikipedia, and more:

How did you become interested in learning about Indigenous engagement, specifically connecting to your own role at CTLT?

I have had the opportunity to work with great colleagues on the CTLT Indigenious Initiatives team as well as with UBC faculty and scholars engaged in this area – I’ve learned a lot and have been challenged, in the best way, by being asked such critical questions as “What does open education mean when it is practiced on unceded territory?”.

There are often tensions within open – for example, a large component of open education is grounded in the use of open copyright licenses, such as those developed by Creative Commons, that can give legal permission for the reuse and modification of materials and resources that have those licenses. Such open licenses are not apart from copyright but work within it; however, copyright law is often based on settler colonial legal frameworks which can be in conflict with traditional knowledge and ways of knowing as well as with community and cultural protocols.

Read the full interview…

New UBC OER Fund Launched

I’m very excited to see the launch of UBC’s new OER Fund. The Office of the Provost has committed $250,000 in annual funding for the next four years to support:

  • The adoption, adaptation or creation of open educational resources which address affordability and access to learning resources within UBCV credit-based courses.
  • Course enhancements using open educational resources, including assessment materials.
  • Activities and events that seek to engage the UBCV community in increasing awareness and capacity for supporting open educational resources.

The UBC Vancouver OER Fund was established through the UBC Academic Excellence Fund to support affordable and inclusive access to learning materials through the adaption, adoption, development, and integration of open educational resources in UBC credit courses.

The OER Fund consists of two grant pathways:

  1. OER Rapid Innovation Grants: Grants of up to $1,000 which are available to the UBC community for innovative activities that increase open educational resources development, awareness and capacity building. The application cycle for this pathway will be available on a rolling basis until the funds allocated each year are exhausted.
  2. OER Implementation Grants: Grants of up to $25,000 for UBCV faculty who wish to incorporate open educational resources as the primary materials into their UBCV credit courses.

The UBC OER Fund is guided by the following principles:

  • Increase the creation, adaptation, adoption and integration of high-quality open educational resources, including assessment materials, in UBC credit courses.
  • Reduce student costs for learning materials and assessments.
  • Enable instructors to modify, edit, or adapt high-quality open educational resources to fit their unique specifications and goals in order to help provide meaningful, contextualized learning materials for UBC students.
  • Engage with the UBC community to increase awareness of open educational resources.
  • Grow capacity at UBC to support and sustain open educational resources activities.

To learn more, application forms, criteria, and support for both grants are available at http://open.ubc.ca/oer-fund.

UBC Senate Endorses Principles for Learning Materials Used for Assessment

At their May 2019 meeting, the UBC Senate endorsed principles for digital learning materials used for assessment. The principles attempt to address affordability of compulsory materials, student agency and support for open resources and platforms. The endorsement of the principles contribute to UBC’s continued strategic support for open resources.

Read the full principles at the Open UBC site.

Examples of Open Scholarship

Open Scholarship is an umbrella term that encompasses some of the commonalities found in open education, open research, open access publishing, etc. Here’s a list of some examples of open scholarship:

  • scholarly outputs such as educational resources, research findings, software, data, etc., made openly available and shared free of access barriers
  • application of open copyright licenses, such as Creative Commons or GNU gpl licenses, to encourage reuse of created outputs
  • use of existing open education resources, open source software, open data, or open platforms
  • transparency and openness in scholarly processes and practices (e.g. open pedagogies, research methods, course design or development processes, etc)
  • use of open access publishing, open code repositories, open scholarly or educational repositories to facilitate reuse
  • collaboration with students as scholarly partners who have agency to be creators or share their work openly
  • adoption of inclusive and accessible practices
  • involvement in open government initiatives
  • advocacy for open scholarship and open sharing of scholarly outputs and practices

Significant Use of Open Resources at UBC

In 2018, UBC published a new Strategic Plan that articulated the intention to expand the creation and dissemination of open educational resources as well as recognized the contributions that UBC faculty, student and staff have made in this area.

These contributions have had a significant impact: in academic year 2018, an estimated 15,388 students were impacted by courses using open resources in place of paid textbooks or readings. This replacement of traditional textbooks with open resources has potentially saved UBC students an estimated $1.5 to $2.3 million dollars this academic year. The wide diversity of UBC open education initiatives and efforts, from strong AMS advocacy and innovative instructor efforts to increased strategic support and funding, is helping to ensure that the adoption and use of open resources continues to be a significant practice at UBC.

Read my full report here…

Looking Ahead: 2019 Open Education Conferences

There’s a lot of great semi-local open education conferences in 2019 and I’ve started a list of them here:

2019 Open Education Related Conferences

CNIE

  • Website: https://cnie2019.arts.ubc.ca/
  • Conference Stream: Open Horizons: Open textbook, education, pedagogy and research
  • Conference Dates: May 21-24, 2019
  • Call for Proposals Deadline: December 15, 2018
  • Location: UBC-Vancouver

2019 Cascadia Open Education Summit (BCcampus)

ETUG 25th Anniversary

OpenCon Cascadia

OpenEd 2019



CC-BY button.png This resource is shared under a CC-BY 4.0 International License.

source: https://wiki.ubc.ca/List_of_2019_Open_Education_Conferences

Open Snippets

It looks like the 2018 AMS Academic Experience Survey (AES) has officially been published and one interesting finding is that 86% of undergrad respondents reported that they have used open educational resources in lieu of textbooks at least once.

The Ubyssey covers the expanding conversation around the affordability of learning materials, including the cost of online assessment materials, and mentions open educational resources as having a role to play in possible mitigation strategies.

Meanwhile, OpenCon 2018 will be in Toronto this year — OpenCon is an international open ed, open data, open access event for students and “early career” professionals. Interested folks have to apply to be able to attend as they attempt to “bring together a diverse, representative, and engaged group of participants, with travel scholarships available to most participants”.

Open as a TLEF Priority Focus

UBC-Vancouver’s Teaching and Learning Enhancement Fund (TLEF) was created in 1991 to enrich student learning by supporting innovative and effective educational enhancements.

Starting in the 2017/2018 cycle, a priority focus on the development or integration of open educational resources (OER) was added to the criteria for new proposals. Furthermore, eligibility requirements were also added that specifically stated that funded projects are encouraged to openly license their developed materials under an appropriate Creative Commons license to allow for broad sharing within and beyond UBC.

Open UBC Image

Approximately 25% of the 2017/2018 TLEF funded projects had an explicit open strategy. In the 2018/2019 cycle, more than 39 percent of the TLEF funded projects incorporated strategies around open resources or practices.

The TLEF is Funded By Students

The TLEF is financed through a portion of the student tuition paid to UBC Vancouver. According to the 2016 AMS Student Experience Survey (pdf), nearly 75% of students have not bought a course text due to cost at least once and 37% reported. Access to educational materials is an important topic for students as they often or frequently go without textbooks or resources due to cost. Open educational resources and practices can help close those access barriers.

Examples of Open Education Projects Funded by the TLEF

Please visit the UBC TLEF site for a complete list of TLEF funded projects.

This post was adapted from the TLEF and Open Education Poster presented at the TLEF Showcase. The original poster can be downloaded here.