Open Education Week

Faculty Insights, Pedagogical Innovation, and the Power of OER on stage for #OEWeek

Faculty Insights, Pedagogical Innovation, and the Power of OER on stage for #OEWeek

As we march further into the Spring semester at the University of Hawai’i, we’re recapping our participation in Open Education Week celebration from March 8th. There were more wonderful conversations, ideas, and discussions had than can be captured in a single blog post, but that shouldn’t stop us from sharing some of the event’s highlights.

Our invited keynote speaker and workshop facilitator Dr. Rajiv Jhangiani opened with a talk titled Serving Social Justice and Pedagogical Innovation with Open Educational Practices. Rajiv walked the audience through the realities of higher education in terms of access and equity, asking us to consider how existing power structures reinforce inequalities for students. Open Educational Resources (OER) and related “open practices” can not only lower and eliminate materials costs for our students, but can also provide more meaningful, engaging learning experiences when a shift is made towards openness. Dr. Jhangiani reminded us how many faculty have become accustomed to “bending” our courses to align with an existing publisher textbook, whereas OER offer faculty the ability to customize the content to fit the course — representing a new layer of academic freedom.

Rajiv Jhangiani speaking

The keynote presentation was followed by a workshop on Open Pedagogy, focusing on helping faculty and instructors (re)design assignments that leverage the openness of OER. Examples offered by Rajiv were medical student contributions to Wikipedia articles, collaborative student curation and annotation of public domain texts, and more. But instead of prescribing lesson plans and strategies, participants were asked to examine their existing learning activities and assessments to see where openness could be woven into them to create re-useful assignments that could contribute to something larger or at the very least offer students the opportunity to showcase their skills to a broader audience in a way that lives on.

Rajiv Jhangiani speaking with faculty

The transition period for the day included a lunchtime meet-and-greet with faculty and instructors who received OER grants through the UHM Outreach College last year and have been working on adopting, adapting, and creating OER for their students. Cross-pollination occurred as we had hoped, and many of the grantees formed professional bonds around their changing practice. For many, this is only the beginning of their journey towards open practices that lower barriers, improve access, and do more for their students.

The event came to a close with a panel of four faculty that were willing to share their experiences in the OER adoption process. Participants included Deborah Halbert (Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs), Alison Nugent (Assistant Professor, Atmospheric Science), Marie Kainoa Fialkowski Revilla (Assistant Professor, Department of Human Nutrition, Food and Animal Sciences) and Malia Lau Kong (Associate Professor, History Department, Windward Community College). Courses being converted to OER often undergo a “refresh” process through which the course outcomes, assessments, support materials and other errata are reviewed as an expensive textbook is replaced with an open, free one. Moderated by Outreach College Dean Bill Chismar, the panelists responded to a series of questions about the realities of their adoptions and OER development. The freedom for faculty to adapt or customize the OER materials to their teaching and their students was highlighted, as was the need for technical support throughout the adoption process. Marie Kainoa Fialkowski Revilla also pointed out how OER adoptions (like the one she leads) benefit from a team effort made up of faculty, students, and instructors — direct collaboration involving many stakeholders.

Video of the keynote presentation and faculty panel can be viewed here:

Pictures from the day’s sessions are available here.

Mahalo to all who participated!

Posted by Billy Meinke in Conference, Grant Projects, OER, Open Education Week, UH Manoa
March 8th — Save the date! Open Education Week at UHM

March 8th — Save the date! Open Education Week at UHM

We’re pleased to announce the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa’s celebration of Open Education Week, our second year participating in the global event. This year’s event will be unique in that we will both welcome Dr. Rajiv Jhangiani as our opening keynote and highlight the wonderful outputs from the first round of UHM OER grants!


Rajiv is the Special Advisor to the Provost on Open Education at Kwantlen Polytechnic University in Vancouver, British Columbia. Rajiv was instrumental in the launching Kwantlen Polytechnic’s Zed Cred (http://www.kpu.ca/arts/zedcred) program, an entire degree with zero textbook costs by way of using OER and/or free library materials. He has delivered dozens of keynote addresses and is one of the most informed, influential proponents of Open Educational Resources and Open Access anywhere in the world. Rajiv will follow his keynote with a workshop on Open Pedagogy, offering guidance in crafting learning activities that leverage of the openness of OER to provide improved feedback and help end the “throwaway assignment.”

OER projects funded through the UHM Outreach College are nearing completion, and we’re excited to have many of our grantees join us during this years event. Ranging from nutrition to physics, second language studies to economics, these projects represent the work of forward-thinking faculty, staff, and students at UHM who are embracing the power of open and building learning content that will be free forever.

Other exciting sessions happening on our March 8th celebration will include:
* OER Panel with Faculty and Instructors — What does it take to go open?
* 2017-2018 UHM OER Grantee Showcase lunchtime meet-and-greet

So, mark your calendars for Thursday March 8th!

Full schedule and details to be shared shortly.

Posted by Billy Meinke in Conference, Grant Projects, OER, Open Education Week
UHM Open Education Week Summary: Students at the Front

UHM Open Education Week Summary: Students at the Front

Yesterday’s events marked the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa’s inaugural celebration of Open Education Week. As luck would have it, the UH system holds Spring Break during the global event’s official dates (March 27-31). Nonetheless, faculty, staff, and students attended presentations and workshops focused on many aspects of Open Educational Resources (OER) adoption at UHM.

Morning Sessions

The events were split into three clusters beginning with morning talks in Kuykendall Auditorium. UHM Outreach College Dean Bill Chismar offered opening remarks for the day. Dean Chismar touched on the local and global importance of expanding OER adoption throughout the UH system. He also spoke to the recently announced OER grant program focused on supporting faculty as they move their high-enrollment high-cost textbooks to OER alternatives.

UHM Outreach College Dean Bill Chismar

The morning then moved into my presentation outlining the current state of students and textbooks at UHM. We’ve been working on a strategy for the OER initiative that can provide targeted support for projects as well as broader impact for the UH system as OER begins to take hold. We will be accomplishing this through a balanced approach consisting of OER tool and process development, broad advocacy for OER adoption and creation, and connecting our work to the global open education community. Slides from my talk can be found here.

UHM OER Technologist Billy Meinke

To follow the OER strategy talk, an invited panel representing UH community colleges shared their work lowering textbook costs and supporting faculty adoption of OER. The excellent panel consisted of OER Steering Committee members Leanne Riseley (LCC), Wayde Oshiro (LCC), Carol Hasegawa (HCC), and Sunny Pai (KCC). Much of the session focused on hard numbers of student dollars saved, courses converted to OER, and the growing number of faculty and lecturers at the community colleges that have begun incorporating OER into their instruction. The panel’s presentation slides can be found here.

OER/Zero Cost Textbook Success Panel

Following the panel, UHM Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Debbie Halbert gave a compelling talk entitled Academia as a Culture of Sharing. Debbie pointed to the restrictions of copyright when publishing work and shared examples of ideas that have been borrowed and built upon, but were fraught with legal complications when they were reused by others. An advocate for open copyright licensing (such as Creative Commons), Debbie argues that the culture of academia is based on sharing ideas and work. Her Prezi presentation can be found here.

UHM Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Debbie Halbert

Lunch Events

Around 12noon we moved into lunch sessions at Hamilton Library that were intended to attract students and faculty who aren’t already involved in OER adoption at UHM. Mindy Boland from ISKME gave a great overview of the OER Commons repository for finding useful OER, and walked through the powerful (and free!) OER content authoring and remixing tools on the site.

The second midday event featured UHM ASUH President Roxie Kamoshida calling for student action supporting OER. Her presentation touched on potential cost savings for the highest enrollment undergraduate courses, and maintained that students often sacrifice their performance in a course based on high textbook costs and restricted access to learning content. Roxie finished with a call to action for all UHM students, asking them to spread the word about OER with their student colleagues, ask their instructors if they will move to an OER textbook, and leave requests for OER use in course evaluations.

Roxie Kamoshida’s call to action for student support of OER

Afternoon Workshops

After a break for fresh air, we moved into afternoon workshops beginning with a demo and overview of the Pressbooks authoring platform being supported at UH. As a UH system-wide platform, all faculty and staff (and student!) can request access to OER Pressbook sites for adapting and developing OER for courses. This will be the recommended platform for recipients of the first wave of OER grants through the UHM Outreach College, as it allows legally-and-technically open content to flourish.

We ended the day’s formal sessions with a conversation about the future of training and certifying UH faculty and staff in skills needed for OER adoption and reuse. As a capacity-building measure, leveling up the skills of folks within the UH system will be increasingly important as interest and demand for OER specialists grows at each campus. Interesting, sustainable ideas were brought to the table, and we will continue to work towards an approach that can serve everyone in the UH system.

Students at the Front

ASUH President Roxie Kamoshida, Landon Negrillo, and UHM undergraduate students

A theme that persisted throughout the day was that of remembering “why” we are pushing for OER adoption at the University of Hawai’i. OER offers us limitless opportunities to better serve our students, without which the university would not exist. If we are to equip our students with skills needed to succeed in their next professional or academic ventures, it begins by involving them in the curriculum. We need content and learning tools that involve students as co-creators, reinforcing communication and collaboration skills that will be demanded by technology-enabled jobs of the future.

Mahalos to all the faculty, staff, and students who helped make our celebration of Open Education Week a success. Out events could not have been possible without the support of UHM Library, UHM’s Center for Teaching Excellence (CTE), and UHM’s ASUH.

Posted by Billy Meinke in Conference, Open Education Week
Open Education Week 2017 @ UHM Events Announced

Open Education Week 2017 @ UHM Events Announced

We are proud to offer events on campus at UHM this year in celebration of Open Education Week 2017!

This year’s program will include presentations on a number of topics:

  • Student cost savings with Open Educational Resources (OER)
  • Copyright and Intellectual Property in the digital age
  • Free OER textbook adoption and publishing tools
  • UHM’s OER grant program

To RSVP for all sessions, go to: http://go.hawaii.edu/WSj

All are welcome to join us for a lunch-time demo of the OER Commons repository and authoring tools. Lunch provided! Location: Hamilton Library room 301 @ 11:30am.

Students are invited to join us for free pizza and a conversation about students and lowering textbook costs with Roxie Kamoshida, ASUH President. Location: Hamilton Library 301 @ 12:15pm.

This event is being is sponsored by the Open Educational Resources (OER) initiative of the UHM Outreach College, the UHM Center for Teaching Excellence (CTE), Associated Students of the University of Hawaii (ASUH) and UHM Libraries.

For additional information including a full schedule, see: http://oer.hawaii.edu/open-education-week-2017

Posted by Billy Meinke in Open Education Week