OE Global 2023 has ended
Building a Sustainable World through Open Education
Wednesday, October 18 • 1:00pm - 2:00pm
System-wide OER Initiatives: Watershed Decisions that Drive Impact

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When education leaders embark on large, system-level open education initiatives, typically they have big dreams and ambitious plans for how to achieve them. As these projects unfold, they evolve to navigate challenges and leverage opportunities. This session invites attendees to join in conversation with leaders from four mature and visionary system-level open education initiatives about key, “watershed” decisions that have shaped the course of how to implement OER for scale and impact.

System-wide initiatives are frequently at the forefront of the push around adoption of open educational resources (OER) because they create models for building infrastructure, perceived legitimacy, support and scale for open education. Rooted in common aspirations for improving textbook affordability, increasing access to high quality learning materials, and supporting equitable student success, successful system-wide initiatives have the power to build new language and culture around higher education. As large-scale open education projects mature, they not only expedite uptake of OER, but they also change the discourse and perceptions of open education.

Systems are complicated. Shifting organizational goals, priorities, personalities, resource availability, and the needs of member institutions all dictate what is possible and feasible. Often system structures are bound to the policies and mandates of their region, the demographics they serve, and incumbent political power. Amid these vying forces, we have much to learn from practitioners who span boundaries, make far-reaching decisions, and develop innovative strategies to move open education forward working at system-wide scale.

This session will facilitate organic dialogue between panelists and members of the audience using a modified, participatory “fishbowl” format. Tapping into the rich experience represented in the OE Global community, a portion of the panel session will use the “open fishbowl” format that invites audience participants to tag into the discussion to ask questions, share comments or insights. The session purpose is to surface insights about essential decision points and success factors that have been most effective helping system-wide OER initiatives reach their goals. The following questions and themes will be threaded into the panel discussion:

What are the stated goals for your open education initiative, and how do these goals support the broader priorities of your system and member institutions?

Describe a “watershed” decision or an inflection point that shifted the trajectory of what you could accomplish with this initiative.

In your experience, what is the most essential tool or ingredient for a system-level open education initiative to be successful?

What have you found helpful in managing interests of different stakeholders as you implement use of OER?

How do you measure impact and demonstrate the value of your initiative?

Was there an unexpected challenge or pushback you experienced that others would benefit from learning to anticipate?

Featuring transregional practitioners with varying system types, operational structures and implementation models, this session is intended for anyone who is working towards large-scale impact with open education in a complex organization.

Keywords: System-level impact, System-wide initiative, Implementation model, Success factors, OER usage at scale

Session outcomes and takeaways:

Key takeaways from this session include:
Understanding of important “watershed” decision points that can shape the course of how to implement OER for scale and impact
Insight into the nuances of implementing OER effectively at scale in complex organizations
Lessons learned from experienced practitioners who have helped architect and guide some of the most successful system-level OER initiatives in North America
Approaches for ensuring OER initiatives are aligned with broader strategic goals of educational institutions and/or systems

To engage the audience, this panel discussion will use a modified “fishbowl” format to facilitate thoughtful dialogue and inclusive engagement. It will begin as a “closed fishbowl” with panelists and the moderator in dialogue with each other about their respective system-level initiatives and “watershed” decision points that have shaped the course of how OER are being implemented with goals around scale and impact. Half-way through the allotted session time, the format will shift to an “open fishbowl,” where members of the audience are invited to occupy an open chair to tag into the discussion to ask questions, comment, or share perspectives based on their experiences and expertise.

avatar for Boyoung Chae

Boyoung Chae

avatar for Clint Lalonde

Clint Lalonde

Director, Open Education, BCcampus
Clint is an educational technologist and advocate for the use of open educational resources and open education practices in higher education. Clint has worked in the British Columbia post-secondary system for 25 years and is currently the Director of Open Education for BCcampus... Read More →
avatar for Hugh McGuire

Hugh McGuire

Founder and CEO, @pressbooks
Would love to connect about: system-level OER strategy, the power of creating new resources, open pedagogy, instructional design and AI. Pressbooks is an online content & courseware development platform.For years, Pressbooks has supported the authoring and adaptation of open educational... Read More →

Mary Gu

Librarian, Open Library, eCampusOntario
avatar for Stephanie Green

Stephanie Green

Program Director Food & Nutrition, Phoenix College

Wednesday October 18, 2023 1:00pm - 2:00pm MDT
Beaver (S12) Edmonton Convention Centre