• Open scholarship

    Trying something new: Sketchnoting my research

    Inspired by George Veletsianos’ Research Shorts and a recent Sketching in Practice (SKiP) workshop I took with Amy Burvall, I am trying a new way of sharing my research: sketchnoting. In this first attempt, my co-author (and wife) Surita Jhangiani and I recorded a voice over summarizing our recent survey of the perceptions, use, and impact of open textbooks among post-secondary students in British Columbia. I then used the app Procreate to sketch on my iPad (exporting brief video clips with each additional segment) and finally used iMovie to stitch it all together. While I hope to produce more sophisticated…

  • Open textbooks

    “If you could tell a new open textbook author one thing, what would it be?”

    Earlier this year, Linda Frederiksen (Head of Access Services, Washington State University Vancouver) reached out to me (along with several others) and posed this question. She has since done a wonderful job of synthesizing these suggestions into a chapter titled “Ten Tips for Authoring Success,” itself part of a new guide for Authoring Open Textbooks, edited by Melissa Falldin and Karen Lauritsen from the Open Textbook Network. I encourage you to read all of the ten tips provided by brilliant colleagues such as Amanda Coolidge, Lauri Aesoph, Dianna Fisher, Quill West, Amy Hofer, Mike Caulfield, and others. Here is what I…

  • Academia - OER - Publishers

    Just how inclusive are “inclusive access” e-textbook programs?

    As is now well documented and understood, unrelenting increases in the prices of university textbooks (typically between 3 and 4 times the rate of inflation) have not been matched by increases in student spending. Whereas the U.S. College Board and the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada respectively advise students to budget US$1300 and CA$1000 per year for textbooks and other course materials, data collected by the National Association of College Stores (NACS) show that actual student spending on course materials has dropped to less than half that amount. The result is an increasingly strong relationship between the affordability of course…

  • Pedagogy - Students

    Why have students answer questions when they can write them?

    I recently trialled a new assignment in my Social Psychology class: During each of the 10 weeks when there was no scheduled exam I asked my students to write multiple-choice questions. That’s right, they wrote questions instead of merely answering them. From a pedagogical perspective, I really wanted my students to achieve a deeper level of understanding (e.g., the level it takes in order to craft three plausible distractors). However, this assignment also served a pragmatic purpose in that the open textbook that I use for this course (and that I helped revise) does not yet have a readymade question bank.  By asking my students to craft…

  • OER - Open textbooks

    Review, Revise, Adopt. Rinse and Repeat.

    I am often asked about how I got involved with the open textbook movement. My red pill moment was when I first heard the term “OER” uttered by David Wiley in May 2013 at an annual workshop held at Thompson Rivers University for faculty in their Open Learning division. This is when I began to see the Matrix for what it was—an artificial, parasitic, publisher-driven system in which faculty are unwitting carriers.

  • OER - Open textbooks - Uncategorized

    The Fellowship of the Open

    Over the past year I have had the pleasure of working with the fine folk at BCcampus a fair bit – first as a reviewer of two open textbooks, then as an adopter of three, adapter of two, organizer of an open test bank sprint, and a co-presenter at professional development workshops at Capilano University and Kwantlen Polytechnic University. So when I saw another potential excuse to spend time with Mary, Amanda, and Clint, I couldn’t help but apply for one of three Faculty Fellow positions with their open education program. Today was the first meeting of us fellows – Christina…

  • Academia - Pedagogy - Students

    A Faculty Perspective on Open Textbooks

    Recently I have found myself at many meetings and events (e.g., the Open Textbook summit) centered on Open Education. Despite my non-representativeness due to self-selection, I am often called upon at these meetings to represent the “faculty perspective.” As much as I would love to do this, in my experience, there is no single faculty perspective on open education in general and open textbooks in particular. Some, like myself, are early adopters. Others are willing to go along if their concerns are addressed. Still others remain skeptical and resistant. And there are many views in between, many of which contain…