In November 2010 when I was working as a Sociology Instructor at a Further Education College in the UK, I was lucky enough to get some time off to attend the 7th annual Open Education Conference, held that year in a beautiful science museum in Barcelona. At the time the Open Education movement was still relatively young and appeared, at least to me at the time, progressive and radical. I remember being wowed by presentations from the likes of Martin Weller, Paul Stacey, Richard Hall and Joss Winn, Rory McGreal and the late Erik Duval. Sessions referenced the University of the People and the University of Utopia, Manifestos for OER Sustainability, CloudWorks and OERopoly (a game to generate collective intelligence around OER). It felt exciting, cutting-edge, DIY and autonomous. There was talk of EduPunk and apparent schisms between those who promoted sustainability and funding models versus those who saw the potential of Open Education to initiate not just a revolution in teaching and learning but in society itself. It was exhilarating stuff.
Fast-forward seven years and thanks to my colleagues in the Library and Ed Tech I was able to attend the 14th annual Open Education Conference, this time held in Anaheim, California. One immediate difference was the size: 2010’s conference involved around 200 participants whereas estimates put this year’s attendance at well over 500 including what seemed to me to be large numbers of first-time attendees. Another was the format. In Barcelona we had keynotes and presentations mainly, whereas Anaheim added round-table discussions, an unconference session and a musical jam. Dialogue and conversations felt genuinely participatory, democratic and inclusive even though there was a recognition that much work still needs to be done in this area.
The originally announced Keynote line-up had received some criticism from a number of people on Twitter both for its lack of diversity and for including a representative of an organisation whose policies run counter to the ideals of the open education movement. Challenging this took a good deal of courage from those who stood up to be counted and from those who backed them. Encouragingly, the conference organiser took the criticisms on board and made some changes to the programme.
Ryan Merkely, CEO of Creative Commons kicked off Wednesday’s programme by announcing a prototype of a search tool that brings 1-click attribution as well as a new CC Global Network Open Education Platform which all open education advocates are invited to participate in. Ryan devoted the rest of his Keynote to presenting an intensely personal and powerful call for us to build the Open Ed community by focusing on values of equity, inclusivity and diversity. This process often requires us to listen to others, examine our own privilege and ensure that no voices are left out. In other words “Active, unrelenting inclusion” as Jamison Miller put it.
Friday morning’s Keynote Addresses were given by David Bollier and Cathy Casserly. Bollier, who is Director of the Reinventing the Commons Program at the Schumacher Center for a New Economics, urged us to see the knowledge commons as embodying a different set of values and practices to the global market and the state. Whereas global capital imposes social relationships of price, enclosure, patents and copyright, the commons is a self-organised social system that emphasises fairness, responsibility, long-term stewardship and meeting peoples’ basic needs. The next big thing, Bollier argued, could well be a lot of small things — examples such as Platform Co-operativism, community land trusts, makerspaces, and the various ‘opens’ (source, textbooks, journals) point the way to a new generative and value-creating movement beyond the tyranny of business models, bureaucracy and the market.
I first heard Cathy Casserly speak in Barcelona in 2010, back when she was about to become CEO of Creative Commons. She is an excellent speaker, and has the unique ability to tell personal stories and link them to wider political events. At its core, she argued, the Open Education movement is about freedom, transparency, social justice, equity, access and inclusion, values that are being fundamentally threatened in the current social and political climate. If we are to achieve our ambitious aim of transforming learning globally then we must grow, and as we grow reflect intently on the various ‘nodes’ within our network, ensuring all voices are included and given space for articulation. As we move from the “terrible twos” into our “teenage years” we must also think about issues of governance and leadership and consider giving a far more prominent role to Open advocates on the ground (those that “make shit happen” as Cathy put it). Otherwise the Open Ed movement could end up replicating the power structures of the traditional Taylorist model of education that it is trying to replace.
What about the students? In part two of this blog post I will switch attention to an inspiring panel involving students from a local college, reflect on my presentation on international student engagement with open textbooks, and talk about some of the technologies and platforms that are being promoted as open alternatives to proprietary software from the likes of Pearson and McGraw-Hill.
Langara has purchased a campus-wide license for Turnitin to support faculty in teaching research and writing skills to their students while also encouraging academic integrity. Turnitin is a similarity checker which allows students and faculty to check assignments for matches in Turnitin’s database of papers, articles, and websites.
All Langara faculty have access to Turnitin through their D2L courses.
We hope that Turnitin will be used as an instructional tool to help students understand the College’s expectations for academic integrity and to practice their skills in summarizing, paraphrasing, quoting and citing their sources appropriately.
While Turnitin is a useful tool, it cannot detect all forms of plagiarism. However, if used in well-designed assignments and learning activities, Turnitin can play a valuable role in educating our students and emphasizing the importance of academic integrity.
Register for an information session: Turnitin Brown Bag Sept.14, 2017 1:00-1:45 pm
More sessions will be scheduled throughout the fall semester.
Thanks to members of the Langara School of Management, EdTech, and IT for piloting, implementing and administering this new tool.
For more information about Turnitin and suggestions for its use, see http://iweb.langara.bc.ca/edtech/learning-tools-and-technologies/turnitin/
For instructions on using Turnitin with D2L, see https://iweb.langara.bc.ca/edtech/learning-tools-and-technologies/turnitin/using-turnitin-with-d2l/
For help designing assessments to encourage academic integrity, contact email@example.com.
For setting up assignments with Turnitin in D2L, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Vancouver Island University Team-Based Learning Institute
Transform Your Classroom with Team-Based Learning
August 15 and 17, 2017
Vancouver Island University, Nanaimo
Deadline to Register: August 1
The evidence is piling up in support of the Michaelsen approach to Team-Based Learning. Team-Based Learning is a teaching strategy that lays a clear path toward greater student independence and personal responsibility for learning. In any discipline and with any content. The key? A simple, coherent set of instructional protocols and practices that, when adopted carefully, ensure that all the forces of cognitive and social engagement are aligned for high-level learning and critical thinking.
The Vancouver Island University Team-Based Learning Institute will take you through the process of transforming a traditionally taught course into a Team-Based Learning course. The August 2017 Institute is for instructors who will implement the Team-Based Learning approach beginning in Fall 2017.
A limited number of seats are available for guests (i.e., post-secondary educators not currently on the faculty or teaching staff of Vancouver Island University). Guest fees are $375 (CAD) plus GST, which cover a two-day workshop (8:30 AM – 3:30 PM) including a light breakfast, lunch, consultations with veteran TBL practitioners, and a copy of Getting Started with Team-Based Learning (Sibley and Ostafichuk).
VIU Registration: https://survey.viu.ca/TBLGUEST2017.survey
Please address questions to Bill Roberson (email@example.com), Curriculum, Teaching and Learning Specialist, Centre for Innovation and Excellence in Learning or Liesel Knaack (firstname.lastname@example.org), Director Centre for Innovation and Excellence in Learning
Screencasting involves the use of software to record the screen of your computer (or mobile device) while you narrate over the recording. It is an effective way to offer multiple representations of information (images, text, video, audio etc.) in order to widen access to learning. Making a screencast is relatively easy and requires technology that most of us have access to. The completed file can easily be shared via learning platforms such as Kaltura, D2L or iWeb. They are great fun to create and you can invest as much or as little time as you want to produce either a professional quality screencast or one that may not be quite as slick but is perfectly acceptable for teaching and learning.
Ed Tech can support your efforts whether you are a first-timer or seasoned screencaster. We run regular workshops (the next one is on Tuesday May 30th – sign up here), we have produced a Little Guide to Screencasting and we can provide you with one-to-one support and advice on the best software and microphones to use, the planning process and how to share your screencast with your students.
Some great resources that cover screencasting in education are available, my personal favourite being Kathy Schrock’s Guide to Screencasting and Screen Recording in the Classroom.
Screencasting is a great way to make learning more fun, engaging and accessible. Whether you want to create a mini-lecture, demonstrate how a piece of software works or give assignment feedback, you are helping to ensure your students learn from a variety of presentation methods which will be beneficial to their learning. And why not tap into your students’ creativity by getting them to create a screencast as part of their coursework?
Nice short animated video on the students of the future and how we can support them.
The generally accepted definition of ‘open pedagogy’ refers to “the universe of teaching and learning practices that are possible when you adopt OER but are impossible when you adopt traditionally copyrighted materials.” (Wiley, 2015). There are two issues with this definition. Firstly, as Wiley himself acknowledges, simply adopting OER as part of your teaching practice doesn’t necessarily result in engaging or innovative learning design. Secondly, what about student work that goes beyond the “disposable assignment” and both engages with, and is published on, the open web yet doesn’t explicitly use open licenses? Is this teaching and learning practice any less meaningful or ‘open’?
Taking this debate as her starting point Marianne Gianacopoulos (LSM and Educational Technology) recently led an engaging webinar for the Educational Technology Users Group where she talked through her first steps in adopting open pedagogy in her practice. Frustrated with both the restrictive nature of the course textbook (which students often don’t purchase for cost and other reasons) and the walled garden environment of the LMS Marianne instead engaged her students in a wide range of tools available on the open web in order to showcase their work. By adopting this approach Marianne found that her students —many of whom were international students struggling to get to grips with independent learning — were starting to become active and critical creators and co-creators of knowledge.
Marianne goes into more depth in the webinar discussing some of the web tools she used with her students and some of the challenges she faced. You can listen to a recording of the webinar here.
Wiley, D (2015) ‘Open Pedagogy: The importance of getting in the air’ https://opencontent.org/blog/archives/3761
LaLonde (2017) ‘Does Open Pedagogy require OER?’ http://clintlalonde.net/2017/02/04/does-open-pedagogy-require-oer/