In Open Access Week, we collaborated with Open Access Australasia to put together an event exploring the benefits of, and barriers to adopting, adapting and creating open educational resources. The event featured four case studies with academics who have adopted, adapted or created open educational resources, and unpacked some of the benefits they encountered and the barriers they identified.
The recording of the event is now available.
Along with the recording, we also wanted to share a bunch of resources that were posted in the chat during the event, and the responses the audience gave to some questions we asked during the event.
About the case studies
We featured four brief interviews with academics during the event, with details shared below. For each of these case studies, we have an extended version coming over the next few weeks, so stay tuned for that!
OER adoption with Dr Mathew Marques
Dr Mathew Marques used a psychology open textbook from the NOBA Project in his course at La Trobe University. He also switched the proprietary software usually used in the course for open source software. More on that coming soon in an extended version of Mathew’s case study!
OER adaptation with Dr Wendy Hargreaves
Dr Wendy Hargreaves led a project at the University of Southern Queensland that adapted the open textbook College Success for the Australian context. The adaptation, Academic Success, is available from USQ’s Pressbooks platform.
OER creation with Dr Govind Krishnamoorthy
Dr Govind Krishnamoorthy from the University of Southern Queensland, co-authored the open textbook Trauma Informed Behaviour Support: A Practical Guide to Developing Resilient Learners. The book is published on USQ’s open textbook platform and includes multimedia and quizzes to support student learning.
Indigenous knowledge and OERs with Dr Johanna Funk
The final case study explored how the underpinning philosophy of open educational practice aligns with Indigenous knowledge practices. Dr Johanna Funk is an academic at Charles Darwin University who uses OERs created by and with Indigenous creators in her teaching practice to encourage students to develop their understanding of Indigenous knowledge practices.
Tackling the barriers
For each of the case studies, we explored strategies for overcoming a barrier that the interviewee mentioned. For each barrier, I posed a question to the audience and to one of my co-facilitators. We tacked four barriers or challenges:
- Finding a textbook that covers all of the necessary content in sufficient depth.
- Understanding conventions around sharing and reusing content.
- Managing a large and complex open textbook project.
- Understanding Indigenous knowledge practices.
What the audience said
Browse through the questions we posed and the answers the audience gave.
Reading this post in an email? Click through to the blog to see the embedded slides.
What our panel said
Here’s what our panelists said about some of the barriers our interviewees highlighted.
Finding a textbook that covers all of the relevant content in sufficient depth
I asked Stephen Chang from La Trobe University what resources he would suggest to help academics work around this. You can hear his answer in the video, and here’s the list of resources he suggested:
- Open Educational Licensing (OEL) toolkit: This toolkit includes a tool to help you assess how you can adopt or adapt existing resources.
- NOBA open textbooks in psychology: Stephen suggested looking for discipline-specific open resource collections, and the NOBA project is an example of one for psychology.
- Open Textbook Library: Find existing open textbooks.
- OASIS (Openly Available Sources Integrated Search): Find openly licenced scholarly content.
Managing a large and complex project
One of the pieces of advice Dr Govind Krishnamoorthy offered other academics was to think about an open textbook development as a big project. I think a sense of not knowing where to start or how to manage an open textbook project can be a significant barrier for many academics. I asked my co-facilitator Tahnee Pearse to share a bit about how USQ library supports open textbook creation, and what resources she would suggest to help with tackling the management of an open text project. She told us about the Rebus Foundation. Their website is an excellent source of material on writing and publishing open textbooks.
They also run the Rebus Community, which is a “global community working together to create and share Open Educational Resources (OER). Here you’ll find people, processes, and tools to support your publishing efforts. You can use this platform to:
- start an open textbook project
- give and receive guidance on publishing open textbooks
- post and respond to calls for contributors, and
- connect with global communities that are changing the world through Open Education.” (Rebus Community)
One of my co-facilitators, Adrian Stagg, also shared some general resources for authors of OERs. Here are the resources he spoke about:
- The Open Textbook Library: Take a look at existing open textbooks and learn from their example.
- Guides to authoring and publishing:
A huge thank you to everyone involved in bringing this event together, including our case study interviewees, my co-facilitators (Fiona Salisbury, Stephen Chang, Tahnee Pearse, Adrian Stagg), interviewers (Nikki Andersen), and planners (Marion Slawson). And a big thanks to the Open Access Week organising committee, led by Thomas Shafee.