Melissa Jakubec and Dr John Belshaw
This reflective practice presentation focuses on the development of an open textbook titled “Histories of Indigenous Peoples and Canada,” demonstrating openness in action through the creation of an open educational resource. As we were developing the corresponding course, we were unable to identify a suitable, comprehensive historical resource to adopt as a textbook. Acutely aware of the need to ensure a decolonized approach to the subject matter, we engaged two consultants with additional Indigenous expertise and background, Dr. Sarah Nickel and Dr. Chelsea Horton. In synthesizing a variety of resources and framing information for the learners, the course developer Dr. John Belshaw had written an extensive amount of commentary to guide learners through the material. This presented a design issue as it would be challenging for learners to fully engage in the instructional commentary through a learning management system – the sheer amount of text would lead to extensive scrolling online.
After discussing alternatives with our learning technologies team, we decided that the material would be more manageable for learners in a PressBooks site, with learning activities and assignments remaining in the learning management system. Students now have the choice of reading the text online, downloading it as a pdf or loading it on a reading device. If we were in essence, creating a textbook, we felt it would be best to release it as an open textbook with creative commons licensing.
The presentation will share the challenges encountered in reverse designing aspects of a course into an open textbook and the lessons learned for future projects. The final open textbook Histories of Indigenous Peoples and Canada will also be shared. Despite these challenges, we feel that it is important to release this material as an open textbook for our learners and beyond, particularly during the pandemic. The open text is now included in the BC Campus Open Textbook Repository and has already been adopted by other institutions and instructors. Preliminary student feedback from the course will also be shared. Participants will be asked to share their own experiences using or developing open textbooks and resources, as well as to provide any feedback on the text itself.
- Open Education
- creative commons
- instructional design
- learning design