ICYMI: Catch up on these OER events from Open Access Week

It’s the week after Open Access Week, which means it’s time to catch up on all of the great events that you missed last week!

Australian university libraries offered a diverse range of online events last week and I have quite the list of recordings bookmarked to catch up on. There was so much on that it was tricky to prioritise, but many of the events were recorded and institutions have been releasing those recordings over the last few days. Here are three that I’ll be watching this weekend, all focused on open educational resources.

La Trobe eBureau presents: it’s publishing, but not as we know it – creating equitable and engaging resources for online learning

This panel discussion was hosted by the La Trobe eBureau as part of Open Access Week The panellists talked about the experience of writing an open textbook, the benefits and successes of this, and the challenges for normalising a culture of open educational practices in higher education. Facilitated by Fiona Salisbury, the panel featured La Trobe University academics Brianna Julien, Katherine Seaton, and Louise Lexis. Steven Chang, who is a member of the OER Advocacy Project Team gave an overview of La Trobe’s eBureau to start the event.

Watch the video.

Open access at UTS: How open textbooks will change your life

This panel session from the University of Technology, Sydney was facilitated by David Yeats and featured UTS academic Dr Amanda White, UTS Learning Design and Technology Specialist Dr Mais Fatayer, and Deakin University’s Dr Sarah Lambert. From the event description:

Libraries are under increasing financial pressure from textbook publishers, with costs skyrocketing and limited licence conditions. Open textbooks offer a solution that is cost-effective for students. They can also be modified for local needs to correct gender, socio-cultural and Indigenous under-representation in the curriculum. There is mounting research to show that students benefit from free textbooks in similar ways to scholarships and financial aid – by lifting grades and course progress rates.

Watch the recording.

And while you’re at it, if you haven’t yet discovered Dr Amanda White’s YouTube channel Amanda Loves to Audit, I highly recommend you take a look!

Open Education Practice Learning and Teaching grants panel discussion: Open book publishing – motivations and balanced outcomes

The University of Southern Queensland Library hosted a panel session featuring several USQ academics who were recipients of USQ’s Open Education Practice Learning & Teaching Grants and who have authored open books. Facilitated by Professor Christy Collis, the panellists included Assoc Prof Martin Kerby, Honorary Prof Tony Machin, Professor Tanya Machin and Assoc Prof Erich Fein.

Catch the recording.

Keep a lookout next week for a post about the OER event we co-hosted with Open Access Australasia during Open Access Week, Another kind of open. We’ll be sharing the recording along with all the resources shared in the chat and attendees’ responses to the polls we ran in the session, and extended versions of the case studies we shared during the event will follow over the next couple of weeks.

It matters how we build open knowledge

This post was written by Adrian Stagg, Manager (Open Educational Practices), University of Southern Queensland. Adrian is the Project Lead for the Open Educational Resources Advocacy project.

Open Access Australasia
Open Access Week 2021
5 days
8 sessions
20+ panelists
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The why of open knowledge is a strong focus for higher education institutions. In the open education space, advocates promote the benefits related to social equity, reducing costs, improving learning and teaching outcomes, seeking a market differential, or combinations of these. To achieve these benefits, the way we go about openness is critical. It matters how we approach developing, publishing, adapting and adopting open educational resources (OER).

When we’re advocating for OER, we’re hoping to get to a point where there is institutional support, leading to practical action – and this phase can be just as daunting as the advocacy phase. The manner in which an institution and its staff approach opening knowledge signals strength of commitment and maturity of practice, and impacts on outcomes.

This year, the theme of Open Access Week is It matters how we build open knowledge: building structural equity.

Over the last few years, Open Access Australasia has coordinated an Australian calendar of events with a focus on practicality, and deep conversations. This year is no different.

Whether you are new to openness, or have been involved for a while, the breadth of discussion in the 2021 program will be valuable to you and your colleagues. This is an opportunity to interact and learn in a free and open learning environment. The topics will include:

  • Ecologies of open access – for whom are we making knowledge open, and what are the next steps?
  • Changing the thinking around assessing the value of research, and ‘what counts’ as research output
  • Learning about open research practices from across a spectrum of disciplines
  • Open Science
  • Indigenous perspectives on open and closed knowledge and the implications for research
  • Making research outcomes more accessible
  • Openness in learning and teaching.

There’s even an opportunity to participate in a hackathon.

Browse through the program and start blocking out your calendar. If you’re fostering open access or open education at any scale, these sessions will be full of practical advise and critical conversations that will prompt you to reflect on how you approach open. Learning from others can help you to make your practice more successful.

University of Newcastle Library launches Student as Partners Framework

This post was written by Coral Black, University Librarian at the University of Newcastle.

The University of Newcastle Library launched its new Students as Partners Framework on 27 July, building on our strong reputation in delivering excellent student support this takes us one step further where students co-create and co-deliver our services as an integral member of our library team. 

The new framework outlines how we engage and collaborate meaningfully with students through partnership and employment. Our aim is to increase the number of students we employ, engage through internships or on WIL placements to enhance the student experience and help facilitate life-ready graduates.

The Students as Partners Framework is designed to:

  • provide a common language and conceptual lens for staff and students to understand collaborative engagement and Students as Partners approaches.
  • assist in identifying and developing opportunities for student employment and partnerships within the Library.
  • guide thinking and decision making as staff and students generate ideas and begin to develop opportunities, projects, and activities. 

This Framework describes many initiatives the Library has been undertaking for some time, including paid internships, Work Integrated Learning (WIL) projects, paid project related roles, and volunteer roles for students. It distils and formalises the Library’s approach by describing three distinct pillars to which these activities align. These broad anchoring categories help to define the different ways that the Library engages collaboratively with students.​ The pillars are:

  • Employed and Upskilled
  • Included and Empowered
  • Informed and Heard. 
Venn diagram with three overlapping circles: Employed and Upskilled; Included and Empowered; Informed and Heard. An icon representing a student sits at the point where the three circles overlap.
Three pillars: Employed and Upskilled; Included and Empowered; Informed and Heard

The Students as Partners Framework is also a launching pad to expand the scope of student collaborations to identify and develop new ideas and opportunities. To this end, the Framework outlines ten Key Considerations for Library staff and students to inform thinking as we develop new opportunities and evolve existing ones. The considerations relate to:

  1. Inclusiveness
  2. Expertise
  3. Learning
  4. Agency
  5. Recognition
  6. Relevance
  7. Expectations
  8. Reach
  9. Perspectives
  10. Accountability
Inclusiveness: Proactively seek diverse representation 
Expertise: Acknowledge and value students' lived experience as expertise
Learning: Centre learning opportunities and acknowledge teaching and learning as reciprocal
Agency: Credit, reward and remunerate student contributions
Relevance: Create meaningful and relevant opportunities with reciprocal benefit and value
Expectations: Agree realistic expectations and provide appropriate support
Reach: Consider ways to increase the number of students who benefit
Perspectives: Incorporate a range of student voices and perspectives
Accountability: Ensure access to opportunities is equitable, transparent, and accountable.
Ten Key Considerations

The Library will use this Framework to create diverse, inclusive, relevant, transparent, and impactful opportunities for students. Students will be listened to as equal partners, whose expertise is acknowledged and whose contributions are valued and recognised. They will be able to affect change, directly enhancing the student experience and creating life-ready graduates.

Read the Students as Partners Framework. Questions? Contact Imogen Harris-McNeill, Coordinator, Student Employment and Partnerships.

What does it mean to enable a modern curriculum?

University libraries play a number of key roles in enabling contemporary teaching and learning, including

  • curating, collecting and creating information resources related to the curriculum
  • consulting and advising through curriculum design processes
  • partnering with educational designers and academic developers to provide holistic support for course development
  • embedding information literacy instruction in the curriculum
  • championing digital literacy
  • supporting academics to find, use, adapt or create open educational resources.

In many institutions, academic skills development is also part of the library’s remit. Even the work libraries undertake that isn’t directly related to teaching and learning impacts it indirectly. For example, supporting open scholarship results in more open access research outputs, which are in turn used in teaching and learning.

Libraries contribute to contemporary teaching and learning in a myriad ways and so our focus on this blog will also be broad. We are keen to explore the various ways that libraries enable a modern curriculum, and to amplify the work CAUL Member institutions do in the teaching and learning space.

So, we have two questions for you!

  1. What topics related to libraries’ role in teaching and learning would you like to see featured here on the blog? Share your thoughts about the topics you’d like to see us explore in the comments! If you’re reading this post as an email, click the post title to head to the blog and add your comment.
  2. Do you have an idea for a blog post you’d like to write? Perhaps there is something great happening at your institution that you’d like to share, an event that you’d like to write an analysis of, an important message you need to get out, or a resource you’d like to highlight. Perhaps you’d like to share about what enabling a modern curriculum means to you. If you would like to write something from the blog, then we would like to hear from you! You can contact me – Kate Davis (CAUL Director, Strategy & Analytics) – with your ideas for posts.