Dr Sal Kleine, Liaison Librarian, Faculty of Business and Law, QUT
In the role of Library Adviser at the Queensland University of Technology, I provided support for the IFN001: Advanced Information Research Skills (AIRS) unit. In late 2022, the AIRS Team commenced planning for a major unit review, to ensure the continued delivery of a pedagogically informed, engaging, and relevant training program. Whilst the Review is multifaceted and will result in constructive updates to the unit, one thing that won’t change is the ongoing advocacy for open educational practices reflected in the provision of AIRS learning content under Creative Commons licensing. The AIRS content is currently made available via the AIRS website under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike Licence. However, given the complexities in maintaining the website, as part of the Review, the AIRS Team is exploring more sustainable approaches to openly providing this material to our QUT Higher Degree Research students and sharing it with external audiences. With this goal in mind, I began my own Open Educational Resource (OER) learning journey, a key part of which was participating in the CAUL OER Professional Development Program: Foundations.
As someone new to this space, the Program offered an introduction to OER in a tertiary education context. The module-based content stepped through introducing and defining OER, licensing and copyright considerations, finding and evaluating OERs and, finally, delved into the intricacies of adopting, adapting and creating OERs. But it wasn’t all reading, and a highlight for me was the weekly guest presentations by experts on various aspects of open education and OER. The sharing of their insights and experiences provoked ideas, questions and new understandings of both the principles and practice of OER. There were also plenty of options for engaging, or working collaboratively, with other participants if desired. The lively discussions in the weekly forums demonstrated the breadth of knowledge and passion in this area and how, as a profession, librarians have the potential to influence the movement towards more open educational teaching and learning activities. Underpinning the learning was a practical task. This involved preparing a Project Plan based on a scenario that could be tailored to suit the participant’s workplace or interests. The Plan provided me with an opportunity to focus my thinking on how to further leverage OERs in the delivery of AIRS, using the production workflows and creation tools introduced as part of the Program.
By participating in this professional development program, I am building the confidence to meaningfully contribute to the ongoing OER conversation and am better equipped to offer informed advice on the positive impacts of OER. Now, both enlightened and inspired, my next goal is to apply learnings from the Program to, in collaboration with the AIRS Team, develop contemporary OERs that are accessible, inclusive, and representative of our diverse student cohort, and encourage the sharing and reuse of content. So, while I will keep learning and continue to further my understanding of OER, it’s time to start creating!
Register for the 2023 CAUL Open Educational Resources Professional Development Program.