Category Archives: Open Education

Maximizing UVic Libraries eBooks for Students

eTextbooks for Students (2022-2023)

We are continuing with UVic Libraries pilot project, started in fall 2021, to track the use of library licensed electronic books assigned in courses for the spring 2022-23 academic term. The eTextbooks project supports access and affordability efforts that are important to student success. The website lists the ebooks by title, Course number, term, and Instructors’ last name.

This project complements the Libraries’ advocacy efforts around open education resources (OER) and aligns with its Strategic Directions. Our OER initiative includes an annual offering of OER grants, cross-campus collaborations with Learning Teaching Support & Innovation, the Bookstore, and the Undergraduate Student Union (UVSS). The project gave us the opportunity to scan the university landscape to determine the extent to which the Libraries’ licensed resources were being used at all levels of course work. The Libraries’ expanded ebook collection allows instructors to assign quality course materials, while providing affordable solutions for students.

With the assistance of our Young Canada Works intern, Liam McParland, we identified 280 total titles used in 394 courses during the fall and spring terms. We searched the University Bookstore’s textbook catalog to identify titles adopted by instructors. In adopting the Libraries licensed resources for their courses, we believe instructors saved UVic students a total of $794,469 and in doing so created high impact for students’ access and affordability to a quality education. These savings improve students’ access to affordable, quality education and is closely aligned with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals #4.

sdg-4

CALL TO ACTION:

FACULTY: Lets us know if you are using an open textbook or a UVic Libraries licensed resources for you course this academic year.

STUDENTS: Let us know if you are accessing an open textbook or library licensed resources for your course!

Mobilize Your Knowledge!: An Introduction to Creating Open Textbooks using Pressbooks

Presenter: Liam McParland (University of Victoria)

Are you a UVic faculty member who is interested in creating/adapting and disseminating accessible educational resources? This workshop will introduce you to Pressbooks – an open source, online authoring and publishing platform.

By the end of the workshop, you will be able to:

    • Create and build an e-text
  • Create accessible headings, tables, and footnotes
  • Insert accessible media into your material

When: Wednesday, December 7, 2022
Time: 2:30pm – 3:30pm (Pacific Time – US & Canada)

This is an online event. Event URL will be sent via registration email.

UVic Open Education Resource Grant – CFP

The University of Victoria provides grants for the purpose of the adoption, adaptation or development of Open Educational Resources (OERs), with the aim of replacing existing textbooks or other types of educational resources that can be prohibitively expensive. Ideally, the completed OERs will be useable not just at UVic, but other post-secondary institutions.

Open Educational Resource (OER) Grants are offered as a partnership between UVic Libraries (Libraries) and the Division of Learning and Teaching Support and Innovation (LTSI), with invaluable support from the 2020 BCcampus OE Sustainability Grant, as well as the Division of Student Affairs, the University of Victoria Students’ Society (UVSS) and University Systems.

About the Grant

Grant Deadline: January 31, 2023

OTESSA Conference – Call for Proposals

The Open/Technology in Education, Society, & Scholarship Association (OTESSA) has announced our Call for Proposals/Papers:

Where:            Both online and in-person (hosted by York University in Toronto). You get to pick your preference for how you wish to participate!

When:             Between May 27-June 2, 2023 (modes of dates to be announced)

SUBMIT:         OTESSA Conference Website

DEADLINE:    Proposals are due November 15, 2022

We welcome you to read our latest blog post announcing our Call for Proposals/Papers and our co-chairs and local coordinator.

#OTESSA23 Call for Proposals Flyer [PDF] – Please post and distribute

We look forward to seeing you there, online or in person!

Sincerely,

The OTESSA Conference Organizing Team
conference@otessa.org

OER events at UVic

Let’s Talk About Teaching 2022 | August 30- September 1, 2022

Hosted by the Division of Learning and Teaching Support and Innovation (LTSI), this year’s Let’s Talk about Teaching event focuses on connecting and building relationships.

There are four sessions on OER.

Our Journeys Developing Open Education Resources for Math Courses

Presenters: Trefor Bazett, Jane Butterfield, and Chris Eagle, Mathematics & Statistics

Summary: We are the recipients of three Open Education Resource (OER) LTSI grants in the Department of Mathematics & Statistics to work on three projects, two of which are online textbooks and one a review package. In this talk we will share our objectives for these projects and what our journeys have been thus far, bumps in the road included! We will share some of the cool elements made possible by technology such as having interactive websites for the projects with embedded problems, videos, and animations. Read more

Tuesday, August 30th

10:15am – 10:45am

Location: Online

Register Here

Create Materials with Students: Making Questions

Presenter: Lijun Zhang, Economics

Summary: This session introduces one assignment to:

1) encourage and facilitate active learning by students and

2) create more questions and build up a test bank, accumulating and updating an ORE resource sustainably.

One challenge of using OER is the lack of good facilitating resources. As instructors, we want the materials to be update-to-date and interesting to students. At the same time, flipping a classroom and inducing active learning has been proven effective if done appropriately. Read more

Tuesday, August 30th

12:30am – 1:00pm

Location: Online

Register Here

Day 2

Open Education Resources (OER) in Action: A Panel Discussion

Location: HHD 128

Presenters: Inba Kehoe, Head Copyright & Scholarly Communications, Gayle Palas and Jeff Baxter, Technology Integrated Learning (LTSI)

Panelists: Chris Eagle, Mathematics and Statistics, Loren Gaudet, Academic and Technical Writing Program,  Michael Paskevicius, Curriculum & Instruction, Inba Kehoe, Head Copyright & Scholarly Communications

Summary:  Are you curious to learn more about OER and how other educators are incorporating them into their practice? Join us for a robust conversation with current practitioners and subject matter experts on getting started with OER, keeping momentum, pedagogical considerations, and accessibility and inclusion. We will discuss what makes OER unique, the associated benefits for instructors and students, and share resources to support you in your OER journey.

Wednesday, August 31st

10:45am – 12:00pm

Register Here

About Loren Gaudet
About Chris Eagle
About Inba Kehoe
About Michael Paskevicius

Day 3

The Anti-Racism and Decolonial Potential of Open-Source Writing Textbooks

Presenters: Sara Humphreys, Academic and Technical Writing Program

Summary:  I had the good fortune to lead a team that built an LTSI-funded, open source textbook for The Academic and Technical Writing Program titled Why Write?: A Guide for Students in Canada. What makes this OER special is not just that it’s specifically designed for first-year composition courses in Canada; it explicitly takes into account anti-racist pedagogy, needs of Indigenous students, and Canadian perspectives while building upon the latest research and developments in the field of Rhetoric, Composition, and Writing Studies. Read more

Thursday, September 1st

2:45pm – 3:30pm

Location: HHD 110

Register Here

UVic OER Grants – Spring 2022 Awards

What are open Education Resources (OERs)?

“Open Educational Resources are 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.”[1]

OER Grants

UVic’s OER grant was established in 2019 with funding from the UVic Undergraduate Student Society, UVic Libraries, the Division of Learning, Teaching, Support and Innovation (LTSI), and UVic Systems. The LTSI, Libraries, and UVSS administer the grants. The grant provides funding of up to $7,500 along with staff support to help faculty members redesign a course to adopt, adapt or create open textbooks or other OER as their primary course material.

We congratulate the 2022 spring grant award winners:

  • Sara Humphreys, Academic and Technical Writing Program (ATWP)
    The Why Write Project: An Anti-Racist Writing Guide for Instructors and Students at the University of Victoria ($7,500)
  • Alexandra (Sasha) Kovacs, Department of Theatre
    Theatre Artist Interview and Reflection Podcast: Theatre History IV Companion Podcast ($7,297)
  • Adam Krawitz, Department of Psychology
    decidables: Explorable Explanations of Decision Making ($3,531)
  • Lijun Zhang, Department of Economics
    Adaptation of OpenStax Textbook in Econ 104: Canadian Contents ($7,477)

Open Education Week 2022: March 7-11

Open Education Week 2022 is being held internationally from March 7-11. It is celebrated every year as a community-built forum to raise awareness and highlight innovative Open Education successes worldwide. It was first launched by Open Education Global in 2012.

OE Week gives practitioners, educators, and students the chance to learn more about open educational practices and be inspired by the amazing work that is being done by the community across the world.

What is Open Education?

According to a definition from Opensource.com, Open Education is a philosophy about how individuals should generate, distribute, and build on knowledge. Open education advocates believe that everyone around the globe should have access to excellent educational experiences and materials, and they strive to remove obstacles to that aim. High monetary costs, outdated or expired resources and legal restrictions that limit collaboration between students and educators are examples of such hurdles. A collection of different definitions of Open Education can be found here.

Which core concepts behind Open Education bring the idea to life?

  • Open Educational Resources (OER) are learning, teaching, and sometimes research resources that have been published under an open license (such as Creative Commons) or that are part of the public domain. No technological or copyright-related barriers should exist to freely reuse, revise, remix, retain, and redistribute OERs (the 5Rs).
    While the roots of OER reach back further, the term was established during a UNESCO forum in 2002. To this day, UNESCO remains one of the most important contributors to the evolution of OER and has issued its Recommendation on Open Educational Resources, which is the world’s only international framework for establishing norms in this field. Promoting Open Education, especially OER, is also part of UNESCO’s efforts to meet the United Nations Sustainability Goals. Find the UNESCO definition for OER and detailed information on their commitment in that area here.

  • Open Pedagogy is a concept that aims to open up the entire teaching, learning, and study experience, not only through the use of OERs but also by challenging established methods of knowledge creation. By using dynamic, open, and innovative methods, students, hand-in-hand with instructors, liberate themselves from the role of passive consumers of lectured “chalk and talk” content and become an active part of the educational process, for example by creating a textbook together with their instructor over the course of a semester.
    It is important to note that the Open Education movement did not
    invent alternative pedagogical approaches but can draw on many groundbreakers in this area. What is new in this context are the chosen methods and the strong association with the Open philosophy.

What are Indigenous perspectives on Open Education? Which resources address the relationship between Indigenous ways of Teaching, Learning and Knowing and Open Education?

Indigenous ways of knowledge building and sharing can be fundamentally different from Western approaches. The desire to (re)open access to knowledge and education for all only emerges from a predicament created by a Western claim to education and educational resources as a potentially marketable good and means of gaining distinction and power, which may not necessarily be found in Indigenous practices around knowledge creation, retention, and sharing.

The white paper Community First: Open Practices and Indigenous Knowledge by Skylee-Storm Hogan and Krista McCracken offers a first perspective on the relationship between Open Education and Indigenous Knowing and emphasizes that this relationship needs to be reflected on more, as the Open Education movement gathers momentum around the world.

UBC hosted The 6R’s of Indigenous OER: Re-imagining OER to Honour Indigenous Knowledge and Sovereignty, an online talk about the relation of Indigenous Knowledge Systems and OER on March 10 as part of OE Week. Find the recording of that session here.

Pulling Together: A Guide for Curriculum Developers by Asma-na-hi Antoine, Rachel Mason, Roberta Mason, Sophia Palahicky, and Carmen Rodriguez de France is a companion on the Indigenization of curricula and other educational contexts, that was developed as a collaboration between Royal Roads University, University of Victoria, and Arrive Consulting. It is part of the Pulling Together series, a set of professional learning guides stemming from a project on the Indigenization of post-secondary institutions in B.C.
The series is available as OER in the BCcampus Open Textbook Collection, each in a variety of formats.

What role does Open Education play in the UVic community?

Awareness of and advocacy for Open Education is widespread among stakeholders on UVic Campus.

  • An overview of Open Education and Open Educational Resources (OER) is being provided by the Office of Scholarly Communications at Uvic Libraries. 
  • UVic awards OER grants, to foster the adoption, adaptation or creation of Open Educational Resources (OERs). The aim is to replace existing textbooks or other educational resources with OERs that will be useable not just at UVic, but other post-secondary institutions, bringing down prohibitive barriers like high cost along the way.
  • The University of Victoria Student’s Society (UVSS) is providing a template for an advocacy letter, ready to be sent out to professors and lecturers to inform them about the benefits of OER. Read more about the initiative here.

Where can resources around Open Education be found?

Events for Open Education Week

The OE Week website lists a large number of events being organized around the globe
Events hosted in BC, sometimes with a provincial focus, are being listed on the BC Campus website. Some archived events of note include:

This blogpost was created adapting material from the following sources, which are licensed under a Creative Commons license:

UVic OER Grants – Spring 2021 Awards

What are open Education Resources (OERs)?

“Open Educational Resources are 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.”[1]

OER Grants

UVic’s OER grant was established in 2019 with funding from the UVic Undergraduate Student Society, UVic Libraries, the Division of Learning, Teaching, Support and Innovation (LTSI), and UVic Systems. The LTSI, Libraries, and UVSS administer the grants. The grant provides funding of up to $7,500 along with staff support to help faculty members redesign a course to adopt, adapt or create open textbooks or other OER as their primary course material.

Proposals were evaluated based on the following five criteria:

  1. The quality of the project goals and motivation;
  2. The potential impact on UVic students in terms of cost-savings and learning based on the cost of educational materials being replaced, class sizes, as well as possible employment of research assistants (RAs) for the project;
  3. Their potential impact on student learning and the student experience in the form of high-quality materials, and open and innovative pedagogy;
  4. Overall alignment with the UVic strategic framework;
  5. Long-term plans to reuse the OER in courses in subsequent terms;
  6. The extent to which the OER will be freely and openly shared throughout and beyond UVic (e.g., through BCcampus);
  7. The feasibility of the plan and time frame: will the OER be ready within a reasonable time frame, preferably ready for the following winter or spring term?
  8. Logical alignment of the budget with the work to be undertaken.

We congratulate the spring 2021 grant recipients:

  • Valerie Irvine and Michael Paskevicius, Department of Curriculum & Instruction/Educational Technology

Internet Radio for Open Community Engagement

Audio in open education has a long history, starting with early radio, then podcasts, and, more recently, audio-only streams on social media (e.g., Twitter Spaces). This project will install internet radio software to engage learners and the broader global community in our teaching and learning.

  • Thirumarai Chelvan IIamparithi, Electrical & Computer Engineering

Creating an open textbook for ECE365 (Applied Electronics and Electrical Machines) course.

ECE365 course introduces some important aspects of electrical engineering to mechanical and biomedical engineering students. There are no open textbooks for such a course. The existing textbooks are prohibitively expensive. Moreover, their contents are not up to date. Therefore, the project aims to create an open textbook for the course.

  • Gerry Ferguson, Law

Global Corruption: Law, Theory and Practice textbook

This project is designed to assist in the creation of a new and expanded open textbook entitled “Global Corruption: Law, Theory and Practice.” The new version contains three new chapters, updates and revisions to the twelve existing chapters, and new expert authors for ten of the fifteen chapters.

  • Sara Humphreys and Erin Kelly, Academic and Technical Writing Program

Why Write?: A Guide for Advanced Student Researchers in Canada

A team comprising experts in writing studies at the University of Victoria has made notable progress in the past year on an OER designed to support students in first-year academic writing courses. While this open source textbook titled Why Write?: A Guide for Students in Canada speaks to broad concerns about reading, writing, and research, it has become clear that there is a pressing need for an additional OER tailored for advanced academic writers, specifically UVic honours and graduate students.

The project below is funded through BCcampus Sustainability Grant received by UVic Libraries

  • Michael Paskevisius and Valerie Irvine, Curriculum & Instruction/Educational Technology

Uvic Open Hub Community Development

This project will hire students to develop the UVic Open Hub, a community of practice for undergraduates, graduates, and faculty interested in adopting open practices in teaching and research. This supplements a proposal shortlisted for the UVic Strategic Framework Impact Fund with partners from Education, Libraries, LTSI, UVSS, and Systems.