The Course Team
The Course Team shares Why and How Open Makes Sense for Them
Jenni Hayman - Course Lead and Researcher
As an open learning designer, educator, and advocate for the use of OER and OEP, I can't imagine a different way of working in the world at this point. Almost everything I do for my professional work and my research is done with some level of open practice, and shared in some open way. I find great joy collaborating and communication with a global group of open educators and researchers and I very much look forward to devoting my remaining years as a practitioner to designing and refining effective models that are truly inclusive. I am privileged to have a role with eCampusOntario that empowers me to experiment and pilot open practice and engage in dialogue with educators in Ontario and around the world. I want to use that privilege in the best way I can. For me that's open at the largest possible scale.
It’s common to hear people say that teaching is a private-public act, referring to the ways in which teaching is both deeply personal and communal. Open, to me, is an opportunity to embrace teaching wholeheartedly - to bring a heightened sense of creativity and ownership into our work, and to be so assured of it, that we collaborate and share with others in new and exciting ways. I am drawn into ‘open’ time and time again for these reasons, each time expanding my understandings of what it can mean for me, both personally and as part of an amazing community. This MOOC is the next adventure, I’m looking forward to the journey with you! @ansteypants
Why Open Makes Sense to Me:
In my former life, I was a textbook sales rep. While there were many things that I did appreciate about that job - my colleagues, the trusted relationships I developed with instructors, and the flexibility it provided as I was starting my family, there were other things that never sat well with me. I just wanted to talk about teaching and learning, I didn’t want to have to close a sale. I am so fortunate now to work in a job where I can have similar conversations, but instead I can talk about what is best for student learning and to be thoughtful about issues of pedagogy, access and course design. Time and time again, I find that “open” provides, in particular, as a means of agency toward the development of 21st century digital and media literacy skills for instructors and students alike.
I'm Adjunct Faculty with the School of Education at Thompson Rivers University, and Associate Faculty with the School of Education and Technology at Royal Roads University. My roles have included instructional designer, instructor, program developer, administrator and musician in open and distance learning. Since I call myself an open educator, I have no choice but to be open. Simple!!
Open makes sense to me because I grew up wearing my sister's hand-me-downs, playing in open fields on my father's farm, and working together to put food on the table. Open is an ethos of sharing that is ingrained into my psyche and DNA. It just makes sense to share our teaching and learning resources, materials, creations and insights. We can learn from each other as we build communities of practice in education.
Open is logical. I began my teaching career in the elementary system. There we created and shared our resources freely ~ anything to improve the teaching and learning experience. I still remember staying up to construct 3D books (amazing what you can do with cotton balls, tissue paper, popsicle sticks, pipe cleaners, cardstock, glue, and desperation). If you know our Ontario curriculum, you can now guess I began in the late 90s when we had new curriculum, but no supporting resources. Most things we made from scratch and added them to the communal pile. In library school, I continued to be surrounded by professionals committed to access of information for all and we could bond over the newly established Creative Commons licenses. Work in the public library system followed this vein. It was only when I moved to academic librarianship in post secondary institutions when sharing became foreign and unwelcomed. What a difference 12 years make! Not only is open a movement gaining impressive momentum, but here we are in a MOOC dedicated to spreading awareness even further.
I'm a believer in breaking down barriers to participation and inclusion, and Open Education is a powerful tool in this regard. Also, as an Instructional Designer, I find that open educational resources and practices help to lighten some unnecessarily heavy design, content, and pedagogical loads carried by many of the faculty with whom I work, while re-framing their efforts in innovative and hopeful ways. Sensible, yes?
It’s really difficult to provide rich, lively, and effective learning experiences to learners. It’s difficult to find the right resources, to deliver it effectively, and to assess what happened. But it doesn’t have to be quite so hard and it doesn’t have to be lonely. Being an open educator can not only make it all a bit easier by sharing our expertise, but it also connects us and makes it all more of a shared experience. And that makes me feel warm and fuzzy.
Open education matters to me for a number of reasons threaded throughout my life. As a first-generation student who worked full-time while studying full-time and unable to afford textbooks. As a novice instructional designer who overheard a student in a course I HELPED DESIGN lamenting that she couldn’t afford the $120 textbook. As a parent who has watched her children hack their education (quite formidably I might add) together with the help of Youtube, Wikipedia and sharing with their peers. And finally as an admirer of the many open education heroes and heroines, hidden and heralded, who inspire and encourage me every day.
I view Open as a cultural change which increases access to education by reducing financial barriers. Open is also about sharing, collaborating, and empowering. It’s premised on an understanding that knowledge is for all of us, and all of us can make meaningful contributions to the collective commons. Please follow me on Twitter @Cambrian_Jess!
Open makes sense to me because when implemented thoughtfully and intentionally, it embodies all the things that we should be striving for in education: collaboration, sharing, equity.
It offers opportunities to empower both teachers and learners, putting them in control of their scholarship and their knowledge creation. On a more personal level, I am excited about the possibilities that open, born-digital content opens up: we can build in accessibility from the ground up, ensuring that learning materials are approachable, understandable, and readable by both humans and machines. What’s not to love?