Camosun Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning January Bulletin

In this bulletin from the Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning you will find articles, links, and learning opportunities that may be of interest to you. For general information please contact CETL . For information specifically about online teaching, contact eLearningNote that registration links are for Camosun faculty and staff only.

What’s the number one message we’ve heard from instructor conversations this fall? They’ve continued to use and build on their online experience as they returned to the in-person classroom and would like to keep developing more of these online resources and skills. Three words capture some key messages: DIVERSITY, COMPLEXITY, and FLEXIBILITY. What else did they have to say? Read more…

Camosun Communities of Practice (ONLINE)

Start the new year off by joining one of Camosun’s peer-led communities.

Feel free to drop-in, or contact Martha McAlister to get on a distribution list.

Teaching and Learning CoP Next: February 3, 3-4pm 

This is a time to meet as an inter-disciplinary group of faculty with common challenges and passions for teaching and learning. We can learn so much from each other! Come and share ideas and inspiration around effective classroom strategies, assessment, marking, rubrics, engaged learning, supporting students with different learning needs, and any other topics that arise through collegial conversation.

Indigenous Education CoP Next: February 3, 9-10:30am  

For any Camosun employee interested in Indigenization including (but not restricted to) those who have completed TELTIN TTE WILNEW. You may be seeking greater understanding, maintaining momentum, looking to spark some ideas, or simply to enjoy the connection, inspiration, teaching, and learning that happens in circle. Join us as we explore current issues, through discussing articles, documentaries, or a situation that arose recently in your work.

Accessible Education CoP Next: January 18, 12-1pm 

Join us to talk about practical approaches for increasing our collective capacity to deliver accessible learning opportunities for persons with disabilities. We explore the intersectionality of accommodations, accessibility and Universal Design for Learning (UDL) in post-secondary education. We seek to enhance the experience of all students by identifying and learning more about where accessibility-related barriers occur in our teaching and learning practices, and sharing ideas and expertise for removing barriers to learning.

Mindfulness in Education CoP Next: January 11, 9-9:30am 

Take a break, for guided meditation in a collegial environment. During this stressful time of uncertainty, it seems more important than ever to stay connected in community, and practice our mindfulness.

Chair Share CoP Next: January 7, 8:30-9:30am.

All chairs and program leaders are welcome! Feeling isolated in your role?  You are not alone! Meet with other chairs and program leaders from across the college to discuss whatever is on your mind. Topics are emergent, so come with your ideas and leave feeling more energized and connected.

As you prepare for your 2022 Winter courses, eLearning has a few updates:

  • Kaltura Express Capture has been enabled in D2L. Express Capture allows you to make short video recordings on the fly, automatically uploading them to your My Media area. Just go to your My Media area, click the Add New button, and select Express Capture. If you are using a phone or tablet, you can choose between front or back camera. Perfect for those quick intro videos, skills videos, audio assignments, or feedback videos.
  • Changes to the Assignment tool. Anonymous marking has now been enabled to help reduce marker bias during the assessment process. The transition to the new assignment create/edit interface is also now complete so the old interface is no longer accessible.
  • A reminder that with the new D2L/Colleague integration, a D2L course site is generated for all course sections automatically. If you do not want a D2L course site to support your course, please contact eLearning to have the site removed.
  • Do you need eLearning support? Submit a ticket request through eLearning’s new Ticketing Portal. Using portal will help us respond to your needs in a more timely and efficient way.
  • Visit the eLearning Tutorial website for self-serve support and the eLearning blog for a look at what’s new in eLearning.

CETL Learning Opportunities

Faculty Book Club February 1, 8, 15, 3:30-4:30pm ONLINE REGISTER HERE

Pulling Together: Indigenization Guide for Teachers (study group) HYBRID DELIVERY REGISTER HERE

  • Join us for a series of guided conversations on the Indigenization of teaching and learning at Camosun College. February 2-March 30, every second Wednesday, 9-11am.

Copyright Q&A February 8, 11am-12pm ONLINE REGISTER HERE

  • Course packs are due on March 15th for the spring/summer term. Now is a great time to get your questions answered about copyright, fair dealing, and using copyrighted materials in your class.

Instructional Skills Workshop May 2-5, IN-PERSON, Lansdowne Campus REGISTER HERE

  • The 3½ day peer-based workshop is an excellent opportunity to learn in a fun, safe environment with colleagues from across the college, and improve your teaching practice. (More info)

Great Teachers Seminar May 9-12, IN-PERSON, Honeymoon Bay Retreat Centre REGISTER HERE

  • Venture beyond the limits of your usual environment and deepen your connection with colleagues. Engage in a learning process of shared information and experiences, self-reflection, and action planning. Explore a variety of teaching strategies, innovations, instructional challenges and solutions. (More info)

FLO Blended Learning May 16-June 3, ONLINE AND IN-PERSON at both campuses REGISTER HERE

  • Learn research-based concepts, principles, and strategies that will make facilitating a course with both online and face-to-face components effective and engaging. This course will help you create seamless lesson plans that utilize the most applicable elements of both the online and face-to-face environments.

 Stay tuned! Registration will open mid-winter for the following spring offerings:

With Scheduled Development Intents due on February 1st, now is a good time to start planning what you want to do with your time. In addition to the offerings above, below are some other spring CETL offerings planned:

(NOTE: For planning purposes, faculty can assume most of these workshops will be one to 1.5 hours)

Beginner

Intermediate

Advanced

D2L

Getting started with D2L to support face-to-face classes

Setting up your gradebook

Working with master courses

Quizzes in D2L

Advanced quizzing

Getting started with D2L to support your blended and online classes

Use D2L to create and deliver great assignments

Part 1: Designing effective assignments

Part 2: Creating, grading and providing feedback in D2L

Streamline the marking process using rubrics and other feedback Tools

Part 1: Intro to feedback and rubrics

Part 2: Creating and using rubrics in D2L

Creating Discussions

Advanced content creation using templates and accessible design

Content Management in D2L

Spring Cleaning

Accessibility

Text-to-Speech support for students: An orientation to the ReadSpeaker tools in Your D2L course

Introduction to the ALLY tool in D2L

Using the accessibility reports in D2L: What do I need to do?

Creating accessible content for your online classroom: 7 things you can do right now!

Using student stories and Universal Design for Learning (UDL) to design for accessibility

Collaborate

Introduction to Blackboard Collaborate Ultra

Supported practice sessions: On-demand small group sessions on practice or groups

Kaltura

Enhancing your courses with video (Kaltura intro)

Going deeper with videos and Kaltura

Creating great accessible Kaltura capture videos

Open Education/Open Educational Resources (OER)

Intro to Open Ed and OER

Introduction to H5P

Introduction to open pedagogy

Intro to Creative Commons

Intro to Open ETC’s WordPress

Redesigning your course to be more open

Introduction to common open tools and resources

Assessment

Aligning assessment with outcomes

Feedback and formative assessment

Alternative assessment

Deterring Plagiarism

Self and peer assessment

Online tools to design and manage assessments

Other

New student onboarding: A faculty perspective

Check out CETL’s new website!

 We hope our new look will help you more easily find what you need including:

Library workshops especially for faculty in January

 Faculty Library Research Refresher—Online, Wednesday, January 5th, 12:00pm to 12:45pm

For new or returning faculty, join this online session to see a demo of the Camosun library’s main search tool, Single Search, and the variety of online resources available. We will take a look at the range of available databases, and show you how to find resource citations. This session will be of interest to instructors who want to integrate library research and resources into their assignments or D2L course.

Faculty APA refresher—Online, Thursday, January 6th, 12:00pm to 12:45pm

Needing an APA Refresher before you dive into the semester? This 45 minute session for faculty will provide an overview of APA Style 7th edition and the library resources available to help you guide your students to the appropriate library resources and supports. Bring your questions if you have them!

Academic integrity for faculty: Promoting library resources to your students—Online, Friday, January 7th 12:00pm to 12:30pm

Want to promote academic integrity in the classroom and wonder where to start? This short session for faculty provides an overview of available library resources to help you support, encourage and guide your students in their understanding and practice of academic integrity. By using library research guides, citation guides, videos, tutorials and librarian support, students will feel more confident to complete their assignments with integrity.

Have questions or would like to set-up a one-on-one session with a librarian? Please don’t hesitate to contact me or your subject liaison librarian.

 Healthy Together!

 CAL faculty support

Office of Student Support

 Library workshops

OPD

eLearning Where to get Help Reminders for Winter 2022

As the Winter 2022 term begins, I wanted to remind you of some important information related to D2L, both for faculty and students.   

First, how you contact us for support has changed! If you need help with D2L, Collaborate, or Kaltura, you can now submit a ticket on our eLearning Support Portal. Click Faculty or Student, then select your issue, or click “My Issue is Not Listed.” 

In addition, you can find out more about D2L by opening the following documents: 

Camosun Open Sustainability Project: Project Story #6

And now for the sixth story in our ongoing series related to Camosun’s Open Education Sustainability Project:  Sandra Carr. Sandra teaches in the Fine Furniture (Joinery Trades) program at Camosun.  In fact, she is the only one who teaches in this program which as you can imagine, has created some challenges as she embarked on creating open textbook materials to support her students.

Like Brian Coey, Sandra’s goal in applying for this project was to “create something that dealt with all of our stationary machinery in the shop because our program currently doesn’t have a textbook.”  She had used open content in the past, for example, the Trades Common Core materials, saying that she “tried as much as I could to bring in that content into the program to save having to use other materials that would cost the students.” What she finds very powerful about working with open materials is the ability to tailor the content to her own program. “Within the text, I can use examples of things that we actually do in the shop using our own machinery, meaning there would be a familiarity there for the students. And then of course I can keep editing it.” Finally, Sandra is excited that open materials give students not only the opportunity to review content before and after their shop session, but also to access the content after they finish their programs. “A lot of what we do is ephemeral – they have access to material for the term, and then it’s gone. Whereas this is something that they can refer back whenever they need to.”  But recognizing that access to open content can go beyond her students, Sandra hopes that high-school teachers will also use and share (and potentially adapt) her open content because they typically don’t have much of a budget, nor do they have a textbook.

In addition to the challenge of being the lone instructor in her program (meaning that to work on this project, Sandra had to request leave leaving a substitute to teach for her, and use non-contact time, in order to find focus time and mental space to work on the project), Sandra tells me that one of the bigger challenges she had embarking on this project was “understanding and navigating the copyright around images. In the end I learned it was easier to create images myself rather than trying to navigate copyright for what I wanted to do.”  In addition, because she had never written anything like this before, she found deciding what to include or not include, as well as figuring out the appropriate writing style challenging. Basically, it was all about “just getting up and going on something brand new that I never done before.”  Finally, “one other challenge was creating graphics and images, which I quickly learned that I could have our graphic services help me with”

With all challenges come lessons learned, as well as new skills. “I learned how to write succinctly and simply and also how to standardize the format of the information I presented.” Sandra also greatly appreciated Pressbooks once she learned how to use it. “I think it’s a valuable resource, and I would love to move more of my content onto Pressbooks.”

Sandra does have some advice for other faculty thinking of moving their content into the open, and in particular into Pressbooks. “Create the most comprehensive outline that you possibly can. And if possible, work directly in Pressbooks rather than copying content from WORD. Standardize your images before you begin uploading them to Pressbooks because the more you figure out beforehand, the more time you will save. Finally, “if you’re writing several sections, create that outline, and then create one full section because you will discover what organization and formats will work best overall. I initially focused on the first section until I had a template for the rest of the sections.”

Moving forward, Sandra is still working on completing the (six) chapters she has created in Pressbooks.  She would like eventually to add videos saying “the value of video is something I’ve heard from students – they can go back in their own time to review the videos, learn the processes better, and become more confident. And since I’ve got my webcam and microphone now, and have been creating videos for other projects already, all I need is to put together the copy and images, and then I can add video to my book.”  Sandra also sees the benefits of video adding a consistency to demonstrations for students. “Having videos, rather than demonstrating in person multiple times, adds consistency and leverages your capacity as an instructor. Our courses will never be self-directed, but having content available where students can watch the video as many times as they need to, in addition to having me demonstrate in real time is so beneficial to the student. Some students need to view the content multiple times to really grasp the procedures, and it’s there for them at the time they need it.”

Sandra’s final thoughts to me reiterated how happy she is to be able to share content, not just with students, but with the wider community. “I’m here doing this work anyway, and to be able to publish it and share it, and then have others edit and contribute to it is amazing.”

Camosun Faculty Story #42: Pat

Pat is a Math instructor at Camosun, teaching courses in the Technology and Engineering Bridge programs at Interurban.  She said that teaching online was both familiar and new and unexpected at the same time.  “I have been teaching with a tablet for maybe 10 years now, so that was not new.  And while I thought that using Collaborate would be difficult, it actually went really well.  Oddly, I think helped me the most was attending the e-learning workshops on D2L. I didn’t end up using much D2L, but watching people use Collaborate was really helpful – I was learning about the tools that were being used to talk about D2L instead of about D2L!  In the end, Pat used a combination of Collaborate, some D2L, and also her own website which contains archival material from all the courses she’s ever taught.  “Moving online pushed me into finally doing that massive amount of work getting weekly homework up online for my students.”  But she also ran into those insidious online tools students can access that provide solutions to math problems, which she admits is not only a challenge for us here at Camosun, but for math departments across Canada.

One thing that surprised Pat was how much students wanted synchronous sessions. “They really wanted a feeling of interaction with me and the other students, although they didn’t typically turn on their cameras on (and I don’t require them to).”  Very different from her normal face to face classes.  “I usually have a pretty rowdy classroom, but here I was mostly talking to my screen with the occasional reminder that there were people listening to me, which was really isolating and kind of lonely to be honest.”

Pat says she learned a lot about her teaching over the past year.  “Because I was doing a few synchronous sessions, they became the highlights reel, and I ended up tossing out a lot of material that I don’t actually really miss, which is going to change what I do when we go back in person.  That laser focus of where I can put my effort has been really interesting and kind of transformative. Will my in-person lectures in the fall be the same as they were a year ago? No, they won’t.  What will they look like? I don’t know yet, but I’m pretty sure they will be different.”

One challenge Pat mentioned to me was a term I hadn’t heard before, but made perfect sense to me (and I am sure to all faculty over the last year).  “What was most challenging about the fall semester, at least the first month, was decision fatigue.” Decisions about online testing, like “what online tools do you allow and don’t allow? What instructions do you give students? How do you prepare them for it? How do you make sure that they understand the differences between an open book and a closed book exam? Do I just tell the students the instructions, or do I email them as well? And then beyond the testing piece: “How am I going to run my courses? Am I going to have a final exam? What do I do in my Collaborate sessions?  How am I going communicate with students? What are my office hours going to look like?  How do I get the wording (for everything!) just right?”  And related to the decision fatigue Pat faced, fighting exhaustion so she could work with what she called vigilance tasks, those tasks where you have to be at the top of your game, where you can’t be distracted, was also a challenge. For example, “marking tests is a vigilance task. If I want to do my best job marking and be fair to students, I can’t do it when I’m distracted or overly tired because I will make mistakes and not be consistent across the entire class.”

Moving forward, Pat is considering what she will keep from everything she learned last year.  Aside from continuing to work on changing the focus of her lectures, “I am considering having some Collaborate office hours at the end of the day. Email is okay if they send me a picture their work, but sometimes the math notation is so elaborate that being able to do handwritten work with them would be really helpful. “And for students who can’t make it to class, particularly in this time of COVID, having the ability to watch something later is really important. And that is why in my ideal universe, my classes would have videos of examples so that students could go and absorb some of the content in different ways.  Having those multiple modes to support student learning is so important.”

Spring 2022 workshop list

Planning for Spring 2022 Scheduled Development?  With SD Intents due on February 1st now is a good time to start planning what you want to do with your time. Below is a list of CETL offerings for the May/June 2022 period, with more to come as the time gets closer.

Registration is now open for the following spring offerings:

 Instructional Skills Workshop May 2-5, in-person, Lansdowne Campus REGISTER HERE

The 3½ day peer-based workshop is an excellent opportunity to learn in a fun, safe environment with colleagues from across the college, and improve your teaching practice. (More info)

Great Teachers Seminar: May 9-12, Honeymoon Bay Retreat Centre REGISTER HERE

Engage in a learning process of shared information and experiences, self-reflection, and action planning. Explore a variety of teaching strategies, innovations, instructional challenges and solutions. (More info)

FLO Blended Learning: May 16-June 2, online and in-person at both campuses REGISTER HERE

Learn research-based concepts, principles, and strategies that will make facilitating a course with both online and face-to-face components effective and engaging. This course will help you create seamless lesson plans that utilize the most applicable elements of both the online and face-to-face environments.

Stay tuned! Registration will open mid-winter for the following spring offerings:

 (NOTE: For planning purposes, assume these workshops will be one to 1.5 hrs except Pulling Together series)

Beginner

Intermediate

Advanced

D2L

Getting started with D2L to support face-to-face classes Setting up your gradebook Working with master courses
Quizzes in D2L Advanced quizzing
Getting started with D2L to support your blended and online classes

 

Use D2L to create and deliver great assignments

Part 1: Designing effective assignments

Part 2: Creating, grading and providing feedback in D2L

Streamline the marking process using rubrics and other feedback Tools

Part 1: Intro to feedback and rubrics

Part 2: Creating and using rubrics in D2L

  Creating Discussions Advanced content creation using templates and accessible design
Content Management in D2L Spring Cleaning  

Accessibility

Text-to-Speech support for students: An orientation to the ReadSpeaker tools in Your D2L course Introduction to the ALLY tool in D2L Using the accessibility reports in D2L: What do I need to do?
Creating accessible content for your online classroom: 7 things you can do right now!   Using student stories and Universal Design for Learning (UDL) to design for accessibility

Collaborate

Introduction to Blackboard Collaborate Ultra Supported practice sessions: On-demand small group sessions on practice or groups  

Kaltura

Enhancing your courses with video (Kaltura intro) Going deeper with videos and Kaltura Creating great accessible Kaltura capture videos

Open Education/OER

Intro to Open Ed and OER Introduction to H5P Introduction to open pedagogy
Intro to Creative Commons Intro to Open ETC’s WordPress Redesigning your course to be more open
Introduction to common open tools and resources    

Assessment

Aligning assessment with outcomes Feedback and formative assessment Alternative assessments
Deterring Plagiarism Self and peer assessment  
  Online tools to design and manage assessments

(see D2L stream)

 

Other

  New student onboarding: A faculty perspective Pulling Together series

 

 

Creative Commons Self-Paced Workshop

Want to know more about Creative Commons licensing? Check out a new self-paced Creative Commons workshop on our eLearning Workshops site.

Creative Commons is first and foremost a non-profit organization that supports creators to both retain their copyright and to freely share their creations as they choose, and allows others to Retain, Revise, Reuse, Remix, and Redistribute those creations. Creative Commons is also recognized as a set of free-to-use licenses allowing copyright owners to show how they want their work to be shared. In this online workshop, you will learn more about Creative Commons (CC) and how CC licenses can be used to support the adoption, creation, adaption, etc. of open resources for you and your students.

Our Creative Commons Workshop (created by Emily Schudel as her final project in her Creative Commons Certification program) should take you 2-3 hours to complete, between reading the materials and completing the suggested activities. By the time you complete this workshop, you will be able to:

  1. Find CC-licensed material you can use in your own course(s).
  2. Create, adapt, and share CC-licensed works for your subject area.
  3. Apply the appropriate CC-license to works you create or adapt for your course(s) and release them as Open Educational Resources (OER).

If you have any questions or comments as you go through our workshop, please email Emily Schudel.

Takeaways from Camosun’s First Blended Learning Conversation Café

On November 4th, 2021, a group of 20 Camosun faculty and staff got together for a conversation about blended learning – what works well, what can be challenging, and what are some solutions and considerations. I wanted to share with you some of the key takeaways from these conversations.

First, however, here is Camosun’s Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL)’s current working definition of Blended Learning:

A form of hybrid learning which blends in-person and online instruction and where all students generally follow the same mix of online and in-person activities. In some cases, particularly when traditionally in-person courses are moved to a blended model, online activities may replace some in-person activities. This practice is variously referred to as blended, hybrid, or mixed mode, and has important consequences for scheduling and registration procedures.

The first question we posed for open discussion was: What are the best bits (tools and strategies) from your online teaching experience during the pivot that you want to or are carrying forward this year when teaching in-person or in a blended environment?

Leveraging existing and supported tools (for example, in Camosun’s case, D2L tools). These tools provide both transparency around how learners are being assessed, as well as organization and consistency for both learners and instructors.

Providing learners with multiple content modes (text, images, audio, video). Content like this can be reviewed as many times as learners need to. Videos or audio could contain interviews or discussions between subject matter experts, allowing learners to listen to two seasoned readers modelling critical analysis, discussion, exploration of material.

Providing learners with the opportunity to work on content before coming to an in-person class discussion, problem-solving activity based on the content, or question and answer session, in a flipped classroom model.

Designing activities so that they can be done at home in case students can’t come to class (which is definitely an issue these days when students and instructors cannot come to class if they are sick.)

Bringing in guest speakers, either live into the classroom via videoconferencing, or via videos embedded in a course site.

Having learners create content to share and discuss with their colleagues, for example creating a short video outlining an assignment, checking their understanding of the assignment and explaining their work, why they know what they know and what they’ve learned, or having student teams use discussion boards to share their work with other teams.

In smaller groups, we then discussed the following questions: How could a blended delivery model support your students? What do we need to consider? What might be the challenges of a blended learning model? Potential solutions?

Benefits

Blended learning can make education more accessible, encouraging Universal Design for Learning (UDL) and recognizing the diversity of learners and instructors including the diversity of preferred modes of learning/teaching. It can accommodate students who prefer to learn on their own but also students who don’t have the best access to technology and provide flexibility for instructors and students with busy lives.

Blended learning can add options for students who are perhaps reluctant to speak in an in-person class, who need more time to consider questions before volunteering answers, thus broadening course participation, creating more opportunities for interaction, and supporting more collaborative learning.

Blended learning aligns with student expectations and the skills and experience needed in the current (often blended/ always technology assisted) work environment.

Challenges

As an institution we need to create/use consistent definitions for terminology – online, synchronous, blended, asynchronous – as well as acknowledging the different perspectives of students, faculty, institutional services, and administration around these terms.

Because it can be labour intensive to develop a good online or blended course, we need to provide faculty with funding and/or release as well as dedicated support. There can be a steep learning curve for faculty and students both for teaching/learning online and for using the technology. And additionally, access to technology and support can be limited for some students meaning that some aspects of the online component of a blended course may not be available to them.

We need to consider decision-making processes when deciding to run a course in a blended format. Faculty need the ability to structure the classes to what is best for student learning while recognizing the complexities of scheduling logistics between online and on-campus can be tough.

We need to reflect on changing technologies and institutional attachment to specific platforms and software, while ensuring those platforms don’t define our pedagogy but rather support what we need for teaching and learning.

We need to manage learner expectations by ensuring they understand that online courses or course components are not necessarily self-paced, and that the flexibility afforded by blended learning options may require learners to learn additional time management skills.

What’s next?

The participants in our conversation café are looking forward to continuing the conversations next term, and in the meantime, we in CETL will be sharing the key takeaways with our CETL team and leadership at the college, along with some recommendations for future discussion.

Want to know more about how we in CETL are supporting Blended Learning at Camosun? Contact Emily Schudel (schudele@camosun.ca)

Final Grades in D2L

Well, it’s hard to believe, but here we are at the end of another term.  I know you are all probably exhausted from the past couple of years of uncertainty, but here’s hoping everyone gets a well-deserved break over the holidays.

In the meantime, if you are wondering how to release your final grades to students in D2L, and to export final grades from D2L into myCamosun, here are some links to tutorials that might help!  Remember, if you have questions or run into any trouble, contact eLearning Support – now through our new Team Dynamix Portal.

Camosun Open Sustainability Project: Project Story #5

Fifth in our ongoing series on Camosun’s Open Sustainability Project, as I finally catch up with the amazing faculty project stories I have collected so far (three more interviews to go!), is Pooja Gupta. Pooja teaches upgrading math, and for this project she has been working on adapting an existing open textbook, splitting it into three textbooks and creating ancillary materials to support instructors using them – specifically creating PowerPoints and open math problems for student self-study using an open system called MyOpenMath.

Pooja tells me that her Open journey “started with searching for a suitable open textbook that I could use with my upgrading math students, but there were none. In addition, I was using Pearson MyMathLab for teaching my online math sections, but we had concerns about student privacy where student data was being stored.  More traditional textbooks are expensive, and the editions change frequently which always made me anxious because I worried about how students who bought that $200 textbook would afford a brand-new edition. So, there were multiple reasons leading me to look for something more sustainable and less expensive for students.”

Reducing costs for students was the biggest incentive for Pooja to work with Open Educational Resources (OER) mainly because the courses she works with are tuition-free, and it seemed unreasonable to ask students to purchase expensive textbooks when they are expecting free courses.  She does note, however, that even with open textbooks “if a student prints them, that can still be expensive because these are huge books. I work in a department where we see a huge economic divide, from international students from wealthy families to students for whom buying a textbook means losing a week’s worth of meals.  Sometimes choosing a textbook for a course can be a bit emotional because there is such a huge divide, and one solution does not work for everyone. Even when using digital texts, I am constantly concerned about students. Will they be able to access it? How are we going to support them?  But sometimes you just have to do the best you can at a given time.”

Pooja has faced many challenges along the way in this project, but the biggest was the inability to find a reliable open online tool she could use to create a math test bank.  “There aren’t many options that are adaptive, and the only platform I had available initially in which to build questions was D2L which is not open. So that was my biggest challenge: finding an open platform that would work across the country, and in different countries, which would randomly generate questions.  There were paid subscription services everywhere, but nothing open source.”  Finally, she settled on the MyOpenMath platform.

As you can probably guess, Pooja is not one to give up and one of the biggest lessons she learned in moving into OER is persistence.  “This process of finding and getting MyMathLab to work with D2L has been going on for at least 5 years.  But if you keep asking questions and talking to people, then things happen. So, I kept prodding and poking and kept at it – being persistent really paid off.”

As for advice Pooja has for other faculty wanting to explore the world of Open Education, she says first, “make sure to vet the content of any open textbook you want to adapt because it might work for one group of students, but not another.”  But don’t limit yourself to one book.  “Find multiple open textbooks. Don’t be afraid to put them together and make it your own, add your own personality into it. In addition, be mindful of the copyright and creative commons licences.  If you don’t know how to attribute licenced content, connect with a librarian. And finally, don’t rush the process of finding the right open textbooks, because it is not going to happen overnight, and give yourself time to work with the materials before you pilot them with your students. Also, knowing that there is a lack of editors in the OER world, I have committed to improve my resources on an ongoing basis.”

Like other faculty involved with our Open Sustainability Project, Pooja plans to keep working with OER.  But she first wants to complete her current project working with her test bank in MyOpenMath before exploring more open options, like H5P, to support her in bringing math to life for her students.

Centre for Teaching & Learning November Bulletin

The first two months here have been a whirlwind adventure!  My [department team] have been very supportive… That said, and I’ll be honest, the first couple of weeks felt like I was being dropped in at the deep end… I had never taught before, and it had been… well, about 20 years since I spoke in front of a group larger than a few people.  WHoooo!  … And now guiding and teaching many impressionable minds… Good thing I’m passionate about and thoroughly know the subject matter that I’m teaching… I haven’t been this excited about going to work in a long, long time.” Quote from a new faculty member

Invitation to join the Teaching and Learning Council

The Camosun College T&L Council is a collaborative, peer-based, interdisciplinary group of faculty from across the college with a passion for advancing quality teaching and learning at Camosun, including advocacy, supports and strategies. We are seeking faculty with enrolled students willing to act as champions, and actively engage in the Council’s projects. Learn more here…

Deadline for expressions of interest: November 12

Camosun Showcase 2022: Professional, Scholarly and Creative Activity

Call for submissions to share your knowledge and expertise! Are you interested in sharing your stories of innovation, research, and creativity with the college community and beyond? Are you interested in highlighting the relevant and important work that you have done individually or collaboratively with colleagues, students, or community?  Are you interested in writing about how you realized the ‘opportunity in the crisis’ in the last year and a half in terms of your students’ learning or your instruction? Learn more here…

Deadline for expressions of interest: December 13

Past Showcase Issues

Camosun’s Open Education Project

Congratulation to all who have participated in helping to build capacity for open education at Camosun. We received a BCcampus Open Sustainability grant that helped support a group of faculty to develop/redevelop their courses using open education resources. It has been a collaborative project involving support from across the college.  Through this funding and matching funds from the college, this project has brought together 11 faculty members, as well as librarians, copyright experts, instructional designers (with expertise in Universal Design for Learning, OERs, educational technology, etc.), curriculum developers, indigenization specialists, and others in an extensive (and exceptional!) collaboration. Together, we are working towards creating a framework for best practices in bringing OER sustainably into every-day use at the college.

Take a few minutes and listen to faculty speak about their projects

  1. Sandra Carr: Open textbook for Joinery/Woodworking
  2. Michelle Clement: Revising an open textbook for Marketing
  3. Brian Coey: Open textbook for Sheet Metal/Welding
  4. Pooja Gupta: Open math homework and ancillary resources to support existing open textbooks
  5. Peggy Hunter: Revising/enhancing existing WordPress Biology lab site (interactive images, self-tests)
  6. Stephanie Ingraham: Open textbook for Physics
  7. Liz Morch: Five nutrition modules on WordPress
  8. Alex Purdy, Jana Suraci, Sarah Erdelyi: Open textbook on Allied Health patient management

More Camosun faculty stories

We now have a collection of 41 inspirational stories from faculty across the college. Enjoy reading them!

·       Story #40: Laura

·       Story #41: Michelle

For more information about either the Open Education or the Faculty Stories projects, contact Emily Schudel at schudele@camosun.ca.

Free learning opportunities and resources

NEW! Rubrics guide

NEW! Dismantling racism & oppression Anti-racism & social justice guide

Magna Publications free resources (Faculty Focus newsletter, Teaching Professor email updates)

Anti-racist writing pedagogy workshop November 10, 12:30-1:30pm. Join Zoom here

BC Campus free learning opportunities: