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Spring Workshop 2011: Presentations

THURSDAY June 2nd, 2011

Open4Learning Keynote Session:

Alan Levine will be our keynote speaker. Find out what he has to say about the upcoming Spring Workshop:


OER reuse – Is there a future in the recycling learning resources?

Presenters : David Porter (BCcampus) and Scott Leslie (BCcampus)
Description :
Over the past ten years, foundations and governments worldwide have been providing grants for the development of open educational resources (OER), learning materials that can be used, reused and reengineered for personal or institutional use under the provisions of an open copyright license. It has been well documented that OERs have the potential to reduce development costs, build communities of knowledge practitioners and make educational materials more accessible to learners by leveraging the use and reuse provisions of open licenses. Yet despite the opportunity presented by OER only a small proportion of open resources have been reused by higher education practitioners in the manner envisioned by proponents and funders.

Core Issues for discussion:

  • Why is reuse of OER not more common as an instructional development practice?
  • What are the conditions under which OERs will be reused for higher education programs and courses?
  • What methods or models of practice could contribute to greater use and reuse of OER?”

North American Network of Science Labs Online (NANSLO): BC Innovation Goes International

Presenters : Paul Stacey (BCcampus), Gina Bennett (CoTR) and Ron Evans (NIC)
Description :
NANSLO has recently been awarded a Next Generation Learning Challenge grant of approximately $750K to expand and enhance use of BC developed online science courses in biology, chemistry and physics along with a Remote Web-based Science Lab to the US. This expansion and adoption of a BC based innovation has been achieved by developing and licensing the courses and lab as open educational resources. This session present a case study of how BC based development went international by being open.

This session fits ETUG call for proposal themes and categories of:

  • Open, Free, & Alternative Teaching & Learning, especially alternative formats for teaching but also designing 4 open
  • Open, Free, & Alternative Technolgies, demos Remote Web-based Science Lab
  • Open Educational Resources (OER) especially Whats really going on with your OER project?

The session will cover:

BC Origins

  • Tatla Lake Online Observatory
  • Web-based Associate of Science
  • Remote Web-based Science Lab
  • licensing of resources – Creative Commons vs. BC Commons

BC Challenges

  • transfer credit agreements
  • quality of online science curricula
  • distributed RWSL network and RWSL as a shared service

Next Generation Learning Challenges

  • Gates and Hewlett Foundation funding
  • structure of RFP
  • interest from WICHE and CCCS
  • development of NANSLO concept and proposal
  • award and next steps

Interactive aspects of this session include:

  • discussion on pros and cons of remote web-based science labs
  • expressions of interest in using the RWSL and/or helping with articulation and teaching of science courses
  • BC based opportunities that come from this initiative
  • discussion of benefits associated with working in the open
  • hands-on opportunities to try using the Remote Web-based Science Lab

Our Bridge is Open: Developing Face-to-Face Learning Communities, Online

Presenters : Jo Axe (RRU), Samantha Wood (RRU) and Terri Bateman (RRU)
Description : Note….Please bring your laptop!
At Royal Roads University, on-campus BCom students meet their classmates for the first time in an online bridging course that we call the Bridge to BCom. This course was originally designed in 2006, and has been redesigned over several iterations since then. The Bridge not only orients students to the program and the university, but also encourages the development of a face-to-face learning community, where individual differences can be celebrated and problems can be solved in an open, trusting environment.

There are many documented benefits of learning communities, such as increased engagement and a greater sense of well-being. In 2006, building on this, and cognizant of the diverse student population, instructional designers, administrators, and faculty committed to developing the Bridge. Aimed at decreasing the incidence of minority group marginalization, the Bridge provided the opportunity for students to begin to develop an inclusive learning community. By acknowledging that social practice is fundamental to learning, and by providing students with the tools to build effective learning communities, educators can support student socialization and decrease the sense of isolation felt by individuals entering higher education.

In this session, as we discuss both the benefits and challenges of developing online bridging activities for face-to-face students, we will encourage participants to share their own experiences, and to hear what innovative and alternative activities other institutions are implementing to develop learning communities.

Finally, this course is one of RRU’s newest Open Educational Resources (OERs). Participants will therefore be given access to the course as a takeaway, and we will share briefly how we converted it to an OER, and provide suggestions on successful adoption and contextualization for its use in other institutions.

WordPress I: Getting Started with WordPress

Presenters : Charla Beaulieu (Selkirk)
Description :
During this session participants will go through the process of creating and setting up a WordPress site using WordPress.com. The session will include setting up an account, getting the site up and running, choosing a theme and adding content.

Can you dig it? #DS106 Radio

Presenters : Brian Lamb (UBC), Grant Potter (UNBC) and Jason Toal (SFU).
Description :

This session will focus on the technical pieces of web radio, and how to participate in #ds106 Radio as a listener, contributor, and webcaster. Bring your laptop (optional), your iPhone (optional), and your imagination and spirit of adventure (required).

As part of Jim Groom’s Massive Open Online Course on Digital Storytelling , a freeform web “radio station”was founded and continues to evolve both independently and interdependently of the course community. The audio environment has served exceptionally well to support course activities: weekly lectures are streamed live, student audio projects are served up, and there are even live call-in sessions in which students are invited to offer feedback on how the course is proceeding. It has been a platform for other educational activities outside of #DS106, such as the Connectivism and Connected Learning MOOC offered by Stephen Downes and George Siemens, or live-streaming from conferences that members of the world-wide #DS106 community happen to be attending.

The ‘extra-curricular’ activities have been arguably of greater interest, as a community of educators pushes the limits of the medium to see what is possible. So far, #DS106 Radio has webcast online stories, live global discussions, and synchronized multi-point guitar jams. Participants have programmed serious and polished audio documentaries (including some live from Japan in the immediate aftermath of the 2011 earthquake), as well as hosted truly horrendous online karaoke parties. Music shared by participants provides the ambient backdrop, whether programmed asynchronously by an anonymous online “drop box”, or live when a DJ “seizes the feed”.

The results have been wild, unpredictable, uneven, exciting, occasionally unlistenable and often great fun. The medium has proven to be a remarkably intimate form of interaction and has promoted a spirit of experimentation, demonstrating how technology can deepen engagement across a community.


Mining the Copyright Mindfield

Presenters : Martha Rans (Emily Carr)
Description :
This session would allow participants to work through some copyright conundrums that come up for educators. I would like to offer a session that would enable participants to access advice and also get feedback on a Canadian version of Copyright for Educators that will be offered through P2PU this fall (with Brian Lamb) Right now I am completely open to working along with colleagues so that delegates get the most out of my being there. I am the legal lead for Creative Commons Canada. I teach copyright at Emily Carr and address issues relating to OER as an educator.

There’s so much more to crowdfunding than just money — but the money’s nice too!

Presenters : Ryan Oakley
Description :
Crowdfunding is a powerful, open, and exciting way for people and organizations to solve the age old problem of having enough money to do project “x”. In this workshop, you’ll learn what crowdfunding is, why it’s important, and how I used it to kickstart an important community project and my business. We’ll walk through the indiegogo platform (online) and I’ll teach you some best-practices for raising money from the crowd. Concepts will include: project management, budgets, teams, online and offline marketing including social media marketing. By the end of this session you will have all the skills necessary to raise thousands of dollars on your next professional or personal project.

Designing the University of Open

Presenters : Paul Stacey (BCcampus)
Description :
This session explores the possibilities of synthesizing multiple related “open” initiatives into a new kind of university where open is a core operating principle that underlies all activities. An overview of possible open methods that could form the underpinnings of a university of open will be provided including open source software, open access research publishing, open data, open educational resources, the OERu, open pedagogies, and open networks.

An essential aspect of the university of open is the active participation and contributions of faculty, students and staff in open initiatives. The university of open not only uses these methods it builds participation and further development of them into its day to day activities.

Following the overview participants will be asked to engage in actively designing the university of open. The room will be divided into 3 main areas each with large 4ftX8ft sheets of paper on which to diagram and describe designs for:

  1. Technology infrastructure and networks – Task is to develop a diagram using open source software to establish the complete technological infrastructure and network needed for a university. This is expected to include student information systems, teaching and learning technologies, communication and marketing applications, social networking, network needs and other applications. Task also includes specifying how members of the university will contribute to open source software code and/or communities as part of daily operations.
  2. Open Educational Resources. Task is to define the variety of academic models by which an institution, or consortia of institutions, can use OER to create credentials.

Design degrees:

  • offered by your institution made up of OER from elsewhere mixed with your own OER
  • offered by your institution made up of OER entirely from elsewhere but delivered by you
  • that are consortia based with multiple institutions providing OER courses with transfer credit agreements that lead to degrees
  • that are made up of OER from elsewhere but involve support and assessment services from your institution
  • add your design idea here

Task also includes specifying how students might be co-creators of OER (potentially for credit) and how faculty of the university will contribute to OER development within their institution and as part of consortia.

3. Open Pedagogies Task is to define possible pedagogical approaches and instructional design methods that support open learning. Pedagogies could include such approaches as Massively Open Online Courses, and new emergent methods incorporating radio and video into courses. Task includes specifying how open pedagogies work operationally in terms of open access to courses, open student support, open assessment and evaluation and credentialing. Participants will be asked to consider and expand on the continuous enrollment, prior learning assessment and recognition credits for learning from life and work experience, and credit transfer to and from other universities that have traditionally been part of open universities.

Participants can choose which of these three areas they wish to help design. There will also be opportunities to rotate to all three.

Session will conclude with report out showcasing of each of three designs that have emerged.

John Dewey gets an iPhone: Opening Education through Mobile Learning

Presenters : Steve Musson (Langara) & Jacqueline Bradshaw (Langara)
Description :
News flash: John Dewey (the educational philosopher) just got an iPhone! In the 1930’s Dewey outlined a vision of education that was open and collaborative. It was also democratic – with each student having a say in the teaching-learning process.

Fast-forward to 2011. Mobile devices (smart phones, blackberries, iPhones, tablets, etc.) have put incredible computing power into the hands of a great number of students. In this session we will explore how mobile learning can help to make education more open.

A case study of a course that is being designed to optimize the use of mobile learning will be presented. We will look at how the affordances of these devices (and the associated software) can make courses more open and learner-centred. We will also explore the potential for mobile learning to encourage students to reflect upon their own experiences and to co-construct knowledge with their fellow students – a manifestation of “Triple-Loop Learning Theory” (an extension of Argyris & Schon’s Double Loop Learning). Rumour has it that John Dewey himself has signed up to take this course!

As part of this interactive session, participants will be invited to experience the “third loop” of the “triple-loop” learning process by engaging in discussion and sharing their insights, using the affordances of mobile technology. As co-learners in the process, participants will help to construct concepts that will become part of a resource repository available to anyone interested in furthering Mobile Learning & Open Education.
Everyone is invited to bring along their mobile device and we will also have several available for those who don’t have their own.

Developing your Elevator Pecha! Are you Open4Learning?

Presenters : Elena Underhill (BCIT) and Kyle Hunter (BCIT)

Description :
Come and learn how to develop an idea into a pitch that can be delivered in the time it takes to go 20 floors in an elevator. This hands-on workshop is a mashup of Pecha Kucha and the Elevator Pitch: we’ll be learning how to create an effective 10-slide presentation and giving prizes.

Supporting Instructors to Use Open Technologies: Barriers and Opportunities

Presenters : Vivian Neal (SFU), Jason Toal (SFU) and Cindy Xin (SFU)
Description :
Educational developers and learning technologist are frequently tasked with advising instructors to develop courses and to teach in pedagogically effective ways, using technologies that are evolving faster than we can learn them. We all have familiarity with some of the new open technologies, but each one has functionality and usability that drive or limit particular pedagogical approaches and learning activities. In this session, participants will articulate the challenges of supporting instructors to use open resources and technologies that we’re not/less familiar with. The three facilitators will share brief stories from the trenches, then open the floor to participants to share challenges, successes and solutions. Areas of discussion might include: how to articulate this challenge, general approaches to these kinds of situations, or solutions to specific problems. The result of this session will be a short guide to some of the challenges and advice around supporting instructors to use open technologies in pedagogically effective way: it will be made available in a collaborative document (Wiki, G-doc, etc) which will be set up for facilitators to record the session, and participants to both contribute to and have as a reference and archive.
This session will be facilitated by three educational development veterans, each of whom have been helping instructors to use technology for over a decade.

Free and Open Digital Tools for the Modern Student

Presenters : Vanessa Simpson (Douglas)
Description :
What free and open technology are students using to complete their coursework? Although post-secondary institutions have technology resources readily available on campus, many students complete their work off campus. How are they getting access to the applications they need? Are the days gone when shady figures lurk in the hallowed halls of universities and colleges selling pirated technology to desperate students? Perhaps not, but with the advent of open sources applications and cloud computing students can perform most of their coursework without the fear of legal ramifications.

During this presentation, Vanessa Simpson, a current Master’s student, will discuss the five free and open source applications that support her learning: Google Docs, a PDF generator, an ePub generator, a reference manager, and social bookmarking software. With these free applications, Vanessa can study and research from anywhere. She will also discuss her personal concerns about protecting her privacy in the digital age and would like to hear if her audience shares the same concerns.

Moodle + WordPress: Teaching Educational Technology With the Best of Both Worlds

Presenters : Keith Webster (UVic)
Description :
How do you create the possibility for the greatest range of innovation and creativity while maintaining a secure home-base for pre-service teachers who range from programming whizzes to the email-challenged? Start with a familiar LMS and introduce students to self-publishing on the web with their own instance of WordPress.

This session will start with a case study of the integration of Moodle and WordPress in support of an on-campus course in educational technology, specifically the ways in which content and interaction can be bridged between the two.

After the case study participants will try out some of the tools and techniques that allow Moodle and WordPress to be integrated. Participants will use RSS, Google Reader and Diigo to integrate Moodle and WordPress.

Facilitating in the Open

Presenters : Sylvia Currie (BCcampus)
Description :
The increase in opportunities to participate in open, online workshops, courses, and events, calls for a unique set of skills and considerations for facilitators. What are the implications of open invitations? How do you design for the unknown? How do you plan for the unexpected? What facilitation strategies do you toss out the window? How does the facilitator’s role change? How do you spread the word? What do you need in your toolkit? That’s a lot of question! During this session we will look at examples of open, online learning activities (MOOCS, webinars, seminars, twitter chats…), collect our experiences as participants and facilitators, and work toward a new set of guiding principles to assist those who will be facilitating in the open in the future.

Lucy, you got some ‘splainin’ to do!

Presenters : Mike Minions (Okanagan College)
Description :
In this session we’ll take a look at using hand-drawn text-and-diagram screencasting as a way to both teach and demonstrate learning. We’ll explore the tools and techniques (on windows, mac and ipad platforms) used to produce instructional video on sites like khanacademy.com. And we’ll consider some of the theoretical underpinnings of this low-cost new media form.

Relevant streams:

Open, free and alternative technology stream
Tools: Screenr, Jing, Sketchbook Xpress, Smoothdraw3, Youtube, Vimeo

Open/Free/Alternative assignments – rather than hand in a paper, demonstrate your learning by drawing and explaining – post in the cloud.

Mobilize it! Promoting an open-access and open source approach to university research?

Presenters : Robyn Schell (Douglas)
Description :
Is it time for educators to re-think scholarly publishing? How can we promote open-access and an open-source approach to publishing and enhance knowledge mobilization? Our presentation will explore these questions by sharing content links, resources, thoughts, and reflections on the subjects of the open-access movement, scholarly publishing, and knowledge mobilization.

New knowledge is being generated every day in our nstitutions through research but often we have no way to reach the people who really need this information or would like to build on our innovative work. If you or your faculty is involved with getting the word out about the research being done at your institution, you may be interested in learning more about the new field of Knowledge Transfer and Exchange (KTE).

My presentation describes what KTE is about and why it’s an important component of Open Education and Open Scholarship movement. I’ll introduce you to our new BC KTE community of practice that is developing the profession of knowledge transfer and exchange in our province and highlight some of the KTE work being done by well known organizations like Rick Hansen Foundation, Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research, and School of Nursing at UBC. I’ll also talk about how you can get started on mobilizing research at your institution.


The goal of KTE is to mobilize knowledge for the benefit of the larger society through open access, open education, and open scholarship movements. Others are promoting the same process under different names such as knowledge mobilization and knowledge translation.

KTE shares many of the goals of open learning and teaching. While KTE may be known by different labels, their processes promote an interactive dialogue and engagement between the producers and users of the knowledge. Both involve connecting research knowledge and the potential users of the findings so that the research user, working with the research scientist, drives the uptake of research through collaboration. KTE work is being done now on in areas such as health and human rights, determinants of health, wellness, violence and injury, healthy aging, and global health.

KTE mobilizes knowledge and research through strategies and tools familiar to those involved in open learning and teaching. These strategies can include facilitating partnership with social organizations interested in using the research results or working with decision makers to advance policy based on new research findings. Using free, open, alternative tools are pivotal in creating a bridge between the users and producers of knowledge. This presentation will describe how others are using technology to mobilize research and how you can apply these techniques and tools at your institution.

Making Space with OPEN SPACE*: An opportunity to continue conversations, wrangle hot topics, and capture energy generated in other parts of the workshop

Presenters : Cindy Xin (SFU), Vivian Neal (SFU) and Jason Toal (SFU)
Description :
This time and space is set aside to continue conversations started in other sessions, for open exploration of hot topics and energized ideas, and whatever has jumped out at you over the two day workshop. The session format will use Open Space, a way to facilitate productive and energized conversations using principles of intentional leadership practice and self organization that embraces chaos and creativity. The three conveners believe that Open Space is an ideal method for dialogue on Open 4 Learning.

Open Space is based on four guiding principles and one law:

  • Who every comes is the right person
  • Whenever starts is the right time
  • Whatever happens is the only thing that could have
  • When it’s over, it’s over

The Law of Two Feet: If at any time you find yourself in any situation where you are neither learning nor contributing: use your two feet and go someplace else.

Bring your energy, start a conversation, participate in discussion about the hottest topics.

*Harrison, O. (2008). Open Space Technology: A User’s Guide. (3rd ed.). San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler.”

Alternative Assignments: Creating Options for Learning and Assessment Beyond the Academic Essay

Presenters : Terri Bateman (RRU) and BJ Eib (RRU)
Description :
All too often courses rely on the read/write dimensions of input and output and the term paper becomes the default format even when there are so many other ways to construct activities and assignments to demonstrate student learning. We will share some of the exciting alternative assignments we have seen at RRU and stories from the instructors who created them. Alternative formats don’t always work seamlessly the first time out and they are not always easy to assess.

In this participatory session we will :

  • Invite participants to share memorable assignments they have had experience with (or thought about) either as teachers, learners, or observers.
  • explore some strategies for avoiding design pitfalls and effectively assessing alternative assignments.
  • work together as a group to devise assessment approaches and rubrics for alternative assignments.
  • Post our work in an open online space to enable access and sharing of materials after the session.


Yes, it scales. Growing an open and social infrastructure

Presenters : Brian Lamb (UBC), Novak Rogic (UBC) and Will Engle (UBC)
Description :
UBC’s Centre for Teaching, Learning and Technology has supported blogs and wikis for nearly a decade, but the past year has represented a tipping point in terms of their impact at the institution and beyond. With an enterprise scale technical architecture, and a vibrant and rapidly growing user community, the benefits of openness are manifesting themselves in often unexpected ways.

The core components of this framework are:


The UBC Wiki

The UBC Wiki is a university wide space built on the MediaWiki open source platform. It is a core component of a distributed, syndicated publication architecture that pushes live content to other web pages, learning management systems, customized PDF ‘wiki books’ and ebooks. In the past year, users have created thousands of wiki pages, generating a steady flow of ‘deliberate’ and ‘accidental’ radically reusable open educational resources. In order to increase both usability and community, the CTLT has adopted a “”wiki gardening”” strategy employed to grow an organizational and rational structure for divergent content and activities while preserving the essentially emergent character of open wiki environments.

UBC Blogs

UBC Blogs has also seen growth measured in the thousands of users and sites, for uses ranging from personal reflection to rich course environments. It has also added a social network and groupware functionality via the integration of BuddyPress. Among the enhancements developed for the sharable WordPress platform include “”PulsePress””, a live classroom space intended to support discussion and resource sharing.


CTLT and UBC Public Affairs have also extended WordPress into a new hosted content management system . This service has supported the rapid development of sites, allowing individuals, departments and faculties to build rich online environments that in the past would have required the services of professional web designers. The potential cost savings of this open source service are enormous.

Session Focus

The growth and maturation of these open spaces creates exciting new directions in terms of publishing, collaboration, community outreach, research, teaching and learning but also delivers new technical and administrative challenges (mobile, scaling, privacy, management, course requirements…). This session will explore the processes, best practices, and lessons learned in transitioning these spaces from emerging projects to university wide, high demand, services.

WordPress II: Going Further with WordPresss

Presenters : Charla Beaulieu (Selkirk)
Description :
This session will be a continuation of the WordPress I workshop. Participants will continue to develop their WordPress site by adding plug-ins, creating menus, and using widgets. Security, user roles and customizing themes will also be covered.