I have just returned from a successful visit to Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences 2023 – in person! The conference this year was hosted at York University in Toronto and was the first conference back in person since the start of the pandemic in 2020. This was my first large gathering at a conference back in person as well, so it was a bit daunting to be on site. As it turns out, this was the largest Congress yet and the biggest scholarly event in Canadian history.
Despite growing up in Toronto, this my first visit to York University, and I want to congratulate all the event organizers and hosts that made this event a remarkable success. The conference was well organized with lots of friendly help along the way, navigating the campus, during social events, and within conference sessions.
I attended the special interest group of the Open/Technology in Education, Society, and Scholarship Association (OTESSA) at Congress. We were a small group, but everyone in attendance was in the right spot, and so many valuable and interesting conversations and presentations were part of this track. I am hugely grateful to the organizing team for all the work they put in to make this a success. OTESSA was actually born in late 2019 and so this was the first in person gathering to take place. With a goal of inclusivity and using technology in ways that support and create access to the event, OTESSA included two online days in addition to the three in-person days, live streaming of in person sessions using internet radio, and several live streamed as well as recorded keynotes and invited speakers.
I presented three times during the conference, once independently, once in collaboration with my colleague Valerie Irvine, and third in support of my graduate student Maryam who was presenting her research at the conference for the first time in person. The first two of those presentation are shared below with abstracts. Maryam has shared some photos of her presentation online and may share the slides too at some point. Congratulations, Maryam, on a great presentation.
Developing Open Education Literacies in Teacher Education Programs
Researchers have argued that K-12 teachers are well suited to both adopt and develop aspects of open education. DeBarger (2019), suggests that open educational resources (OER), specifically, may be an effective alternative to traditional resources to enhance both student and teacher agency. Marcus-Quinn and Hourigan (2017), acknowledge OER in the development and improvement of teaching effectiveness through more open sharing and development of pedagogy. Similarly, Allen and Katz (2019) posit that teachers are well-positioned to evolve open educational practices and saw that increasing their opportunities to engage openly in a safe environment may impact their self-efficacy and willingness to share openly in the future (Allen & Katz, 2022). Yet, scholars have argued that the research and practice of open education in K-12 is underdeveloped, lacks policy direction, and thus awareness remains low (Blomgren, 2018; Blomgren & MacPherson, 2018).
Teacher education programs have a key role to play in developing open education literacies during teacher training. Taking an expansive view of open education, this may include developing competencies around pedagogical approaches, resource selection, assessment design, and technology use that is driven by openness. There appear to be similar themes in teacher education programs such as accessibility, community engagement, inquiry-driven learning, multimodality, growth mindset, collaboration, mindfulness, and multiculturalism that align well to open educational practices.
This presentation will focus on the ways in which teacher educators might bring aspect of open education into teacher education programs. I will share the results of a literature review on open education in K-12 contexts, a preliminary survey that identifies awareness gaps related to open education, and invite reflections on how teacher educators might introduce open education to emerging teachers in a meaningful way.
A Review of Research on Open education Adoption in higher Education: Exploring Approaches, Readiness, and Methods for Evaluation
The University of Victoria has recently received internal funding to develop the UVic Open Hub. This will be a portal for fostering a community to support open education dialogue, collaboration, and initiatives across the campus, including open teaching and learning resources, sharing approaches to open teaching, and open scholarship. As UVic is not the first to engage in such a project, we will share the results of a literature review that explores a) institutional approaches to expanding adoption of open education, b) faculty readiness to engage with open, and c) evaluation methods used to measure impact. As well, we hope to engage the audience in learning how they have experienced institutional initiatives towards open education and collaboratively develop a set of strategies and approaches for sharing.
The goal of the UVic Open Hub is to shift culture to increase the availability, access, reuse, and redistribution of knowledge artifacts and to support the participation of stakeholders, including undergraduate and graduate students, staff, faculty, and administrators, in areas spanning research (open access, open scholarship, open data), teaching and learning (open education, open pedagogy, open educational resources), and service (connecting open practices for community engagement, marketing, and recruitment). Taking an expansive approach that goes beyond the creation and adoption of open educational resources we hope to develop a culture of open scholarship using a bottom-up approach by engaging with individual academic units.
Cover Photo by Nextvoyage