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Wednesday, April 25 • 16:30 - 16:55
The message is in the choice of medium: Building OER strategy that reflects institutional values.

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Canada has a predominantly public education system which can be divided into six types of institutions: research intensive, primarily undergraduate, predominantly teaching, community colleges, polytechnic, and skills colleges. There is also no central regulatory body in Canada for academic standards and few emerging approaches for collaboration using OER, except in the provinces of Ontario and British Columbia. Given this diversity and lack of formalized structure in open resource development in the majority of the provinces, individual institutions are navigating their approach to open in a variety of ways. This research is based in the McLuhan’s principle (1964), “the medium is the message.” The approach that an institution takes to open education reflects the values of the institution. The understanding of Open is different internationally, but also nationally, depending on the mission of the institution. This paper presents a comparison/contrast of the efforts of two Canadian institutions developing open education initiatives; NorQuest College in Western Canada and Cape Breton University in the East. In both cases, these institutions’ philosophies, values and mandate are driving the encouragement and creation of open educational initiatives. The NorQuest example will present the development of a three phase OER strategy which will eventually lead to full institutional adoption of open practices. In this case, OER objectives help meet the needs of students facing significant challenges in the traditional Canadian education system. In the CBU case, the mission of relationship building and service to the community is the driving force behind OER development. From our work, the implications for continued development towards sustainable OER implementation include: institutional goal setting, alignment of goals with institutional values and objectives; creating space to test for scale and cost, and reflection on implementation.


Kathy Snow

Cape Breton University
avatar for Leah Townsend

Leah Townsend

Instructional Designer, NorQuest College

Wednesday April 25, 2018 16:30 - 16:55 CEST
Commissie 2