Category Archives: News

Registration for 12th Annual OpenEd Conference Now Open

The 12th annual Open Education Conference will take place in Vancouver, BC this November from the 18th to the 20th. The conference theme is “the impact of open” and methodologically rigorous research is demonstrating that these OER-based models can be extremely effective in reducing the cost of education and improving student learning. Now that this foundation of content, practices, and research has been firmly established, the field is turning increasingly towards broadening the impact of this work.

Registration for OpenEd15 is now open and the early bird registration price will be available through September 30, 2015.


BC Librarians Publish Guide to Open Ed Resources

The BCOER Librarian group recently published a guide to open education resources, which includes:

  • Faculty toolkits for open education, access and open textbooks.
  • A vetted list of open education repositories (spaces with open education content) and basic evaluation criteria for faculty assessing open education resources.
  • Resources, including rubrics and promotional material on open education topics

Through collaboration with BCCampus, the BCOER Librarian group supports librarians and faculty in awareness, access and use of open education content. This past year they have been working together on the development of guides, training opportunities and advocacy around open education and open access.


New Open Textbook From Tony Bates on Teaching in the Digital Age

Tony Bates has published a new 512-page open textbook entitled Teaching in a Digital Age. The book examines the underlying principles that guide effective teaching in an age when everyone,and in particular the students we are teaching, are using technology. The book enables teachers and instructors to help students develop the knowledge and skills they will need in a digital age and includes a chapter on trends in open education.

Dr. Bates is a pioneer in online leaning and his lengthy resume includes being a founding member of the Open University in the UK where he was a Professor of Educational Media Research as well as having been the Director of Distance Education and Technology at UBC. Teaching in a Digital Age is published under a Creative Commons license and is available for free download.


New Open Textbook: Canadian History Pre-Confederation

BCcampus recently announced the release of a new open textbook: Canadian History: Pre-Confederation. This book is a survey text that introduces undergraduate students to important themes in North American history to 1867. It provides room for Aboriginal and European agendas and narratives, explores the connections between the territory that coalesces into the shape of modern Canada and the larger continent and world in which it operates, and engages with emergent issues in the field. The material is pursued in a largely chronological manner to the early 19th century, at which point social, economic, and political change are dissected.

Canadian History: Pre-Confederation by John Douglas Belshaw, Thompson Rivers University is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.


BCcampus wins Open Education Award for Excellence

BCcampus was recently recognized for creative innovation by the Open Education Consortium, a worldwide community of higher education institutions and organizations devoted to open education and global education. The Open Education Awards for Excellence recognizes outstanding contributions within the Open Education community, and are announced each year at the Open Education Global Conference.


BC Advanced Education Minister: Open Education Offers New Learning Experiences

BC Advanced Education Minister Andrew Wilkinson recently issued a press release about Open Education Week: “Technology and the need for affordable, high-quality education materials are driving new ways of thinking about teaching and learning. Today, there is a growing movement toward free and open sharing of educational resources as a way to increase access to education and knowledge for everyone. Open Education Week celebrates this new direction, and helps raise awareness of the many new opportunities for learners and educators to meet their needs and goals.”


Open Course about Using WordPress for Teaching & Learning

Teaching with WordPress is an open, collaborative online course on using WordPress for teaching and learning in higher education.  The course is being hosted by faculty and staff at UBC and is intended to launch in May of 2015. Join us to talk about and experiment with, among other things:

  • Open education and open pedagogy
  • WordPress as a highly customizable framework for teaching and learning
  • Examples of instructors and learners using WordPress sites in many different ways for multiple purposes
  • Plug ins, applications and approaches for creating, discussing, sharing and interacting with each other

We are currently developing this course (check out the syllabus) and we would love to hear your feedback on any elements we have so far. What are we missing? What’s unclear?


BCcampus Open Education Week Webinars

As part of Open Education Week, March 9-13, 2015, BCcampus has organized a week of Open Education webinars. Topics include:

  • A Discussion on Open Pedagogy
  • Distinguishing the dOERs: Faculty use of Open Educational Resources
  • Can I actually use it? Testing open textbooks for accessibility
  • Institutional Library Support
  • The Open Web: (a) Lost (b) Reclaimed (c) Co-claimed (d) All of the above

These webinars are open to anyone who wishes to participate.



BC Open Textbook Summit, May 28-29

The third annual BC Open Textbook Summit 2015 is taking place on May 28-29, 2015 in Vancouver.  The summit, which is hosted by BCcampus, brings together leaders in the Open Textbook field, faculty who are reviewing, adopting and developing Open Textbooks, student advocates, librarians, institutional administrators, government officials, and policy staff.


Opening the Curriculum: Open Education Resources in U.S. Higher Education

The Babson Survey Research Group recently published the results of a large survey that “examines the attitudes, opinions, and use of Open Educational Resources (OER) among teaching faculty.” The report, which was funded by Pearson and the Hewlett Foundation, found that while faculty are not very aware of open educational resources, they do appreciate the concepts of OER. Additional findings include:

  • More faculty are using OER than report that they were aware of the term OER. Resource adoption decisions are driven by a wide variety of factors, with the efficacy of the material being cited most often.
  • Faculty judge the quality of OER to be roughly equivalent to that of traditional educational resources.
  • The most significant barrier to wider adoption of OER remains a faculty perception of the time and effort required to find and evaluate it.
  • Faculty are the key decision makers for OER adoption. Faculty are almost always involved in an adoption decision and have the primary role.