Last week I attended the 2019 ‘E’ffordability Summit at University of Wisconsin-Stout. This two-day, regional conference focuses on practices that help drive down costs for students with a focus on open educational resources. This conference was a great introduction to understanding the reasons for the open educational resource movement, as well as a broader movement to open education (not just course materials, but overall transparency and accessibility for education, students, and educators). Read on for highlights from the conference!
Living the Mission
This conference lives its mission with free registration and meals. The conference organizers arrange for sponsors and provide lunch both days and a social hour the first night with food. Once again, that is all FREE!!! This is a huge perk and makes the conference more accessible to a wider range of attendees, particularly those who wouldn’t normally get conference funds.
Platforms for OER
The second product session I attended was for PressBooks presented by Steel Wagstaff (@steelwagstaff). In the session, Steel presented his ideas about what makes a great open source platform for sharing open content, and how PressBooks fulfills those goals.
PressBooks is a platform that allows faculty (and really anyone) to self-publish material under a variety of copyrights, including creative commons copy-rights used for open source material. PressBook is an open source platform meaning anyone could set up and host their own version of PressBook, and people do, although most larger businesses such as Universities choose to host through PressBooks for a fee. As a content creator, I can create a free PressBook account and either customize a text from curated content across the web, or create my own materials from scratch (or import from word). PressBooks has some awesome features such as the ability to include H5P activities such as mini-quizzes or matching, embed videos, or include annotations using Hypothes.is (see my earlier post about this awesome annotation tool). The other feature that is particularly useful for faculty is the ability to create a bundle for your learning management system that will automatically create links or embedded access to your live text. This means that you can instantly make changes to your text on the web, and it will change in any LMS that it is embedded in!
This year’s conference had two keynote speakers, Rajiv Jhangiani (@thatpsychprof) and Robin DeRosa (@actualham). These two work together so rather than providing a separate keynote address each day, they worked together to create two thoughtful presentations on what it means for education to be open. On day one, they focused on the reasons for the shift towards open education resources and included a panel of students from different backgrounds and institutions to provide some feedback about their experiences with open sources.
On day two, the Rajiv and Robin focused on challenges to Open Education and included questions from important voices in the open education movement (video clips, how awesome!) and some interactive elements to get everyone in the room thinking about these important questions. These discussions really centered on what access to education is about and how we can be better as institutions, but also as individuals.
Below I have included shots from my tweets from these awesome talks.
Resources and Tweeps
Here are some new people I follow on Twitter (see also speakers I included above):
Amanda Larson (@maeverawr) Open Education Librarian at Penn State
Autumn Caines (@Autumn) Critical Instructional Designer at University of Michigan-Dearborn
RebusCommunity (@Rebus Community) a community for open content creation Nicole Allen (@textbks) Director of Open Education at SPARC
Here are some great resources I heard about in various sessions:
Digital Pedagogy Lab Professional development opportunities
Open Pedagogy Notebook A community of educators dedicated to open education, includes blog posts and examples of open pedagogy
WebWork An open source online homework system for math and science.
Open Education Group is a research group dedicated to understanding OER adoption. They also offer resources for teaching.
Online Learning Consortium is a community dedicated to quality online teaching. I haven’t checked out everything they offer but they publish an open access, peer-reviewed journal of online learning.
OpenOregon is an open educational resource database. This database includes blog posts, webinars, and a list of resources used in various courses across Oregon, some sources are available via link.
Affordable Learning Georgia is the website for USG’s initiative for affordability. You can find textbooks or read their posts about topics such as student perspectives for OER.
CCCOER is the Community College Consortium for Open Educational Resources. Check out their various resources including student perspectives and plans for faculty, institutions, and professional development.
DigPINS is a cohort based, online, digital professional development experience.
OER activity Sourcebook This e-book covers a variety of activities for the curation and creation of OER materials.
Open Learner Patchbook is a blog that focuses on how learners think about how they learn.
The Marginal Syllabus engages educators in a collaborative “book club” focusing on equity and education using my favorite web annotation platform (Hyptothes.is).
My Open Math Lab is another open, online, homework platform for math.