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Building a Sustainable World through Open Education
Monday, October 16 • 3:00pm - 3:45pm
Adapting OER to Meet the Needs of Diverse Learners

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The power of adaptable digital content is apparent all around us. Waves of public & philanthropic investment have resulted in millions of adaptable open educational resources (OER). Adapting OER is now a viable curriculum strategy for improving student success at the course and program-level.

In addition to improving affordability and access, adaptable learning materials invite educators to localize content to fit the unique needs of learners and the communities where they live, work, and learn. Adaptation also empowers educators to accomplish specific learning objectives while trying out innovative pedagogies. However, technical barriers, underestimation of the work required, and misunderstanding learners’ actual needs can all pose challenges to successful adaptation.

In this panel session, experienced practitioners will share processes & workflows they have developed and tools & frameworks that have helped them better meet learners’ needs by adapting openly licensed content.

The goals of this session are to 1) highlight the positive and practical aspects of adapting Open Educational Resources to create a better learning experience for students and to 2) make the audience aware of common pitfalls so that their future adaptation efforts will be most likely to achieve the outcomes they desire. It will center the panelists’ expertise and experience in the hopes of helping participants feel more prepared to adapt existing open content to solve the challenges they face, no matter the type or size of institution they serve or the specific cultural environment(s) they are working within. Our intention is for panelists to present an honest accounting of successes and struggles, with an emphasis on practices and tools the audience can use and frameworks or heuristics that can help guide their efforts to produce adaptations that meet the particular needs of learners in their diverse settings.

The moderator will begin the session by providing short panelist introductions and brief contextual framing. They will ask the attendees a few ‘raise your hand’ type questions to gauge the audience’s current understanding and experience level with the topic. Following this introduction, each panelist will be invited to share timed remarks (<5 minutes) describing adaptation projects they’ve been involved with and a description of their goals and impacts.

The moderator will ask panelists to respond to a small number of pre-written questions and will ensure panelists have equal opportunities to contribute. We will reserve time for participants to answer attendees’ questions at the end of the session. The moderator will share a distributable document with pre-collected resources from the panelists once the session is over.

Keywords: OER, inclusivity, culturally relevant education, student-centered pedagogy, adaptation

Session outcomes and takeaways: Following this session, attendees will be able to:
-explain the benefits (cultural, economic, and pedagogical) & challenges (technological, labor, and epistemological) of adapting open content
-better judge how, when, and why they might consider adapting openly licensed material
-describe how adaptations can intentionally focus on improving student learning
-apply specific workflows and tools used by others to effectively adapt open content in ways that are relevant to their local needs

Presenters
avatar for Apurva Ashok

Apurva Ashok

Executive Director, The Rebus Foundation, https://twitter.com/RebusCommunity
Apurva leads The Rebus Foundation and brings a tireless determination for systemic change in education at Rebus and through collaborative partnerships. She helps educational institutions build human capacity in OER publishing through professional development offerings such as the... Read More →
avatar for Marilyn Billings

Marilyn Billings

Coordinator, Publishing Support Team, ROTEL Grant
Please talk with me about the ROTEL (Remixing Open Textbooks with an Equity Lens) grant-funded program. As one of the consultants, I coordinate the ROTEL Publishing Support Team and serve as the faculty advisor & advocate. This program is funded by a U.S. Dept. of Education Textbook... Read More →
avatar for Josie Gray

Josie Gray

Manager, Production and Publishing, BCcampus
Josie is the manager of production and publishing at BCcampus. She manages the B.C. Open Collection and provides training and support for B.C. faculty publishing open textbooks in Pressbooks. Josie has been learning about and teaching accessibility best practices in OER since 2016... Read More →
avatar for Steel Wagstaff

Steel Wagstaff

Educational Product Manager, Pressbooks
I'm the educational product owner for Pressbooks, a small Canadian startup which makes open source book publishing software. I've spent most of my adulthood attending or working for universities, though I've worked outside the academy as a land surveyor, prison educator, and youth... Read More →


Monday October 16, 2023 3:00pm - 3:45pm MDT
Beaver (S12) Edmonton Convention Centre