Open Education Week – The Student Voice

Open Education Week 2020 iconIn this world of sky-rocketing costs for students (textbooks being only one of the many budgetary items facing students), integrating Open Educational Resources (OERs) (and other no-cost resources) into your courses can go a long way towards helping students continue, and succeed in, their studies.

On the Douglas College Library Open Libguide site, you can read about and listen to some of the ways OERs are supporting students.

BCcampus has produced the OER Student Toolkit which outlines ways students can advocate for the adoption of OERs at their institutions.

Zero Textbook Cost (ZTC) programs across the world have really begun to make an impact on reducing costs for students.  The Community College Consortium for Open Educational Resources relates some of these Impact Stories told by students in their own words.

Speaking of ZTC, you can learn more about what institutions in BC are doing by visiting the BCcampus ZTC page, or searching for individual institutions’ work, for example, the ZTC impact at Kwantlen Polytechnic.

Finally, for a discussion around the pedagogical impact on students through the use of OER, check out Christina Hendrick’s post Engaging Students with OER.

Want to know more about how creating, adapting, or adopting OER can support your students?  Email eLearning Support  to arrange to talk to an instructional designer.

Open Education Week – Open Images Galore!

Open Education Week 2020 iconSome exciting news from the creative commons (CC) licensed images front.  The Smithsonian has announced the launch of Smithsonian Open Access, which has moved 2.8 million digital images into the open.

Smithsonian Releases 2.8 Million Images and Data into the Public Domain Using CC0 

Wondering where else you can find CC licensed images to include in your course materials?  Start by checking out the Camosun Library Libguide, specifically the section on Open Culture.   Here, you will find links to a number of repositories containing images that are either CC licensed or in the Public Domain (PD).

Wiki Commons is one of the places listed, and is a great source for PD and CC images.  Just go to Wiki Commons and search for whatever you are looking for.  Once you click on am image you are interest in, you can find the licensing information by scrolling down.  Look for either the CC licence

CC licence

Or a PD notice

Public Domain notice

And here is how you can use Google to filter your searches for CC licensed images:  go to Google Advanced Image Search and scroll down to use the “Usage Rights” option to search for copyright-free materials.

Google Advanced Search

Need more ideas and help?  Contact one of your friendly Camosun librarians, or contact eLearning Support ( to arrange for a consult with an instructional designer.

Open Education Week – Stories from the Ground

Open Education Week 2020 iconSo, today I thought I would share some resources and stories around how people in different disciplines have been using OERs (Open Educational Resources) to support their students.

First up, a PowerPoint presentation on  Creating Content-Based Instructional Materials for English Language Learners, Using Open Educational Resources. from the University of Arizona.  You will find some tips on what you need to think about when creating OER, how to search for existing material, as well as links to the resources created by this group.

Next, a story from a Parker Glynn-Adey, an Assistant Professor at the University of Toronto Mississauga.  In Math professor engages students with an open educational resource,  Glynn-Adey explains the many benefits (not just financial) to students from adopting an open textbook.

In A growing appreciation for open textbooks, Physics professor Michael Chen describes how “what started for him as a way to reduce expenses for students has since turned into an opportunity to create a resource specifically tailored to his teaching situation.”

And finally, here are some brief success stories from faculty and student co-authors at Queen’s University who have developed their own open textbooks.

Want to know more about how you could create and integrate OER into your teaching, or need help finding OER relating to your discipline?  Email to book an appointment with an eLearning instructional designer.

Welcome to Open Education Week!

TOpen Education Week 2020 iconhis week, which is Open Education Week as you will remember from my post last week, I will be posting something from the OEWeek2020 universe every day.

Today, I wanted to share a link to  the online webinar Beyond Free: Supporting Social Justice through Open Educational Practices  being broadcast from the University of Colorado, Boulder, featuring Rajiv Jhangiani from Kwantlen Polytechnic University here in BC.  The livestream begins at 1:00pm PST and it’s free to register!

There are also many other great events going on today around the world, as you can see from the Open Education Week website, and you should make sure to check out #OEWeek2020 on Twitter to find lots of resources to help you in you search for information about Open Educational Resources (OERs), Open Educational Practices (OEP), etc.

I’ll be back tomorrow to share another post or webinar for Open Education Week!


Reminder: Open Education Week is Next Week!!

Next week is Open Education Week. What does this mean, you are undoubtedly asking yourselves. Well, let me tell you!

First, a quote from the Open Education website:

“Founded in 2013 by the Open Education Global (previously Open Education Consortium), the goal of Open Education Week is to raise awareness and showcase impact of open education on teaching and learning worldwide. Open Education Week has become one of the most foremost global events recognizing high achievement and excellence in open education.

The week-long event spotlights amazing work from over a dozen categories including live, face-to-face events, webinars, projects, and resources.  The Best-of-the-Best participate in Open Education Week. “

So, here we are in year 8 of this amazing event. Institutions around the world are running face to face and online events, and all online events are free so you can attend from your own desk.

The Events page on the Open Education website lets you know what is happening, and where, but it’s a little tricky to navigate.

Open Ed Week events page screen capture

Interested in an event? Click on it to find out more. And then you can click on Event Schedule to see a complete calendar of events taking place next week.

Event Schedule screen capture

Click on the date to see all the events, Online Events are listed first, followed by Local (on-site) Events. If it is an online event, click on the event title and then you can click Join Webinar to connect to the session once it begins. The Events page does not have an option to automatically add calendar events to your calendar of choice, so you will have to do that yourself. Just make sure you have the time right, as these events are originating from all over the world.

Next week I’ll be blogging some more about Open Education Week as it happens!

BCcampus Calls for Proposals for Creating OER

In case you missed it, BCcampus has posted a new set of Call for Proposals for creating Open Educations Resources (OER). Find out more at:

If you have any questions about OER or Open Pedagogy, check out these BCcampus resources, or contact Emily Schudel (

Open Education Grants Expressions of Interest for Camosun Instructors

Recently, Camosun College was awarded a BCcampus Open Education Sustainability Grant from BCcampus. This grant has been allocated to provide teaching release and professional support to Camosun instructors interested in redesigning their courses over the next year through creating, adapting, and/or adopting Open Educational Resources (OER) or engaging in other forms of open educational practices with the aim of enhancing the learning experience for students.

This would be an ideal project for May/June 2020 Scheduled Development. Accepted applicants will begin their projects with an intensive workshop (3 full days face to face with days between for reflection and homework) from May 19 to May 25, 2020. Project participants will learn from each other and will be supported by the Camosun open project team based in CETL and the Library.

To be considered for this project, interested faculty must submit a 250 word proposal by January 20, 2020.

Definitions of Terms from BCcampus

Application Guidelines

  • Applicants must be CCFA or BCGEU faculty members (term or continuing) at Camosun College.
  • Created/adopted/adapted OER must become a required resource for a course or courses, replacing a commercial textbook or resource.
  • The creation/adoption/adaptation of the OER must reduce the cost to students (preferably to no-cost) and increase their use of a learning resource.

Proposal requirements

Submit your project proposal online by Jan. 20, 2020.

Proposal descriptions should be a maximum of 250 words, and include the following:

  • What kind of project you would like to pursue – rationale, objectives
  • How the project outcomes will reduce costs to students and enhance their learning experience
  • If your project intends to create new OER, provide a rationale for why you are creating new resources rather than modifying or adapting existing resources
  • Indicate when you plan on using your OER in your course(s). (Your OER should be ready to be integrated into your course(s) sometime between May 2020 and September 2021.)
  • Letters of support from your Chair and Dean

Examples of possible projects

  • Your project could be an Open Textbook, a multimedia resource, course modules, quiz questions/testbank, web resources, video, etc.
  • Your project could support you moving away from traditional textbooks to adapting/adopting an existing open textbook, or moving to no textbook using a variety of open resources, etc.
  • Your project could involve integrating open activities into your course activities, or creating non-disposable assignment options for students.

Evaluation Criteria

  • Potential impact on student experience in the form of high-quality materials, maximum access, open and innovative pedagogy, and cost savings to students.
  • Extent to which project includes curation and customization of OER that will be freely and openly shared throughout and beyond Camosun College.
  • Distribution of “grants” across a range of disciplines.

If you have questions, please contact Emily Schudel,

The Open EdTech Collaborative

The Open EdTech Collaborative is “a community of educators, technologists, and designers sharing their expertise to foster and support open infrastructure for the BC post-secondary sector. No contracts or agreements are required to join us, just a willingness and ability to actively participate in our collective endeavor to:

  • encourage technological autonomy and provide ways for students, faculty and institutions to own and control their own data.
  • lower the barrier to participation on the open web for BC faculty and students.
  • provide a more sustainable ed tech infrastructure to BC higher education that gives institutions more control over their tools.  Institutions are currently at the mercy of vendor pricing, upgrade cycles, and exit strategies.  This puts institutions at a certain degree of risk when there are changes to any of the variables beyond their control.  Open-source approaches reduce the risk to institutions in this regard.
  • assist BC faculty in evaluating and making informed pedagogical decisions around open-source teaching and learning applications.”

If you are a student or educator in BC, you can sign up for an Open ETC account , and try out the tools they support, like WordPress, Sandstorm (a collection of open source applications) or Mattermost (an open-source messaging platform) – and since Open ETC is hosted by Thompson Rivers University, these platforms are available to you on BC servers, and are thus FIPPA compliant.

Take a look and try out some of their tools. And just so you know, this blog is now on the Open ETC WordPress instance!

Open/OER Online Courses

Interested in learning more about Open Educational Resources (OER) and Creative Commons licensing?  Here are a couple of open courses for you to check out (and adopt or adapt – they are all CC licenced!)!

Open Content to Transform the Classroom by Matthew Bloom, licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License

  • Part 1: The Easy Way to Create, License, and Share Free Materials
  • Part 2: Exploring the Possibilities of Open Educational Resources

Learn OER managed by the Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges licensed under a CC-BY 4.0

  • Module 1: Introduction
  • Module 2: Copyright  License
  • Module 3: Understanding OER
  • Module 4: Open License
  • Module 5: Creative Commons Licensing
  • Module 6: Finding OER
  • Module 7: Public Domain
  • Module 8: Sharing OER
  • Module 9: Accessibility
  • Module 10: Why OER Matters