Category Archives: Open textbooks

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

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.

New Title: Cultivating Feminist Choices

Cultivating Feminist Choices: A FEminiSTSCHRIFT in Honor of Ruth-Ellen Boetcher Joeres edited by Brigetta M. Abel, Nicole Grewling, Beth Ann Muellner, and Helga Thorson is a new release published by the University of Victoria. It can be downloaded for free on UVicSpace: https://dspace.library.uvic.ca/handle/1828/13021 or purchased from the UVic bookstore: https://www.uvicbookstore.ca/general/browse/uvic+publications/9781550586794


This book is a Festschrift in honor of Ruth-Ellen Boetcher Joeres, written by several former graduate students, whom she supervised over her years as professor of German Studies at the University of Minnesota, and some of her colleagues and collaborators. The book pays tribute to Joeres’s influence on the German Studies profession as well as to her influence on the contributors’ lives and the feminist choices they have made. Dr. Joeres is known for her feminist scholarly contributions to women’s writing in the eighteenth and nineteenth century, including her book Respectability and Deviance: Nineteenth-Century German Women Writers and the Ambiguity of Representation (U of Chicago Press, 1998), and her collaborative feminist editing practices as editor of both Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society and the Women in German Yearbook.”Together with Angelika Bammer, she edited a volume On the Future of Scholarly Writing: Critical Interventions (Palgrave MacMillan, 2015) that navigates the terrain of academic writing practices and calls for a focus not only on what scholars write but on how they write it. Because of her critical interventions in the realm of academia in general and feminist studies and German studies, in particular, as well as her influence on the lives of the next generations, this book will be of interest beyond those who know her personally.


Editors

Brigetta (Britt) Abel is Associate Professor of German Studies and Director of Writing at Macalester College (St Paul, MN). She is a lead author and co-project director of Grenzenlos Deutsch, an open-access, collaboratively produced online curriculum for beginning German, which is funded in part through a digital humanities advancement grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Nicole Grewling is an Associate Professor of German Studies at Washington College (Chestertown, Maryland), where she has taught language, literature, and culture courses since 2011. Her research and teaching interests include nineteenth-century literature and culture, portrayals of America in German literature, travel literature, and the exotic. Her work focuses particularly on German colonial fantasies and German relationships to their others, especially their love for Native Americans.

Beth Ann Muellner is a Professor of German Studies in the German and Russian Studies Department at the College of Wooster, where she has taught language and culture courses
since 2004. Her research focuses on nineteenth- and twentieth-century autobiographical writing, photography studies, museum studies, and interdisciplinary approaches to literature.

Helga Thorson is an Associate Professor in the Department of Germanic and Slavic Studies at the University of Victoria in Canada, on the traditional lands of the Lekwungen peoples. Her
research focuses on a diverse range of topics, including modernist German and Austrian literature and culture, Scandinavian studies, gender studies, history of medicine, foreign language pedagogy, and Holocaust studies.

 

New Title: As if they were the Enemy

As if They Were the Enemy: The Dispossession of Japanese Canadians on Saltspring Island by Brian Smallshaw is a new release published by the University of Victoria. It can be downloaded for free on UVicSpace: https://dspace.library.uvic.ca/handle/1828/12244


On 22 April 1942, the CPR ship, the SS Princess Mary, was docked at the wharf in Ganges on Saltspring Island. The 77 Japanese Canadians taken away to camps in the British Columbia interior that day were among the over 22,000 who were forced into internal exile, and less than a year later, had their property liquidated against their will. Eleven properties on Saltspring were sold, some to the Soldier Settlement Board, and others at auction, including the largest belonging to Torazo Iwasaki that ended up in the hands of the local agent of the Custodian of Enemy Property. In the 1960s Iwasaki took the government to court in an effort to get his property back in a widely publicized case that went all the way to the Supreme Court. He lost his case, but this book argues that though the government was operating under the War Measures Act, the liquidation of Japanese Canadian property was a breach of trust, and the illegal application to Canadian citizens of a law governing the property of enemies.


Brian Smallshaw has a master’s degree in history from the University of Victoria. His interest in trans-Pacific history dates from his period of residence in Asia. He lived for many years in Japan prior to moving to Saltspring Island in British Columbia. His current studies centre on the dispossession of Japanese Canadians during the Second World War.