Open practices are currently on the rise in postsecondary institutions in Canada. Since 2013, the Government of Ontario, Canada has provided funding to increase flexibility and build capacity for innovation within universities and colleges for development and research in open, online and technology-enabled learning opportunities. A non-profit organization, eCampusOntario, along with a Centre for Excellence, was founded in 2015 to serve students through advocating for advancement and access to open practices in online learning in the province’s 45 publicly-funded colleges and universities.
While the oft-cited benefits of open educational resources (OER) are to increase flexibility, support, and engagement for students in a variety of learning environments, increasing faculty adoption, adaptation, and creation of OER remains a challenge a decade after the OECD (2007) report on the emergence of OER. The eCampusOntario has developed a web portal that houses a breadth of resources, including OER that learners and educators can access to navigate the post-secondary landscape. However, developing free, accessible, and open license OER to harness the power of open pedagogical practices (DeRosa & Robinson, 2017) requires collaborative team approach, across and within institutions, that is not always easy. Educators are less accepting of open learning materials than students (Bliss, Hilton, Wiley, & Thanos, 2013) even if studies suggest OER use not only increase student satisfaction, but also help educators respond better to student needs, make teaching easier, and sometimes catalyze the transformation of ingrained teaching methods (Pitt, 2015).
This submission proposes to present a cautionary tale of three open education development initiatives funded by eCampusOntario. The initiatives include two graduate-level OER module sets and an open textbook. These initiatives involved a close collaboration between subject matter experts, project management, instructional designers, multimedia associates, student partners, editors, reviewers, and volunteers, and was recognized with a Best in Show Award at the inaugural eCampusOntario Technology-Enhanced Showcase + Seminar in Toronto, ON. The presentation will explore the process of expanding open practice and research at a university and engage the audience in discussion to enable successful participants to be able to identify some challenges of collaborative development and research of open practices and to apply practical solutions in implementing similar initiatives in their institutional settings.
Bliss, TJ., Hilton, J., Wiley, D., & Thanos, K. (2013).: Perceptions of Community College Faculty and Students. First Monday, 18(1).
DeRosa, R., & Robison, S. (2017). From OER to open pedagogy: Harnessing the power of open. In Biswas-Diener, R., & Jhangiani, R. (Eds.). Open: The philosophy and practices that are revolutionizing education and science (pp. 115-124). London, UK: Ubiquity Press Ltd.
Pitt, R. (2015. Mainstreaming open textbooks: Educator perspectives on the impact of OpenStax college open textbooks. International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning, 16(4), np.
OECD (2007). Giving knowledge for free: The emergence of open educational resources. Paris, Fr: OECD Publishing.