Coming soon! CAUL Open Educational Resources Professional Development Program

This post was written by Marion Slawson, Project Lead OER PD Program

I’m delighted to be able to let you know that the much-anticipated CAUL OER Professional Development Program will be running from 26 September through to early December. This will be a foundational course, with modules covering an introduction to OER, open licensing and copyright, finding and evaluating OER, and adapting and creating OER. 

To make the most of your learning experience, your new knowledge will be applied through a project plan that is developed over the course of the program. This project plan will enable you to consider and plan how you will implement your learning within your own workplace, in a way that is commensurate with your role and opportunities. All content is adapted for an Australian / New Zealand higher education context.

What will you be signing up for? The program will be delivered fully online, and there will be a combination of synchronous (real-time) sessions of up to 1 hour, as well as work to be completed independently at a time that suits you between synchronous sessions. Overall the time required should be no more than 2 hours per week. 

If you’re keen to participate, we encourage you to bring a friend (a library colleague or ally, such as a learning designer or academic) so that you can collaborate as you learn and plan how you will activate and implement your knowledge. It’s a great chance to deepen understanding of OERs and the possibilities for change they offer across your workplace, in partnership with others. Of course, you can still participate solo; there will be lots of opportunities to learn with the broader group. 

The course is great value, priced at just $95 for CAUL member staff and $175 for non-members.  Enrolments will open in early August, so start thinking about who you can participate with now and watch this space so you can secure your place!

Dr Amanda White to keynote Enabling a Modern Curriculum Conference

This post was written by Dr Nicole Johnston, Project Lead, CAUL Conference

Enabling a Modern Curriculum Conference. Keynote announcement. So you want to write an open textbook? Dr Amanda White. Senior Lecturer and Deputy Head (Education), Accounting Discipline. University of Technology, Sydney. @AmandasAudit. CAUL. Council of Australian University Librarians

The CAUL Enabling a Modern Curriculum Conference Project Team has been working hard to put together a dynamic program for the Conference, which will be held in September.

We are delighted to announce that our first keynote speaker will be Dr Amanda White. Dr White is a Senior Lecturer and the Deputy Head (Education) of the Accounting Discipline in the UTS Business School and has been teaching accounting at the university level for almost two decades.

She will share her journey of creating an open textbook, Accounting and Accountability – an introductory accounting textbook that will be used by over 2000 students at UTS annually. Amanda is best known for loving auditing and sharing her resources with students and educators around the world through her YouTube channel Amanda Loves to Audit. In 2020 Amanda was awarded the Teaching Excellence Award for Law, Business, Economics and related areas by Universities Australia – partly for her work in creating accessible resources and OER in the area of academic integrity. In 2022, Amanda is taking on the challenge of developing an introductory accounting open textbook – the first in Australasia.

Registrations for the two day online event and face to face workshops are now open.

A whisper growing to a roar

This post was written by Bec Muir (Manager, Libraries West) at Victoria University.

Guides, connectors, finders, interpreters: multiple roles of frontline staff

Supporting our frontline Library staff in enabling the modern curriculum

Frontline library staff are integral partners in the modern curriculum. They are the librarians, library technicians, and advisory staff who provide front-of-house services to our academic communities. Frontline staff may have a qualification in librarianship, library technician, or teaching; or have other academic qualifications such as certificates, diplomas, bachelors, or higher degrees. They are very highly skilled, qualified, or both.

The less-seen impact of frontline staff

Our frontline staff are a very present and very visible element of Library service, working as finders, guides, connectors, and interpreters of the modern curriculum. They empower their academic community to step confidently beyond the university by building their information literacy, knowledge of academic integrity, and digital dexterity. They instruct, demonstrate, troubleshoot, and guide students and academic staff through the information journey. Often their work is done quietly, conducted one-to-one at the service desk or via the online chat service instead of before a class. In short, the role of frontline staff in the modern curriculum is a whisper rather than a roar.

Why is this a concern?

By overlooking the role of frontline staff in the modern curriculum, the library misses an opportunity to improve its connection with our learning community and enrich their educational journey. If we do not see the role of frontline staff in this space, we risk not developing and upskilling our Library staff to enact these roles, which can disempower them in their interactions with our students and staff. This in turn can disempower our academic community.

Individual and institutional commitment to professional development

If academic libraries are to fully enact their role in supporting the modern curriculum, professional development of frontline staff should be seen as a key strategic and operational objective. Shared institutional and individual responsibility for ongoing professional development (at all staffing levels) is a vital way to grow industry and professional robustness. This ultimately benefits our academic community by enriching the Library’s ability to speak to their educational needs. Once there’s a commitment to professional development, where can frontline staff access professional learning?

Industry-developed learning opportunities

There are many existing tools and resources that frontline staff can draw on for professional learning. A good place to start is with a framework that maps skills, knowledge and capabilities such as the Digital Dexterity Framework. Conference attendance – such as ALIA Information Online, the Library Technicians Symposium or the new 2022 CAUL Enabling a Modern Curriculum Conference – provide a way for frontline staff to engage in active learning from their peers. Platforms such as 23 Things for Digital Knowledge and FutureLearn, and initiatives like Library Carpentry  provide self-directed and cost-effective learning. Sector magazines, such as Incite, provide a consumable way to stay industry engaged and empower staff to see broader institutional responses to change.

Library-developed training opportunities

Library-developed training can prepare frontline staff to meet the challenges of the modern curriculum and the curriculum beyond that.However, a concern with library-developed training is that it may take a ‘trickle down’ approach where the program is developed by senior staff, and trickled down to instruct frontline staff in expected performance. Rather than being partners in the modern curriculum, frontline staff may be seen as trainees, or even students. While this may not be intentional, it can result in staff feeling silenced, lost, or disengaged from the training as a result. It is not ‘their training’, but ‘the library’s’.

A learner-led learning (triple-L model) opportunity

In contrast to library-developed training, learner-led learning shifts the balance in the learning relationship to one of mutual benefit. I envision learner-led learning (‘triple-L model’) as a training delivery framework shaped around scaffolded learning, shared authority, professional reflection, and learner engagement. The triple-L model creates an environment where the learner feels able to reshaping existing knowledge to build skills for future needs. Triple-L approaches training from a position of partnership.

The triple-L model approaches professional development across five phases, commencing with a position of partnership and concluding with a commitment to evaluation for success. While it is beyond the scope of this blogpost to fully unpack this model, it has already been tested at Victoria University. The triple-L model formed the foundation of our frontline training suite, DigiChat. More importantly, the triple-L model has cemented to every frontline staff member that the role that they play in the modern curriculum is an important one.

The implementation of this model occurred simply and organically from a position of partnering for success. Our frontline team were asked a single straight forward question: ‘what do you find hard when helping our patrons on LibChat?’. ‘Hard’ here was left broad; for some frontline staff multi-tasking became the challenge point, for others identifying the core of the question and conveying an answer, for still others discovering the resource required. We then reflected on position descriptions and changes in the industry to identify any areas missed. We observed that three theme areas were emerging in our frontline team’s identified needs: customer service, digital skills, and professional identity. These themes became the burgeoning phases of the DigiChat cycle: each enriching and speaking back to the other.

From these proposed sessions and phases, we sought reflection and input from our frontline team and engaged staff in a process of co-creation and sharing of skills. A learning theory foundation was employed that limited the length of sessions and introduced a scaffolded theory of staggered skills, in addition to building in opportunities for reflection through doing (theoretical activities); thinking (Teams chats and sharing); ownership (on-the-job skill usage); and growth (tying to current and future skills). Lastly, an important part of this process was embedded in the evaluation mechanism: a survey at the end of each session which asked our frontline team to reflect on their learnings and how they would apply it, and why, in addition to reflecting on the presentation and the presenter. This process yielded great results that have built our frontline team to meet (and embrace) the changes of the curriculum both in its current iteration, and into the future.

A stronger voice

We are all partners in enabling the modern curriculum. Through identifying the needs and skills of our frontline teams, enriching learnings and abilities, and visualising their value in the modern curriculum, the role that our staff play in this capacity changes. Recognising the role of our frontline staff means that we are all better enabled – as a Library and as a sector – to respond to the challenges of the modern curriculum.

A whisper growing to a roar.

Lock in the 2022 CAUL EMC Conference into your calendar and your plans

This post was written by Kat Cain (Deakin University Library), Lindsey Fratus (University of Newcastle Library), Liz Walkley Hall (Flinders University Library). All three writers are part of the CAUL EMC Conference project.

What does 2022 look like for you and your work in the academic Library sector? Many of us have strat plans with OER goals or students as partners as top level foci. The moving feast of “Read and Publish” is shaking up Open Access outcomes across the board. And while our core business has always been aligning with tertiary learning and teaching goals, new ways to flexibly engage and enable curriculum have become a heightened priority. On top of this, we’re all dealing with evolving digital practices impacting learning, research and everyday ways of working. 

Exchanging ideas & experiences across industry.

The inaugural CAUL 2022 Enabling the Modern Curriculum Conference has been specifically designed for our academic library community.

It offers new learnings and practice-based knowledge for expert staff across the Australia and New Zealand industry to embed in their work.

What practical action should you take? 

  1. Lock in the CAUL EMC Conference into your 2022 calendar
  2. Start thinking about sharing and showcasing your Library’s work or learnings

What are the dates?

Remember it’s a hybrid event so the conference dates for both in-person and online experiences:

  • Wednesday 7 and Thursday 8 September for the online program 
  • Tuesday 13 September for the face-to-face events in five capital cities.

What is the Conference all about?

This conference offers you and your institution the chance to exchange ideas and experience in a novel way. Using a hybrid conference model means flexible attendance options – pick and choose between in-person located learning and digital experiences.

CAUL’s intention in offering a hybrid conference model is to ensure flexibility and access for its member libraries. But it also provides the different but complementary dimensions of national lens and a local, state-based gatherings.

Your voice in this space

One of the great things about the Conferences is sharing thoughts, learnings and new projects outside of our own work bubbles. We will soon be taking submissions for presentation ideas – so start thinking about what you could share with your academic library community!

Attribution: Calendar image on blog is a detail taken from Estée Janssens photo on Unsplash

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.

Paying it forward: Sharing OERS in the academic librarian community

This post was written by Annette Goodwin, Senior Client Services Librarian at Charles Sturt University. Annette is also a CAUL Digital Dexterity Champion.

Let’s start with an Open Educational Resources framing.  OERs are teaching, learning and research materials that “reside in the public domain or have been released under an open license that permits no-cost access, use, adaptation and redistribution by others with no or limited restrictions” (UNESCO, n.d.). OERs can therefore include textbooks, curricula, syllabi, lecture notes, assignments, tests, projects, audio, video, software, coded elements and more.

Libraries and librarians around the world support and encourage educators, teachers and academics to create, locate, adapt and use OERs for the benefit of others.

But have you ever thought of the resources and objects you create as a librarian? Could they be considered OERs too? Absolutely!

Everyday, librarians create and use a wide range of resources that support learning, teaching and research at their institutions. Amazing session plans that unpack research methods  or interactive infographics about fake news. Workshops on how to make videos or seminar presentations demystifying referencing. Librarians are prolific creators! We need to harness the power of this work and share those resources with others. You may already use platforms like OER Commons or Merlot to locate OERs for your own use or recommend them to your academics, but have you considered sharing to the platforms yourself?

Let’s talk about a Digital Dexterity Commons

The Resource Sharing Group (RSG), a sub-group of the CAUL Digital Dexterity Community of Practice (CoP), has created a Group on OER Commons – Digital Dexterity Educators to help you understand and share OERs you’re creating. The CoP supports their organisations and the wider tertiary library community to build digital dexterity capabilities and drive positive change in relation to technology, so creating a OER sharing group seemed a natural fit.

The RSG is encouraging academic librarians around Australia and New Zealand to join our OER Commons group and share resources. If you’re not sure how to go about creating or sharing OERs, the RSG has created a couple of documents to help you to get started…

What can you do?

There are three steps that you can action:

  1. Check out and join the Digital Dexterity Educators Group on OER Commons,
  2. Consider whether the objects you create can be shared with a Creative Commons licence, and      
  3. Take the next step and, with your institution’s permission, share them with the group!

Reference: UNESCO (n.d.). Open Educational Resources (OER). https://en.unesco.org/themes/building-knowledge-societies/oer

New open texts by Australian academic libraries

The ASCILITE Open Educational Practices Special Interest Group (OEP-SIG) is a practitioner-led community that supports open educational practice (OEP) in Australian Higher Education. Each month, they produce a monthly digest on all things OEP. The digest is curated by Ashleigh Barber (University of South Australia), Jennifer Hurley (RMIT), Alice Leutchford (James Cook University) and Nikki Andersen (University of Southern Queensland).

The latest issue of the digest features an excellent list of new open texts and resources produced by Australian academic libraries.

A Long Goodbye by James Cook University

James Cook University has published their first open ebook via Pressbooks titled: ‘A Long Goodbye: Ed and Mary’s Journey with Lewy Body Dementia’. The book chronicles Ed’s experiences as a carer following his wife Mary’s diagnosis with Lewy body dementia. Ed’s story provides information and educational resources related to dementia care. Although specifically focusing on Lewy body dementia, the resources are transferable to caring for people with any type of dementia.

Women’s voices in tourism research by the University of Queensland

This book showcases the many contributions that women worldwide have made to tourism research. It also serves as a collective mentoring platform, containing letters written by women to the future generations of tourism researchers and passing on invaluable observations and advice.

23 Scholarly Communication Things by Queensland University of Technology

This resource has been created as an aid to help library staff to learn about the various aspects of Scholarly Communication.  It is designed to be of use to those who are new to academic librarianship and for seasoned professionals wishing to keep up-to-date.

It is not a ‘how to’ guide, but rather a doorway to information that will help you on your quest for knowledge and experience, using various tools and sites related to world of scholarly communications.

Visuals for Influence by the University of Southern Queensland

‘Visuals for influence: in project management and beyond’ is a practical guide with 24 visuals to download, adapt and deploy to engage your stakeholders. This practical guide will build your confidence and practical skills to quickly and effectively leverage the benefits of visuals to maximise your influence.

  • Uncover the science behind the power in visuals
  • Discover software and tools that make visualisation easy
  • Learn pro design tips that give your visuals a professional edge
  • Download a visual archetype, tailor to your needs, and enhance your influence!

Deleting Dystopia by University of Southern Queensland

‘Deleting Dystopia: Re-asserting Human Priorities in the Age of Surveillance Capitalism’ confirms that the existential threats posed by the misuse of advanced digital technologies are real. But, in place of apathy and fatalism, the book explores ways of understanding the threat, conceptualising solutions and identifying strategies that lead away from digital authoritarian futures towards those funded on humanly viable values and practices.

Introducing the OER Professional Development Project

Open education resources (OER) and accompanying open education practices (OEP), are changing the education landscape. To take on OER-related roles and issues, we need to learn the language and culture of open education and develop expertise in areas such as open licensing, copyright, e-learning, and knowledge about OER technologies and standards.

The Open Educational Resources Professional Development Program project is addressing the OER Professional Development needs of higher education institutions.

The project aims to:

  1. Develop a proposal for an Open Educational Resource professional development program.
  2. Develop and implement an Open Educational Resource professional development program.

The project is led by Marion Slawson (Federation University) and consists of the following team members: Sarah Howard (QUT), Kylie Tran (University of Melbourne), Anne Hawkins (Flinders University), Kate McVey (University of Western Australia) and Nikki Andersen (University of Southern Queensland).

The below video outlines the project’s team current progress.

More information on the Open Educational Resources Professional Development Program project can be found in the project brief (PDF).

Interested in being involved?

Subscribe to the blog to receive project updates and keep an eye out for OER Professional Development 2022.