Experts to shed light on Open Educational Resources

Two of Canada’s leading advocates for greater access and affordability of teaching and learning materials will be at Brock Thursday, Dec. 7 to speak during a half-day event focused on Open Educational Resources (OER).

Rajiv Jhangiani, University Teaching Fellow in Open Studies and a Psychology Professor at Kwantlen Polytechnic University in Vancouver, B.C., and David Porter, CEO of eCampusOntario, will be guest speakers at this free event that will be held from 9 a.m. to noon in Sean O’Sullivan Theatre.  

The Brock community is invited to reserve free tickets on the Centre for Pedagogical Innovation’s website. The event was made possible through a partnership between CPI, the Brock University Students’ Union (BUSU) and James A. Gibson Library.

The OER Teaching and Learning program will feature a student panel discussion about OER and short presentations from several Brock faculty members about their experiences and insights in creating, adopting and adapting open educational resources.

Jhangiani will share a passionate and inspiring viewpoint about the philosophy and practice of affordable education, transparent science and assessable scholarship. His most recent book, Open: The Philosophy and Practices that are Revolutionizing Education and Science (2017), features the stories, motives, insights and practical tips from global leaders in the open movement.

Porter will talk about the role of eCampusOntario as a leader in the province for excellence in open education. The organization offers a variety of online educational tools and resources to learners and post-secondary institutions.

Prior to his eCampusOntario appointment in 2016, Porter was the associate vice-president of education support and innovation at the British Columbia Institute of Technology.

Nadia Bathish, BUSU Vice-President, External Affairs, says it’s particularly important for students to support OER initiatives. BUSU will continue to promote OER awareness in January as part of a campaign led by the Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance.

“Students have much to gain from OER in terms of accessibility, affordability and quality of post-secondary education,” she says. “For example, eCampusOntario has an open library that provides students and faculty access to nearly 200 textbooks and resources that can be downloaded for free. When you consider the cost of textbooks, this has a huge potential for real savings to students.”

The term Open Educational Resources was first introduced at a conference hosted by UNESCO in 2000 and was promoted in the context of providing free access to educational resources on a global scale.

“The collaborative nature of this event speaks to the ways in which OERs benefit multiple stakeholders,” says University Librarian Mark Robertson. “We hope to raise awareness of the tools, technologies and resources that are available to faculty.”

Brock’s James A. Gibson Library offers a set of OER guides on its website, which defines OER as “…any educational resources (including curriculum maps, course materials, textbooks, streaming videos, multimedia applications, podcasts and any other materials that have been designed for use in teaching and learning) that are openly available for use by educators and students, without an accompanying need to pay royalties or licence fees.”

“We are thrilled to have both Rajiv Jhangiani and David Porter with us for our program to share their insight and knowledge from the multiple perspectives of research, teaching and administration,” says CPI Director Jill Grose. “The OER movement resides within a social justice framework around equal access to high-quality education in supporting student learning, as well as reducing student financial costs. This is what technology can and should be used for.”

Program overview for Thursday, Dec. 7:

9 to 10 a.m.: Rajiv Jhangiani, University Teaching Fellow in Open Studies and a Psychology Professor at Kwantlen Polytechnic University in Vancouver, B.C.

10 to 10:30 a.m.: Student panel hosted by Nadia Bathish, BUSU Vice-President, External Affairs.

10:50 to 11:20 a.m.: David Porter, CEO of eCampusOntario

11:20 to 11:50 a.m.: OER Creator Lightning Talks

 


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