eCampusOntario OER Fellows: An Invitation

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02.10.2017 - 3 min. Read

“As a learning design practitioner, program manager, and member of a global network of open education advocates, I have identified a problem of practice as follows: the use of open educational resources (OER) is not widespread in Ontario higher education” (Hayman 2017). This is the opening statement in my proposed dissertation titled Open is an Invitation: Sensemaking and Use of Open Educational Resources. OER are defined as no-cost, openly licensed materials that may be adapted and used by anyone for learning (UNESCO, n.d.). In addition to conducting this research, I am deeply grateful for the opportunity to be working with eCampusOntario in building open community and increasing awareness and use of OER at Ontario’s 45 colleges and universities. With that said, the open education movement cannot reach its full potential without the support and engagement of educators. That’s why eCampusOntario has released a Call for Participation for six Ontario OER Fellows to join the organization on its OER journey (November 2017-October 2018).

This professional learning opportunity promises to support all involved educators as they participate in the discovery, use, adaption, and sharing of OER. Fellows will conduct a small-scale research project, share their talent and passion with others, and exchange personal experiences about the value of OER with interested Ontario learners and educators. While there is an ever-growing body of national and international research on OER, Ontario research is critical for creating awareness and gaining momentum for the use of OER in a local context. The sharing of personal experience is equally valuable, and OER Fellows are encouraged to share their individual thoughts and experiences at workshops, seminars, webinars, and conferences.

There are a number of Canadian researchers and scholars that would gladly comment on the joy and value they’ve derived from being open educators. They include:

  • Christina Hendricks, Professor of Teaching in the Department of Philosophy at UBC
  • Amanda Coolidge, Senior Manager of Open Education at BCcampus
  • Rory McGreal, Professor at Athabasca University and UNESCO/Commonwealth of Learning OER Chair
  • Rajiv Jhangiani, University Teaching Fellow in Open Studies at Kwantlen Polytechnic University, former OER Research Fellow with the OpenEd Group, and former Faculty Fellow with BCcampus
  • Ontario powerhouses Helen deWaard at Lakehead University and Terry Greene of Fleming College

Any one of these OER advocates can talk for days about what openness has meant for their professional academic lives. Some of their thoughts were captured in eCampusOntario’s Canadian Open Stories webinar.

As previously mentioned, open is an invitation. In regards to the OER Fellows opportunity, it’s an invitation that comes with eCampusOntario’s support and partnership. The organization will ensure that OER Fellows can maintain the time commitment and find the perfect balance between public sharing and personal reward. Interested in becoming an OER Fellow? Answer the Call for Participation today.

For additional questions and inquires, don’t hesitate to contact eCampusOntario at open@www.ecampusontario.ca.

References

Hayman, J. (2017). Open is an invitation: Sensemaking and use of open educational resources [unpublished dissertation proposal].

UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization). (n.d.). What are open educational resources (OERs)? Retrieved from http://www.unesco.org/new/en/communication-and-information/access-to-knowledge/open-educational-resources/what-are-open-educational-resources-oers/