Open Collections

UBC Library and Archives

Beyond pedagogies : Open Access and Open Education Resources Crichton, Susan; Lacey, Sajni 2017-10-11

Your browser doesn't seem to have a PDF viewer, please download the PDF to view this item.

Notice for Google Chrome users:
If you are having trouble viewing or searching the PDF with Google Chrome, please download it here instead.

Item Metadata


67246-Crichton_S_et_al_Beyond_pedagogies.mp3 [ 39.53MB ]
67246-Crichton_S_et_al_Beyond_pedagogies_transcript.pdf [ 176.95kB ]
JSON: 67246-1.0363024.json
JSON-LD: 67246-1.0363024-ld.json
RDF/XML (Pretty): 67246-1.0363024-rdf.xml
RDF/JSON: 67246-1.0363024-rdf.json
Turtle: 67246-1.0363024-turtle.txt
N-Triples: 67246-1.0363024-rdf-ntriples.txt
Original Record: 67246-1.0363024-source.json
Full Text

Full Text

 1             TITLE: Beyond pedagogies: open access and open education resources PODCAST SERIES: Frequencies DATE RECORDED: October 11, 2017       CREATORS: Susan Crichton and Sajni Lacey CONTRIBUTORS: Josh Chan, Karin Haug, Arielle Lomness, Trevor Neill, and Mathew Vis Dunbar AFFILIATIONS: Library, UBC ; Education, Faculty of (Okanagan) SCHOLARLY LEVEL: Faculty ; Other NUMBER OF SPEAKERS: 2 Speakers TRANSCRIPT STYLE: Smooth/Intelligent Verbatim FILE DURATION: 42 minutes        SPEAKERS:  [SL]: Sajni Lacey  [SC]: Susan Crichton   2 [0:00]  [Music Intro] [Music fades out]  [SL]  This is Sajni Lacey and you’re listening to Frequencies, a podcast from the Library at UBC Okanagan.  [Music fades in] [Music fades out]  [SL]  Today we’ll be speaking with Susan Crichton, Associate Dean of the Faculty of Education and Director of the Innovative Learning Centre here at UBC Okanagan.  [Music ends]  [SL]  Okay, so welcome Susan. I thought we’d get started by maybe talking a little bit about your experience with Open Access in the educational context.  [SC]  Sure. So probably my biggest affiliation or connection is just in publishing. And uh, my attraction to Open Access is the ability to make sure people with a variety of access points and economic backgrounds and I don’t know… all those kinds of things can have access to publications and, you know, to learning opportunities.  [SL]  So how do you find that it applies as being like an Associate Dean in an Education department in terms of your faculty and therefore to the students that you’re engaging with?  [SC]  Well you’re bringing up a huge issue and one of the things, one of the big concerns is for junior faculty, people pre-tenure. They really need to publish and talk to your highly recognized, higher reviewed publications, which often are not Open Access. And while the gap is narrowing, I think there really still is a sense that if you want to get tenure and you want to be recognized and promotion that you need to publish in top tier journals that are often exceedingly expensive and very closed.  [SL]  Closed in a sense of like anybody being able to access it.   3 [SC]  Yeah. Then you have to have a subscription or have a library affiliation or whatever. So I think for me as Associate Dean is to try and encourage faculty to seek out peer-review, top-tier journals that also happen to be Open Access or have some policies that support um, academics and institutions in challenging contexts to get their materials.  [SL]  Are you finding that that’s changing a little bit, that there are more top-tier journals that are moving towards Open Access models in some capacity or is it still very challenging?  [SC]  You know I think it’s still challenging and I think it’s uh… I you know…this isn’t something I studied so I’m kind of just making a speculation here, but a lot of the journals are tied to organizations and the elite organizations also have membership fees. So it’s kind of like a little bit of a closed loop you know. So to publish and to be part of some of these significant organizations uh you know, in the Global North we take it for granted that that’s just the price of being an academic and it’s what our PD money is to go for and why we go to particular conferences. But when you work with colleagues in other locations or colleagues who don’t have PD accounts or access to the same kind of grants you realize they’re kind of excluded from that level of discourse, conversation, and even the sharing of information that’s been generated.  [SL]  So you also do some work in other countries as well. So do you find that this ties into that aspect as well, that there are places where Open Access would be the only way for educators or researchers in other places to access some of this content?  [SC]  Absolutely. All you have to do is work with colleagues. I’ve been privileged to work with colleagues in East Africa for nine years, and you look at their budgets in their libraries for… to support their grad student research and their own scholarship, and some of the fees are just astronomical. I mean you work in the library, you know what the subscription rates are to some of those journals, and even with the full buying power of UBC those figures are pretty high in terms of access to journals. So a lot of folks just don’t get it, and I think you know for me, one of the biggest ironies is a lot our scholarship is being publically funded. It’s coming from taxpayers, it’s coming from grants that are in fact that, and one of the things we’re called upon to do is engage in knowledge mobilization. And where do we mobilize our knowledge? Oh, closed conferences and elite top journals. So, you know I think it’s the role of those of us in the Global North, with the revenue streams, with the power, with the access to say: “You know what, I’m  4 going to think twice about the next conference I go to or the next journal I publish in.”  [4:49]  [SL]  And so you mentioned that this is particularly tricky for junior faculty…  [SC]  Mhm.  [SL]  … and so this obviously ties into the kind of tenure process that still exists in I think in a lot of traditional kind of university setups and things like that. So is that part of the mentality that needs to shift too… is what qualifies as appropriate for those things?  [SC]  Yeah, I think it’s Einstein who said “Not everything that can be counted should count” you know, or some little quote like that, that was you know probably said way better [laughter] than I said it. In the tenure and promotion process it is pretty rigorous in what counts and how many publications, and type of tiers, and type of rankings. And each discipline, each faculty has its elite uh things that are highly recognized. And so as you’re putting through a tenure uh package or promotion package, those things have to be accounted for and explained to the standing committee within the faculty and the dean’s committee before it goes to the standing committee at the university, what we call SAC. And SAC actually goes through and they will count up: How many of these?  How many of that? Where is it? And a metric is decided based on your publication record, your granting record, your presentation record, whether you have demonstrated sustained scholarship that is significant. And that’s the word: sustained and significant scholarship.  [SL]  So shifting gears maybe a little bit, how does this tie into some of the work you’ve done with like open educational resources…  [SC]  Mhm.  [SL]  … then?  [SC]  Well, then there are some of us who just say: “You know, I’m old enough, established enough, I don’t care” [laughter]. And one of the things that I’ve supported a lot, and have used a lot, and I think it’s cause I came through educational technology, is Open Access software apps, non-proprietary  5 environments, um really trying to support those things. So, organizations like Commonwealth of Learning have just been brilliant around the development of software, um Edusource is another one. I mean there’s just a whole group of people who are creating wonderful apps like the one we’re using right now, Audacity, uh that’s free and available and open to people. And that same mentality has then supported them when you use that open software and create learning objects. Shouldn’t those also be… so the OER movement, Open Educational Resources, shouldn’t those be free and publicly available? So groups like BC Campus and uh David Porter’s work, who’s now in Ontario, around getting that global stage and voice through UNESCO to support OERs, shared resources, shared publications, and then the ultimate creative commons licensing which is fair use.  [SL]  Yeah maybe you could talk a little bit more about that Creative Commons piece and how it relates to this kind of bigger picture of Open Access.   [SC]  Yeah, so Creative commons is pretty amazing. As an academic I’ve written a number of things, uh and a number of things have been published through uh the centre, the Innovation Learning Centre in collaboration with doctoral students like Deb Carter. These things, we’ve chosen to put them under Creative Commons fair use licensing, which means they’re up there, they’re… I wrote it, I’ll stand beside it. Deb wrote it, she’ll stand beside it. But it’s available for you to modify, use. But you have to give fair use attribution that you didn’t make it up yourself, you’re modifying it from. And so one of the things Deb and I make sure to do in our publications around taking/making into the classrooms and some of these other things, is those resources are available both as PDF, as an EPUB, and also as Word files so people can modify them and use them. And so that just seems like a way of disseminating information that basically people can do “save as” and modify it for their context. But, the attribution goes back to the original source.  [SL]  And that speaks to I guess, the kind of the tradition of you know, ethical and moral rights in terms of who creates content and things like that to some degree, but also to have the flexibility to adapt it to your unique context.  [SC]  Well it kind of, it kind of comes back also to, at the end of the day as an academic - who’s paying me? You know it’s the taxpayers of Canada, it’s the contribution when you read the Mandate of UBC - knowledge dissemination. If you go back to biblical references for… “To whom much is given, much is expected.” It’s… you have a gift, you should give it, not keep it. But that’s a philosophy around how  6 you share things. So, you know, I wouldn’t say Margaret Atwood was wrong for selling her books. That’s her job. As an academic I would say I’m paid well to do my job and disseminating my information under Creative Commons is all within fair use and the way I see, and the way I kind of think about my place as a public intellectual or an academic in a public setting.  [10:18]  [SL]  So how does this change, I mean I know from the library perspective we spend a lot of time kind of showing or trying to teach students how to evaluate and critically engage and think about the information that they’re consuming for their own research. Um and so Open Access falls outside of the lines of what has traditionally been considered appropriate for scholarly use. So how does that relate, especially when you’re teaching new teachers who are going to go into the classroom themselves and you know, teach students things like that.  [SC]  Yeah, so I think you’re raising a huge question. So just because you have a word processor should you use it [laughter], and should you put something under Creative Commons and disseminate it as truth? And we’re in a time where maybe the biggest gift the current President of the U.S. has given us is critical thinking around fake news and understanding what’s fact. I think those of us who publish in Creative Commons and do that, I think we have an obligation to either do it in conjunction with an agency or an organization that brings credibility, or we reach out for peer-review and somebody knowledgeable in the field says: “Yup. You know, Susan’s work’s ok. You can trust it.” Because otherwise, who would know me from a hill of beans and say what, you know, I’m rattling on about on a particular topic has any credibility. So in the work that I referenced earlier that Deb Carter and I have done, another that uh Terry Thompson and I have done through Creative Commons, there’s an organization sitting there. Right? So the industry training authority in our case, or Skills Canada. Alberta’s saying: “Yup, we’ve published this open school. Yup.” So between my reputation and the person you’re affiliated with, there’s a degree of comfort that when you download that, it’s not just noise. It’s you know, a legit organization standing with an academic. And oh by the way I’m at UBC so there has to be a little something to do with that. So you kind of create that perfect storm of credibility.  [SL]  And are you finding that Open Access initiatives like this are being taken up by like the wider public or in terms of industry partnerships or organizational partnerships and things like that as well. Cause it does take some kind of push  7 behind it in order to make it um… maybe have more traction in the non-academic world.  [SC]  Well I was smiling because you’re walking into the perfect storm of the argument. So, publishing houses and curriculum providers I’m sure just hate people like me. Uh, so when you look at say Nelson or Pearson, um as big publishers they want to sell the texts, they want to sell the learning objects, they want to sell even the assessment instruments to schools, to whomever. And they want to sell a complete ecosystem if you will, of both the content, a bit of the pedagogy, as well as the assessment itself. And that’s a for fee… that’s a business. Right? And that’s the publishing business, and that’s you know, how that all works. So then you have to ask yourself in Open Access: “Where’s the business model?” Right? So is it all just share and share and share and everybody sings kum ba yah at the end? Or is there actually a business model that allows you to share? I mean one of the reasons that I can be generous is UBC pays me [laughter] very well. So I can give my stuff away in essence. Um, if I were sitting at home as an independent researcher, would I be as fond of Open Access? I don’t know. Right? So it’s kind of that, looking at that perspective and also looking at where does a piece of information gain its value, right? So if you pay a little something do you value it more than if it’s totally free, and you’ve raised the issue of credibility, you know how does that all fit? So I think that’s a tricky piece that people are trying to negotiate.  [SL]  And how are you finding this in terms of…I know you do some with some of the more rural um schools in some of those school districts and things. Are these elements that are more tangible for them to actually engage with in terms of using some, like downloading Open Access or OER lesson plans and templates and presentations and things like that from something that has a little bit more credibility that’s gone through a system sort of like that?  [14:52]  [SC]  Yeah, so if you’re sitting there in a school district…I was working in Northern Uganda this summer, if you’re sitting there what is the perfect OER? It’s from a reputable source like Oxford, Cambridge, UBC. It’s from a reputable scholar, so myself and colleagues in the African context. And it’s free. It doesn’t get any better than that. Right? And you can download it and you can make as many copies as you want. And that’s the ideal. So reputation, integrity, contextual relevance, and a cost point that works. So I think, you know, that’s what you want. But it comes back to: “How do we sustain that?” And so that’s where I think  8 some really interesting work is happening with Commonwealth of Learning, OER, the whole Open Schools Movement… those kinds of things… e-Campus, is how do you have it all? How can you pay people to write good stuff, disseminate it at a reasonable low cost or no cost, and get some reciprocity in there so everyone’s needs are served? And there’s the tricky bit.  [SL]  Cause I would make an assumption that it’s different depending on the intuitional context, the organizational context, or even the individual school as to what their needs would be for that.  [SC]  Mm-hmm. Yeah, I mean one of the institutions I work in in East Africa, you would think because they are beneficiaries of Open Source, Open Access materials that they’re happy to take and use, right, you would think EA would also tie their tenure and promotion to publishing in that environment. And yet, in academia we still have this vicious circle around what is academic rigor. And it still rests with the top-tier, more expensive journals, etc. So, I think you’re asking these wonderful questions at an amazing time where all the bits and pieces and systems are going to have to come together. Right? They’re going to have to come together and decide how do you reward and offer some sort of merit to publishing in these environments, and then how do you pay for those environments, and then how do you also transition from these more expensive journals and whatever which become more expensive because people are buying fewer of them so they’re having problems. So you’re starting to put tension… What you’re starting to see in the publishing world and in the academic world is a lot of tension on the price points caused by both ends of the spectrum. And I don’t think we’ve found that homeostasis yet of where both sides of the equation help each other.  [SL]  Maybe to kind of take a different tack too, I’m wondering if you could speak a little… cause you now have some great experience in terms of building OERs and using Creative Commons from scratch as to what you could maybe say about that experience and how for somebody who’s thinking about it and who maybe has never done it before what those kinds of processes might be like.  [SC]  Yeah, I think… I think one of the starting points I would encourage colleagues, you know when they get SSHRCs, Tri-Council grants and they have an opportunity to identify to knowledge dissemination, that maybe they don’t need to put their eggs in one basket. That they could in the knowledge dissemination piece say, “I actually want to scatter it about. I’ll put a third in top-tier. I’ll put a third in um top quality Open Access. And a third in something else.” You know,  9 and they spread it around a little it. And I think that may be the starting point for substantive change, is that you could be recognized for publishing in these things and begin to contribute to more rigorous or a better understanding of the rigorous nature of Open Access publishing I know we are sharing. Because I think also you can put things in, but we in the more you know, top tier institutions, also have to be seen to be taking things out. And that’s how we value them as well is in our courses do we choose to use OERs? Or do we buy proprietary? And I think it would be fascinating even to look at UBC from an IT perspective, how many people buy open source or use open source software versus “You know, I could try it. I’ll just go to IT and buy proprietary.” Right? It would be very interesting to know how many people use Google Tablets versus iPads. Right? You’re immediately buying into…So you’re making these decisions all along the food chain, right? Because even when you go to the App Store, are you buying commercial applications, so like Word for your iPad or Office for your iPad, versus downloading Creative Commons Open Access, open, you know, open software.  [20:17]  [SL]  So I guess that also speaks to the fact that there’s maybe some… I know that I would have had those rigid misnomers about Open Access as just being well you make it and you put it out there.  [SC]  Yeah.   [SL]  Right? That there are so many kind of micro-decisions that have to happen between deciding to make that choice and then following through with it in a way that is sustainable, and then also accessible and findable at the same time.  [SC]  Well, you’re bringing up the question of the App Store and what’s the equivalent in the OER side. The equivalent on the OER side is a repository. So a reputable repository  that uh… so something like MERLOT is a wonderful collection that does meta-tagging of open resources. And you can go in and search, and if you want a little heart valve that’s been you know done using um, and it’s there to be used, then you just have to you know attribute it in its use. But again, you know, how many people go to the repositories that hold that versus just searching and paying for, you know, a graphic or something they’re used to. So you’re touching on the interesting piece of libraries and their way of dealing with things. Repositories are kind of, and meta-tagged repositories, are kind of the OER libraries. How many people know to use them? Or where they are? Or what the  10 good collections are? Or you know, reputable versions of them? So it’s a learning curve for everyone [laughter].  [SL]  Cause that’s the thing that I would, from the library perspective, is like that findability aspect.  [SC]  Mhmm  [SL]  Is that even when we’re trying to teach students how to find stuff in these traditional sources, it’s still very challenging especially for new students. And so, kind of the, how do we translate that so that, you know, it is more equitable in terms of how we find information both in that kind of traditional means and in this you know, newly developed… well not newly but a developing kind of system of Open Access?  [SC]  Well I would be curious, I mean you would know the answer yourself and could speak to it better, of if I went onto the UBC’s card catalogue at this point, online catalogue, would I hit all the… if I search for OERs to what degree would I get a repository that would allow me to pull back uh peer-review learning objects. And would I be able to search on peer-review… I’m going to stay with the [inaudible] I don’t even know why I said that. But let’s stay with that. Would I be able to go onto our web catalogue and search for OER plus heart valve Creative Commons? Would I get it? Or would I need to go outside the system and look for, you know, open source repository, and then in that repository environment then have to search for a particular graphic? Because there’s the answer to your questions you know. It’s, how do get there, right? It’s how do you get there? It’s why shopping malls at the beginning have a map. You are here and this is where you’re going. And I think you know for many of us we just don’t know how to navigate that space because a lot of us like… I don’t think probably four of my bigger publications, I would be curious whether they’re even in this library. They might be now but [laughter], but whether they would because what would be the system to feed into there, right? As an academic to feed your publications that way versus you know just having them sitting on websites and where they get picked up. So I think, I think it’s a really interesting question of how do you determine the perfect storm of credibility, access, and just find it. How well it’s meta-tagged.  [SL]  So I mean when you spoke about that tension between these kinds of two sides of this where do you see, maybe not in a perfect world, but where do you think  11 the next steps are in terms of Open Access and like OERs and things like that in terms of not just the academic sphere but the public sphere as well?  [SC]  Well, you know I think it’s going to come from the students. You’re asking a very interesting question. It’s going to come from the students. And if we remember Create, one of our student leaders right here at UBC Okanagan spoke very firmly about “Why am I paying for textbooks?” and asked the crowd “Who spent more than…” and I forget what the price point he’d said. Umm I think as students start saying “Hey, why am I paying for this? Uh, why are we not doing these kinds of things?” I think it may cause professors maybe to turn course packs into um Creative Commons, covered by Creative Commons. I think it may cause us to rethink scholarship here in some ways. It would be interesting if the Provost’s office were to encourage academics to do EPUB and recognize self-published EPUB as peer-reviewed scholarship that would work toward merit and promotion, teaching awards, teaching excellence, those kinds of things. I think those are the initial steps that would make it work. I think as students pay more for things there comes that point where you know there’s alternatives. Um, it’s been interesting in all the years with e-Campus here and BC Campus, we really haven’t cracked um free books for students. We haven’t really cracked that one. And yet there are versions sitting out there that we could use. And then we’ve got to look at the publishing houses. Who’s doing the publishing? What’s the politics behind them? Um, and I think it comes back to knowledge dissemination. How do we encourage academics to share taxpayer funded knowledge in the public spaces, public intellectuals. Otherwise I don’t think it’s a hard question [laughter].  [26:51]  [SL]  No, I…  [SC]  I mean it’s a social justice… it’s an amazing social justice, economic… it’s bigger than should we do it or not. There’s a whole economic underpinning that has a socialist component to it.  [SL]  So would you like to talk a little bit about the Stanford initiative, about some of the microscopes that you ended up taking to Africa?  [SC]  I would, because I think what we’re touching on here is, you know, we started this conversation about publishing and books and materials, and we’ve sort of drifted into knowledge sharing, knowledge dissemination. And then I think we sort of drifted into another whole arena of how do you know it’s good? How do you  12 validate, verify, and stand beside it? And I think people who are creating work on that edge of the public sphere, and the contribution to the public good. Right? So, kind of take that notion of sharing your knowledge for the public good versus sharing knowledge to make money, to make the next widget to get the next thing. When you look at those folks, you say “How do you know the product’s right? How do you know it’s reliable, trustworthy?” And I think it goes back to the reputation of the institution it comes from. So this summer, Cindy Bourne, who works here and is my doctoral student, uh Cindy and I found online through Kickstarter and a TED Talk, a 50 cent microscope developed in a lab at Stanford. And it’s called Foldscope. Foldscope, because it’s based on Origami. You take this sheet of kind of plasticy paper, fold it all up, and it actually makes a microscope that’s about the size of a bookmark and has 140 power magnification which is good enough to take into the field as a citizen scientist and look at water and determine, “It’s dirty, you shouldn’t drink it.” It’s almost good enough to look at a blood sample and say, “That’s malaria, not cholera.” And that’s where they’re going with this. Is anyone paying him? No. The microscope will sell as an endpoint of 50 cents. Now one might argue, 50 cents times a million people, you’re going to do ok. But it’s not about that. It’s a public good project around citizen science, health initiatives, and awareness. So when Cindy and I go off to Ghana with 100 of these microscopes, how do we know they’re any good? I say, “If Stanford says they’re good, probably good enough for me.” And so I think this touches on peer-review, efficacy, whatever. So if UBC and the other institutions of that ilk, UBC, Cambridge, Stanford, MIT, start moving into this space and dedicating 10% of the scholarship to Open, and it’s just their contribution that 10% of all the knowledge coming out of this place is going to go under Creative Commons, public sphere, Open Access, imagine what a gift that would be. And that to me goes to the answer of your question, “How do we move into this space and start tipping the equation?” And we don’t wait for the poor, little institutions to do it. We, big guys need to do it. We need to step in there and you know, what do they say? “Most people should donate 10% of their money to charity in a tax year?” Why wouldn’t an institution dedicate 10% of its knowledge to Open Access, Creative Commons. That would be a gift to the world.  [31:01]  [SL]  And that’s a really interesting point that it should be up to not the small institutions who do it because they have no other choice, cause they can’t sustain it at this other level who move into these avenues of providing information, but rather the institutions…    13 [SC]  Yeah   [SL]  … that have the sway behind it.  [SC]  Yeah. Who should donate? Who should make a contribution? Poor people or rich people?  [SL]  So could you speak a little bit to the aspect of this whole conversation about OERs and Open Access in the sense that a lot of communities or a lot of…in the international context, there just isn’t the connectivity to have access cause so much of this is online or it’s all online. Can you speak a little to some of the conflict about that and the Open Access?  [SC]  Uh, yeah. I actually have a little bit of experience with it, and um there have been a couple of people um who’ve worked on software that actually mimics online environment in an offline setting. So one of my favorite all time pieces of software was a thing called the EXC. And it was developed, Creative Commons, out of New Zealand. Just amazing, free to the world. And you basically could author and import OERs into what look like a webpage, a series of hyperlinked webpages. And then save it, there’s two ways. Save it as uh HTML to be put up on a website, or packet it as a closed file that could be read by any offline device like a tablet or whatever, and it mimicked the web. It looked like you were on a full-blown website, but it was totally offline. So, what did that do? It allowed people to queue up. And I worked with a doctoral student in uh who was in East Africa, and basically we queued up all this professional development, Open Source articles, Creative Common resources, all these materials, and created a packeted, closed website that could be read on one of the very first tablets that ever came out. And these people had access to all of this. So it was a pre-reader to the e-reader. So now what would you do?  Downloading EPUBs, saving EPUBs in a certain way that they could be downloaded and read offline. There’s another group, I think it’s funded with Nokia, um that can take the entire Wikipedia and download it, packet it and let it be read on the simplest Nokia phone. So what does that do? It gives you the entire collection of human history of knowledge, offline. So these are things that yes, on one side we get pretty used to a coffee shop and ubiquitous access to email and Internet and we’re out there Googling everything. But you can mimic that by simply pulling together, aggregating the resources and packeting that and making sure you’ve dealt with attribution for IP and all that, and simply read it offline. And so I think that’s where the hope of this is, and it invites a totally different way of publishing. So things like issue and other things, being able to publish them or create them in PDF if you  14 need to lock ‘em up. But there they are. They hold an integrity and then they can be read offline, online or printed very inexpensively, just black and white.  [SL]  Um, so could you maybe talk a little bit about some of the background to OERs and how we’ve come to this point where we’re at a little bit of a crux in terms of it going one way or another, maybe a little bit in terms of how it was developed as part of the work that you do as well?  [SC]  Mhm. So I think many of us, and so I’m of the age where you know back to the old hippies and Shumacher’s “Small is Beautiful,” kind of came into technology at a time where we were talking about appropriate technology, simple technologies. Not these complicated things, but just simple technologies to get the job done. And OER was kind of part of that, making simple resources that could be shared. Um, you know, I first came across this probably in the mid-nineties when we were first starting to do online distance learning on very weak Internet platforms. And there wasn’t any digital content, so you had to make it yourself. And in making it yourself, you also then exchanged it. So I wrote a whole course that was an art course, and I traded it with this woman who wrote a math course. And there was all this give and get. So it was this notion of that community of give and get. If I, if I contribute a couple OERs then I feel less guilty about taking a bunch of OERs. And so a lot of it came out of New Zealand. A lot of it came out of the U.S. A lot of it came out of Canada. Uh, at the time Open School, Open Learning Agency, uh Simon Fraser University, was leading a lot of this work. So people like the David Porters and uh Tim Winkelmans who’s still in the Ministry of Ed. in British Columbia, believing very firmly that you could create content that was worth creating, that was culturally, locally relevant, that was tied to curriculum. And you kind of did your own personal vetting of it. And then you put it in a shared repository space where people could search on it, find it, do this. And I don’t think at that stage anybody thought this was going to become competition to the print house and the regular publisher. But the fact we’re still talking about this all those years later, there’s something there. And, so people are doing it. Publishing houses have moved into the OER space and have done fee for service. So then the question is: Is it free? Is it reasonable? Is it affordable? You know like there’s different price points. And then there are also are just, you know collections of data that are hugely whole databases that you can buy that are widely expensive. So you know, everything runs the gamut. But I would say the background to OER was really early days of the Internet and really a search for any sort of digital content that could be shareable, interoperable, reusable, and of a small enough currency that it wasn’t a whole book. It was an article or a snapshot of a flower or something that you could use and then reuse and repurpose and put into a  15 learning environment I think is kind of where it came from. But it really came from that notion of “Small is Beautiful.” You know the Japanese proverb: “None of us are as smart as all of us.” So if you put it out there and you share it in community, you get it back in community. And probably among the last guys that are kind of doing that would be uh Commonwealth of Learning, uh BC Campus, few organizations like that.  [38:40]   [SL]  Is there is anything else that you would just like to add as we kind of wrap up that we haven’t already covered?  [SC]  You know, the role of publishing and the relationship of publishers to libraries, and libraries’ roles as learning commons, as the place you go where things are aggregated and put together, is I think UBC and UBC Libraries has a huge role to play, to contemplate what will they support. And would the libraries who really are the guys who put together the collections, to what percent right now is your collection Open Access and OER? And to what percentage of your day do you search for those things? And what’s the commitment? Because, you know I would echo what I said earlier. I think it is the role of institutions like UBC and academics at UBC and Stanford and elsewhere to support this, and to support it in an intentional, substantial way and say in tenure and promotion 15% needs to be Open Access contribution. As a metric the library, 20% of the collection needs to be curated Open Access. Um, you know, if we did that collectively together, is the cart going to lead the horse or is the horse going to lead the cart? Or do you just need a good horse and cart? Doesn’t matter where you come from on this. Um, somebody has to be intentional and purposeful about it. And I don’t think…I think guys like me will continue to do what we do. We’ll publish where we want, we’ll do what we want because we’re at whatever stage in our career. But I think if an institution wants to step up and own this space and move it forward, then they’ve gotta commit. And it has to be clear, it’s a design principle.  [40:40]  [SL]  Ok. So I’d like to say a big thank you to you Susan for sparing us some of your very valuable time, to coming and having this conversation with us.  [SC]  Well thank you because you know, doesn’t it make sense that you would share this time to talk about this topic? So I think it’s very you know, modelling the model. So thanks for making the space to even take this up.  16  [Music fades in] [Music fades out]  [SL]  You have been listening to Frequencies a podcast from the Library at UBC Okanagan. Your host today was Sajni Lacey. Editing by Karin Haug and Mathew Vis-Dunbar. Music by Trevor Neill. Artwork by Alison Ward. Additional support provided by Arielle Lomness and Josh Chan. Thank you for listening.  [Music fades in] [End] [42:00] 


Citation Scheme:


Citations by CSL (citeproc-js)

Usage Statistics



Customize your widget with the following options, then copy and paste the code below into the HTML of your page to embed this item in your website.
                            <div id="ubcOpenCollectionsWidgetDisplay">
                            <script id="ubcOpenCollectionsWidget"
                            async >
IIIF logo Our image viewer uses the IIIF 2.0 standard. To load this item in other compatible viewers, use this url:


Related Items