OpenEd21: Embracing Open for All: Initiatives in Support for Kw’seltktnéws

4 min read

OpenEd21 is happening this week and instead of tweeting I am blogging from selected sessions I am attending. These notes may be rough as the intent is to try to follow the flow of the talk and publish as soon as possible.

Session Description

The Secwepemcstin term Kw’seltktnéws means that we are all related and interconnected with nature, each other, and all things. It guides Thompson Rivers University’s institutional vision statement and flows through all we do, including our approach to open education (OE). The open education community at TRU seeks to be welcoming and inclusive, and open educational practice allows faculty to build inclusivity into their teaching practice. In this presentation, we outline the approach we have taken to build open into the culture of the institution and have created multiple ways for stakeholders to become involved. (full abstract)

Presenters: Ken Monroe, Brenda Smith, Catherine Dishke Hondzel, Christine Miller (Thompson Rivers University)

Session Notes

The session starts with an Indigenous land acknowledgement and explains the Secwepemcstin term Kw’seltktnéws, which means “all related and interconnected with nature, each other and all things”. Ken provides a bit of a history of TRU and its historical connection to the BC Open Learning Agency and Cariboo College, with some audio from Irwin DeVries, Brian Lamb and Michelle Harrison explaining some of the ways in which TRU has contributed to open education, including SPLOT’s, OpenETC, ZTC and OEP initiatives.

Ken did his historical presentation as an H5P interactive.

Brenda then talked about the way that students have been involved in open education initiatives at TRU, which is impressive. Not only are students involved in open pedagogy projects, but they are also involved in active advocacy with institutional administration.

Brenda reinforces that the key to success at TRU is continual outreach – bringing new people into the community. Their new faculty orientation includes explicit mention of how open education is supported at the institution. Open is very visible at TRU, including in the tenure process.

Some of the ways that open is supported at TRU.

TRU now has an Open Education Working Group to “fosters and support a culture of Open Education initiatives at TRU”. The work of the group focuses on 4 key aspects of open; OER, Open Access Publishing, Open Research Practices and Open Pedagogy. Each of these has a separate Community of Practice.

OERDG program is a TRU program that provides funding and resources to instructors for the integration of open in courses. (my note: this is not an OER creation grant, which is wonderful to see as there are a lot of OER’s out there. These grants look to support faculty who wish to redesign some of their course to integrate open – be it OER, open textbooks, whatever – into their courses.)

Open has been an opportunity to develop EDI-related learning resources, including a stock photo collection of Indigenous people in education and an open law textbook on implementing truth and reconciliation calls to action.

The impact of open initiatives at TRU are clear.

My Takeaway

I know the work of TRU very well considering they are right in my backyard and have been the recipient of a number of BCcampus grants, some of which I have adjudicated and/or managed.

I have a great deal of respect for the work that comes out of TRU. They are 1 of 2 BC institutions (along with KPU) that are members of the global OERu consortium and a true open-access University in the same way that Athabasca and the UK’s Open University are. They have always been a leader in terms of open education in the province of British Columbia and globally and this presentation highlights some of the reasons why. Support for open education is deeply embedded in the institution.

 

Clint Lalonde

 

One thought on “OpenEd21: Embracing Open for All: Initiatives in Support for Kw’seltktnéws

  1. Clint Lalonde has been blogging summaries of presentations at OpenEd21, which is happening all week this week. This is a valuable service and should be recognized. “The Secwepemcstin term Kw’seltktnéws means that we are all related and interconnected with nature, each other, and all things. It guides Thompson Rivers University’s institutional vision statement and flows through all we do” (TRU really seems like my sort of place). The presentation summarized here outlines the university’s support for interconnectedness, including “an Open Education Working Group to ‘foster and support a culture of Open Education initiatives at TRU”.

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