Making Sense Day 9-15

Making Sense Day 9-15

June 15, 2018 Off By JR

Nathan Anderson

I mentioned that I an a serial MOOC dropout right? I missed a few days. Honestly, there are lots of reasons for this. One is that some of the activities maybe I didn’t feel needed reflection here, and instead I just posted a tweet. The week we looked at GLAM OER (Day 7) is an example. Tooling around (day 8) was based largely on a resource I created and I use many of those tools everyday in my 9-5 and even outside of it. For example, when I was studying for my Judo exam last year (both written and practical) I whipped up a SPLOTpoint site and used H5P to make my own flashcards (wouldn’t it be awesome if our students did that too?).

Day 9 was a day of another exam for me to tackle, and I took went into lurking mode, just watching the tweets on the hashtag. I think the tools that were mentioned (Accessibility Assessment Tools,  web accessibility tools available from the W3C,  The Inclusive Design Guide and the BC Open Accessibility Toolkit) will be handy going forward. Another tool I’ve used for accessibility checking is the WebAIM colour contrast checker. Aesthetics of course materials is one thing that I think is more important than we give it credit for, but I get it, we’re not all graphic designers and many don’t have access to one (shout out to the media team I used to work next to, I miss you guys). Lack of working with designers aside, that’s still no excuse for having terrible slides. I mean, you’ve seen them. Someone gets up at the front of the room and boom, red text on a green background (yes I’ve still witnessed this in recent years).

A few years ago I attended a presentation hosted by MADE (media architecture design Edmonton) at the Alberta Gallery of Art. The topic, inclusive design. I didn’t really know what I was in for, but we had a great presenter who came from Ryerson. I think they are a director of the inclusive design centre there now? Anyway, the way she differentiated between Universal Design (which gets thrown around a lot) and Inclusive Design was subtle but important. I would butcher it if I tried to bring up a quote from that long ago, but the gist of it I believe is that UD is trying to design for all, while ID is about designing for individuals by putting tools in their hands for customization. A distinction could be seen in the classic “who does a ramp help?” and the reply “everyone”. It is something designed and put in place for all to use the same way. The example used for ID was to do with digital reading, giving each user the controls to change colour contrast, text size, etc at will rather than finding one way of presenting information that worked for the most people.This module reminded me about this video of a blind man trying to navigate a brand new (design award winning) student centre. It seems we still have a lot of work to do.

Day 10 discussed the OER enabled educator’s decision making process, when should you adopt, adapt, create? I didn’t do any of these this day (I think), but I can share a story about the open textbook project I did with Olds College under the Alberta OER Program. We were provided the curriculum that resources needed to be created to support. So we got to work, doing a bit of writing and planning. Once we settled on the output of a textbook with ancillaries as the project deliverable we thought, like Terry mentioned in his module, “hey, someone else must have done this before.” It turned out that there was another communication book we largely adapted for the content. We developed objectives, rubrics, and many assessments from scratch. Some images we adopted, some we adapted, and some were created from scratch (thanks to Laura Underwood). So depending on the scale of the OER you might find you do some or all of these things.

Day 11 An Open Education “Diagnostic”. Honestly, I didn’t do this activity for the simple reason that I’m tired of handing out my email. I just came off of two weeks sifting through all the “welcome” emails from various accounts I’ve set up over the years in order to close as many as I could. I still have more accounts I’d like to close as I slowly reclaim my digital life, and this tool I didn’t think was worth compromising this goal for. Even to sign up and immediately close it down if that’s how it worked. I got turned right off as soon as I saw it. I admit, most of the resources I used in day 8 have email sign up, but they also all had the option for self hosting. Anyone who checks out that resource can make their own decision about signing up for those services, I’ve made mine. That doesn’t mean I can’t reflect on how I approach open pedagogy and OER and do the rest of the activity:

A change to make in my practice in the next week could be to refine my Discoverable Presence. I have been working on balancing my private and public (read: social media) profiles and I shall continue to make small changes in what and how I share.

In the next month I would like to work a bit more on open assessment. I have been helping instructors get in the spirit of using things like SPLOTbox and blogging, but I think I can continue to advocate for new ways of assessing learning. I’m still waiting for the right moment and collaborator to implement an assessment scheme like DS106 has.

Over the next year, goes back to discoverability in a way, as well as a mind of open content. There are some programs like Adapt, or some WordPress tweaks that I have had on my “to tackle” list for too long. I’ve finally started blogging a bit more regularly. So I’d like to keep up with blogging with Tom Woodward, Alan Levine, and Jim Groom as my examples. If I learn something cool or did something different with one of the open tools I’ve been working with I need to carve out 15 minutes to write about it and get it in the open. I’ve learned so much from these three (and many others) just because they get their thoughts out there. So my goal is to contribute back, Jita Kyōei.

Day 12, I think I’ve shown a few different areas of interest and expertise throughout this post, and my previous posts so I’m going to glance over this one.

Day 13 OER Advocacy. This is an interesting one. One of the reasons I was so excited to be joining the DEU ID team at the University of Saskatchewan is because of their spirit and get it done attitude (I may listen to heavy metal, but EduPunk has had my attention and interest for a long time). The UofS has a lot going for it in terms of open. There are open textbook adoptions, adaptations, and even newly created books that have come from here. We use open tools like wordpress and H5p in course design to support student learning. Some instructors at this campus have students tackle wikipedia assignments (“don’t cite wikipedia, WRITE wikipedia”). We have a small ID group here comprised of education professionals from across the university, and one of the things we actively work towards is the promotion of ID and Open Education across the university. Finding, adopting, and adapting OER is fully integrated into our course design process at DEU. It’s all very grassroots, and about building relationships with individual instructors, and that’s what I find appealing about the approach here.

Day 14 One of the first OER I might have encountered could have been the open textbook Project Management for Instructional Designers. It’s nice to see the update. I think I’ll just take this opportunity to plug a great assignment an instructor here is doing that relates to the activity for day 14 “Let students curate course content.” The GEOL 109 – The Earth and Life Through Time: Student Curated Geology Video Collection. This started as an idea by Karla Panchuk, and we talked about how this could be executed in an online class. I knew about the TRU Collector and Soundr that Alan Levine had created, so I asked him about video, thus was born SPLOTbox. This site is now being populated with video, and I’m pretty happy with how it’s working out. Currently I’m working on sorting out how students can capture and share images and short write ups for field observations in plant science (TRU Collector anyone?).

Day 15 thanks for reading. I hope to see you all here on the blog, or on Twitter.