The use of OER has tremendous potential to change education. Advocacy is a core process for addressing this change, bringing the issue to the forefront of the agenda for decision-makers. This module will help both faculty and Centre for Teaching and Learning staff to communicate the value of OER toward influencing decisions that will impact teaching and learning at their colleges and beyond.
Open Education Matters Short Video
Watch this video (Nadia Mireless, 2012) explaining how OER enable pathways for collaboration across stakeholders, toward enhanced course materials and more equitable education for all.
What the Research Says
What Students Bring to OER
Preferences for the types and formats of course materials that work best for them
Preferences for how they would like to access course materials
Opinions and feedback on the quality or effectiveness of learning materials for their own learning
Knowledge of how to contribute to web-based instructional materials with their own content or aggregated information
Knowledge of course objectives
Understanding of student needs and learning styles
Expertise in evaluating resources for use and application in a course
Experience in constructing and authoring instructional materials
Expertise in various pedagogical approaches and curriculum implementation
What Learning Commons Staff Bring to OER
Expertise in accessibility, and often accessibility expertise
Understanding of copyright and its pitfalls, and of how to select and apply open licenses
Knowledge of how to find things and to make things discoverable by others
Understanding of the best way to share resources for future audiences
Expertise in technology for online authoring and publishing
Overall information literacy expertise
Experience with the content of college coursework
Wiki Education's Classroom Program is an established program for engaging students in collaborative OER projects. Instructors replace traditional research papers with assignments where students write about course-related topics that are underrepresented in Wikipedia. Students synthesize the available literature, and use tools to add the information to Wikipedia.
Instructors who sign up for the Classroom Program have free access to its tools and to support staff.
Open Textbook Sprints are collaborative writing sessions inspired by code sprints from the software development world. The goal of a book sprint is to create a book from scratch in a very short time frame. The idea is to gather instructors, instructional designers, library staff, trained facilitators, and others in a face-to-face environment to write and compile a textbook into an online format.
Reach out to eCampus Ontario to see if there are local book sprints that you can join at your institution. Or see the tools section of the module below for information on setting up your own open textbook sprints.
Open Textbook Review
Faculty at Ontario post-secondary institutions can collaborate as paid reviewers of open textbooks. Contact eCampusOntario for more information on how to participate in the review process.
OOLN (Ontario Open Library Network) is a community initiative powered by eCampusOntario to steward the growth of Open Education at Ontario Colleges and Universities.
SPARC Libraries & OER Forum. A U.S.-based public discussion list intended for academic and research librarians interested in OER. It serves as a knowledge-sharing forum, a channel for communicating events, and a source of updates on OER policy, research and projects. Join SPARC Libraries & OER Forum Listserv.
Community College and Open Textbook Listservs
Community College Consortium for Open Educational Resources (CCCOER). CCCOER is a consortium of community and technical colleges committed to expanding access to education and increasing student success through the adoption of open educational policy, practices, and resources. To join CCCOER Listserv, go to Community Email and click on "Join Email Group".
Open Textbook Network. The Open Textbook Network (OTN) seeks to help institutions advance their campus open textbook initiatives, and sustain it through staff development and networking. To join Open Textbook Network Listserv, send an email to email@example.com.
Open Textbook Sprint - Checklist
Below are tips on how to make open textbook sprints productive. As you set up your sprint, keep in mind that an open textbook is not meant to be just an openly licensed conventional textbook. It is a living text that people will be able to update and adapt to their specific courses and student needs.
The Open Textbook Sprint Checklist is a mashup of material from How To Turn A Great Idea Into An Open Textbook In Just Four Days, by BCcampus, licensed under CC BY 4.0, and How To Collaboratively Develop Open-Source Textbooks, by Free High School Science Texts, licensed under CC BY.
The guide linked above from South Africa’s Free High School Science Texts provides tips on how to set up a project to produce open textbooks collaboratively.
There are a few platforms on the web that seek to support post-secondary educators in the collaborative development of OER and open textbooks, including:
The OER Toolkit was a developed by Colleges Libraries Ontario (CLO) and the Ontario Colleges Library Service (OCLS) in collaboration with the Institute for the Study of Knowledge Management in Education (ISKME).