Open Education Week is NEXT Week!

From Open Education Global:

An annual celebration, Open Education Week (OE Week) is an opportunity for actively sharing and learning about the latest achievements in Open Education worldwide.

Open Education Week was launched in 2012 by Open Education Global as a collaborative, community-built open forum. Every year OE Week raises awareness and highlights innovative open education successes worldwide. OE Week provides practitioners, educators, and students with an opportunity to build a greater understanding of open educational practices and be inspired by the wonderful work being developed by the community around the world.

Next week is Open Education Week and there are many amazing events taking place online you can attend or register for and get the recording.  A large list is available at OEGlobal Open Education Week (see the 2022 Activity Schedule).  This is a great chance to hear what people from across Canada and the world are doing to support OE initiatives, and to connect yourselves with the wider community.  I will be attending a number of sessions myself and will try to note resources to share with everyone after.  If you go to any sessions and find some resources, or hear of something interesting you would like to explore or share, let me know!!

Feel free to share these sessions with others – they are open to all.  Here are a few more:


University of Alberta Open Education Week events:


Sask Polytechnic


Creative Comments: An Introductory Discussion of Open Licensing

On March 7th from 12-1pm MT, Athabasca University will be hosting a lunch-and-learn discussion panel on open licensing. Join Dan Cockcroft (OER Librarian), Rachel Conroy (Copyright Officer) and Mark McCutcheon (Chair of the Centre for Humanities and Professor of Literary Studies) to discuss common questions and misconceptions surrounding open licensing. While the discussion will be oriented to instructors who are curious about open licensing, we invite everyone from the education community to participate. See you there! Grab your free ticket here:

Evaluating Excellence: A Conversation About OER Quality

On March 9th from 12-1pm MT, Athabasca University will be hosting a lunch-and-learn discussion on the quality of Open Educational Resources (OER). Join Dan Cockcroft (OER librarian), Dr. Connie Blomgren (Assistant Professor, Distance Education), Michael Dabrowski (Academic Coordinator, Spanish), Dr. David Annand (Professor, Accounting), and Dr. Dietmar Kennepohl (Professor, Chemistry) to discuss common questions and misconceptions surrounding the quality of open resources. While the panel discussion will be oriented to instructors who are curious about OER, we invite everyone from the education community to participate. Grab your free ticket here:


I’m excited to share SAIT’s Open Education Week activities.  We are still online for our classes and events, so two very talented students have developed the following online asynchronous activities that anyone can access:

Feel free to link to these resources. Our general calendar of events is available at

Open Education Week: March 7-11

From Open Education Global:

An annual celebration, Open Education Week (OE Week) is an opportunity for actively sharing and learning about the latest achievements in Open Education worldwide.

Open Education Week was launched in 2012 by Open Education Global as a collaborative, community-built open forum. Every year OE Week raises awareness and highlights innovative open education successes worldwide. OE Week provides practitioners, educators, and students with an opportunity to build a greater understanding of open educational practices and be inspired by the wonderful work being developed by the community around the world.

In this post I wanted to share some Open Education Week events hosted by a variety of institutions that anyone is welcome to access.  As I hear about more events, I will update this Blog post.


University of Alberta Open Education Week events:


So, that’s a start!  I hope to have more to list here soon.

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 Open Sustainability Project: Project Story #2

The second Open Sustainability Project story I have for you is Michelle Clement’s.  Michelle teaches in Marketing, in the School of Business at Camosun, and has been using Open Education Resources (OER) for a number of years already.  So it was a natural lead into this project – deciding to revise an existing open textbook for one of her courses.

Initially, Michelle had a different textbook in mind, but when she took a closer look she realized that someone else had just updated it the year before.  So, she decided instead that she would revise an open text called The Power of Selling.  There were many reasons for her choice:  first, it was over 600 pages long, and she really felt it needed to be streamlined; second, it was out of date – about 10 years old, and you can imagine how many things have changed in marketing over 10 years; and third, “two other people teach this course that this book is targeted for…I was just trying to think of the value for open education.”

Michelle went through the existing textbook chapter by chapter, checking content and references, making sure everything was current and correct.  “I read through, I [checked for validity] of the subject matter, and [realized I] needed to add information on privacy and social media: everything that ten years ago [didn’t’ really exist].”  She also reorganized the chapters, making sure the format was more what students were used to, writing two new chapters, adding learning outcomes where they were missing, changing all the language to be gender neutral, adding study questions, and taking out instructor suggestions which she didn’t feel were relevant for students (instructor resources are one of the things she is hoping to add back in in the future.)  When she was finished, 600 pages had become just over 200!

Michelle encountered some challenges along the way.  Finding images and visuals that are Creative Commons licenced, and specific to your content, can sometimes be difficult.  And creating your own visuals can be time consuming.  As a result, she didn’t add as many images this time around, but has plans to find/create more in the future. “If I can just create even one more [visual] per chapter, then it will make it a little more engaging than just the written word.”  Another challenge she sees beyond the revision process, is encouraging other faculty to adopt an open textbook.  This is where the instructor resources, which she is planning to add this spring, come into play – having PowerPoints, quiz questions, etc. along with the textbook is hugely helpful especially for Term faculty, or new faculty who have not taught a course before.

Michelle piloted the revised textbook last fall, adding it as a PDF file into her D2L course site.  Eventually she will move it into Pressbooks to share it back, but she wanted to see how it worked for her students, and was able to get some feedback from them during the term.  She reflects now, as a takeaway from all the work she did, that “when you write the textbook, you know it really well” which she sees also as a positive from a student’s perspective.

If Michelle could give someone advice about revising an open textbook, she says to “prepare for it to be bigger than you think!”  Of course, while it’s important to allocate the right amount of time for a project like this, be prepared for it to take more time.  She also advises to “have a really good sense of what you’re trying to do first.”  Have a plan, make sure you are consistent with your design, and keep it simple.  She says it also helps if you enjoy research – “you do need to enjoy having that meander through the library.”  Finally, Michelle also advises to enlist someone to proof your revisions, to “just have another set of eyes on it.”

Michelle says she has been, and still is, “full on open.”  She uses OER, library resources, or her own materials for most of her courses, reminding us that “you can actually teach around a topic and don’t necessarily have to teach around a textbook.”  She will be continuing her work on The Power of Selling this spring (adding images and working on an instructor resource guide), but also is considering revising another open textbook, one for Marketing 110, in the future.

Integrating Creative Commons Material into your Course(s).

Open Education Week 2020 iconSome of you may know that last term, I completed the Creative Commons certificate.  It was an amazing course, and I highly recommend it to everyone.  A great example of how to open assignments up so that you are meeting outcomes through a variety of assessment choices (leaving it up to the learners to decide which assessment type is good for them), as well as a great example of using various online technologies to support learners in how they interacted with the course material.

For the certificate, I completed a number of assignments, all of which are available on one of my personal blog sites, but I thought for this final Open Education Week post, I would share my final assignment with you, an online workshop entitled Integrating Creative Commons Material into your Course(s).

I will be working on revising this workshop for delivery at Camosun this spring (as an asynchronous, self-paced workshop), and would invite anyone out there to provide feedback to me.  If you have any words of wisdom or suggestions for me, please either comment on this post, or email me at

Thanks for joining me this Open Education Week 2020!  I will continue to share posts on Open with you regularly, so please keep visiting!

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!