Teaching with WordPress is an open, collaborative online course on using WordPress for teaching and learning in higher education. The course is being hosted by faculty and staff at UBC and is intended to launch in May of 2015. Join us to talk about and experiment with, among other things:
- Open education and open pedagogy
- WordPress as a highly customizable framework for teaching and learning
- Examples of instructors and learners using WordPress sites in many different ways for multiple purposes
- Plug ins, applications and approaches for creating, discussing, sharing and interacting with each other
We are currently developing this course (check out the syllabus) and we would love to hear your feedback on any elements we have so far. What are we missing? What’s unclear?
On October 28-29, 2014, UBC Will host two days of events that highlight areas of open scholarship, education, and research from UBC’s faculty, students and staff as well as guests from the global community. Topics this year include flexible learning, the future of scholarly publishing, the student as producer, MOOCs, open robotics, APIs and more. A complete list of sessions and speakers can be found here.
Open UBC is held in conjunction with the International Open Access Week, which encourages the academic community to come together to share and learn about open scholarship initiatives locally and worldwide, as well as Celebrate Learning Week, which celebrates teaching and learning opportunities at UBC. All events, which will be held in the Lillooet Room (301), of the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre at UBC, are free and open to the public.
BCcampus recently launched a faculty fellows program aimed at encouraging more instructor and faculty adoption and use of open textbooks in British Columbia. The fellows will engage in research that determines the efficacy of open textbook use in B.C. institutions and provide mentorship to faculty new to open textbooks through presentations and consultation. The first three fellows include Christina Hendricks, a Senior Instructor in the department of Philosophy at UBC; Dr. Rajiv Jhangiani, Instructor of Psychology at KPU; and Jessie Key, a Professor in Chemistry at VIU. According to Dr. Hendricks, benefitors of open textbooks include students who “don’t have to go into debt so much to pay for their education. And you’re not sacrificing quality by using open resources, so students still get very good materials for their courses”. Additionally, Dr. Hendricks points out that faculty themselves benefit by the ability to revise the textbooks and to fit them to their clases: “it’s much easier to teach with a resource you’ve managed on your own.”
BCcampus recently interviewed Jon Festinger, an adjunct professor at UBC’s Faculty of Law, about his experience making his Video Game Law course open. Amongst the top lessons he learned were that students felt comfortable with open web experiences and that his course materials and research attracted not just other academics, but people from the financial and business sectors. Additionally he found that he became a better instructor by making his course open. “By making your work open, you tend to work harder. You work hard at the pedagogy and become a better teacher because your work is out there for the whole world to see. And, the stakes are raised higher.”
UBC recently announced the development of four new MOOCs. The faculty authors and titles of the MOOCs are:
- Karen Bakker, Professor, Department of Geography – The Global Water Crisis
- Jan Hare, Associate Professor, Department of Language and Literacy Education – Reconciliation Through Indigenous Education
- Edward Slingerland, Professor, Department of Asian Studies – Foundations of Chinese Thought
- Joleen Timko, Managing Director, AFRICAD, Department of Wood Science – Forests, Poverty, and Livelihoods: Current Topics From Across The Developing World
These topics expand the disciplinary base of UBC’s MOOC offerings and highlight UBC’s strategic strength in areas of sustainability, Aboriginal understanding, Asian Studies, and the natural resources sector. Development of these MOOCs will involve a range of people from faculty and centrally positioned units, and it is expected that these new MOOCs will launch in Fall 2014.