Reflections on a Busy Fall

The OER+Scholcomm team has been busy this fall! In early October, Maria and Josh joined 900+ OER advocates at the Open Education Conference in Niagara Falls, NY (Will was unfortunately waylaid by the remnants of Hurricane Michael moving up through the Southeast). Josh gave a lightning talk on our LIS faculty research, and Maria and Josh led a session on lowering barriers to participation in OER creation by focusing on granularity: small-scale projects. Will attended OpenCon in Toronto a few weeks later where he led an active discussion on the hidden curriculum of scholarly communication, and then immediately joined Josh and Maria in South Carolina for The Charleston Conference, where we ate all the oysters led a full-day preconference and hosted a “lively discussion” session.

Rather than intense breakdowns and analysis of each event (you can read some excellent examples of that, from Lillian Rigling at Open Ed and from Monica Brown at OpenCon), we wanted to share a few reflections across the events:

  1. DEI and related critiques are on the minds of many, and for good reason. Jess Mitchell’s OE keynote was a fantastic example of this, calling out many of the excellent sessions by our peers that centered on social justice and critical reflection. Jess asked us to critically reflect on who we’re leaving behind or excluding, even as we’re celebrating our successes. OpenCon made these issues the central theme of the event, with amazing speakers, hands-on workshops, and so many opportunities to meet and talk with new people that the event left one open scientist literally speechless!
  2. Like minds; we heard from colleagues who are doing related or adjacent work to ours. Lots of folks are thinking about practitioner-driven training for librarians, particularly in emerging or otherwise under-addressed areas of LIS curricula, and the best ways of identifying and addressing the gaps. This is really exciting! We’re not thinking in a vacuum, but as part of a growing movement to be proactive in identifying curricular gaps and filling them as practitioners. Check out “Everything Nobody Taught You About Library Acquisitions Work” by Lindsay Cronk and Rachel Fleming (mega bonus points for playing Bikini Kill to warm up the crowd in Charleston). We can’t wait to see what grows out of these spaces and projects and to discover the opportunities to collaborate and support each other.
  3. Community-owned infrastructure; it’s increasingly obvious to many that openness entails more than “5R” permissions. Along with the recognition that issues of inclusion and equity are critical to openness, the open community is exploring how openness can be grounded in a decentralized practice and space that empowers all participants. Steel Wagstaff and Billy Meinke spoke about this at OpenEd18 in the context of student data and open education, citing Chris Gilliard’s call to recognize open as freedom from “surveillance, extraction, and monetization of data.” As open education wrestles with the rise of for-profit services built around OER and Elsevier is developing a business model as an analytics company, this vision of openness built on decentralization and digital inclusion is increasingly vital to supporting the agency and autonomy at the heart of open values. As Robin DeRosa observed in her recent keynote for “Making Knowledge Public,” at the 2018 President’s Dream Colloquium at Simon Fraser University:

“open is most centrally about designing infrastructure from the perspective of our publics. This is not about openly licensing any one particular artifact. This is not about saving students $100 on a textbook here or there. This is about taking a stand for an ecosystem powered by infrastructure that actively strengthens the public good [and creating] open ecosystems in government, data, science, research, education, and software that are contextual, tied to community need, and reflective of the diversity of the real people who depend on our universities to do good work and improve the condition of the world.”

As we continue our own work on open, we are excited to make the OER+ScholComm project not just an openly-licensed resource or collection of resources, but the locus of an active, inclusive, and empowered community of practice for teaching and transforming scholarly communication and related areas. We’ll be talking more about this project in the spring, but we have great aspirations for the project as a model for openness that reflects the values of inclusion, the diversity of our communit[ies] of practice, and as infrastructure that goes beyond any single author or publisher to empower everyone to control their identities and share their stories on their own terms.

Good luck wrapping up your fall/year. Reach out to us if you have comments/questions/feedback.

High fives to everyone – Maria, Will, and Josh

Big News!

A couple weeks ago, I teased on Twitter that we have some exciting news:

Now we’re at #OpenEd18, which is a great place to share:

The ACRL New Publications Advisory Board recently “enthusiastically” approved our proposal to publish the cornerstone of our collaboration: an open textbook of scholarly communication librarianship! ACRL Content Strategist Erin Nevius wrote sharing this news, adding:

The board loves the idea of a text of this type and the open ethos around its publication

We’re thrilled to be working with ACRL on this, and deeply grateful to  Erin and the Advisory Board for advancing this piece of the project to the next step. We’re working on a Memorandum of Agreement to nail down some specifics, and to create a plan of work to get it done, with a probable publication date in 2020 under the new working title: Scholarly Communication Librarianship and Open Culture: Law, Economics, and Publishing. We’ll share more details as we have them. In the meantime, thanks to the many many people who’ve participated in conversations up to this point!

LIS Faculty Research Materials

The following materials (pdf and .xlsx) relate to research conducted under IMLS Grant LG-72-17-0132-17. Specifically, these materials sought to understand the perceptions and practices of a key stakeholder group in our project: library and information science (LIS) faculty who teach library school students. ALISE Focus Groups were held at the ALISE Conference in Denver, CO in early February, 2018. Both surveys were conducted in Spring 2018.

  1. ALISE Focus Groups
    1. Focus Group Protocol
    2. Focus Group Transcripts
  2. Scholarly Communication Survey
    1. Instrument
    2. Raw Data (Excel)
    3. Qualtrics report
  3. Textbooks Survey
    1. Instrument
    2. Raw Data (Excel)
    3. Qualtrics report

LISOER at Open Ed 2018!

We’re super excited to see folks at Open Ed in Niagara Falls next week! We’re presenting on our LIS OER project twice, both on Friday.

  • Josh is presenting a lightning talk about our engagements to date with LIS faculty, “What do MLIS Faculty Know about OER?” at 11:45 in the Governor’s Amphitheater. See full description on the schedule.
  • After lunch, Maria, Will, and Josh are hosting a symposium from 1:30 – 2:30 in Cascade 1, “OER is for Everyone!: Granularity as an Approach to Scaling OER Creation through Open Canvas.” We’re planning to use a simple tool called Open Canvas to design learning objects that share your unique knowledge, skills, and abilities in our session, so if making stuff sounds fun, join us! Full description on the schedule.

We also have an incredible piece of news to share, which Josh teased on Twitter:

Can’t wait to high five everyone for all the great things you’re doing! If you’re interested in this work but we haven’t met, please introduce yourself!

Create #LISOER with us in Charleston!

TL;DR We’re doing a full-day granular OER design/create workshop in Charleston in November and we’d love to see you there! Register here.

In early 2018 we presented a workshop at The Library Collective (an excellent, affordable, fun, and participant-centered conference, btw) titled Soup from a Stone: Collective Development of OER that Welcome Underrepresented Voices to Scholarly Communication. In short, we proposed to increase practitioner perspectives in LIS instruction (focusing on scholcomm topics, but not to the exclusion of other areas/emphases) by facilitating practitioner creation of open learning objects that share a skill, knowledge, or practice that we need our future colleagues to know. We used a modified version of the Open Canvas, which is part of Mozilla Working Open Workshops, as a way to scope/design a lesson plan, video, game, or anything participants might conceive as a tool for teaching and learning. In addition to creation time, we talked about Creative Commons licensing and brainstormed places to put creations where they’d be discoverable.

It was a great session and well attended, and participants were enthusiastic, but we realized that this kind of workshop would work better in a longer format. So we’re really excited to try that longer format in Charleston as a day-long preconference in early November, titled “Let a Thousand Flowers Bloom: Planting Local Open Educational Resources that Will Spring Up Across the Field” (conference themes amiright?).

Here’s the description:

Open education has emerged as a powerful movement for reducing costs and improving student success. As a community, however, academics have only begun to scratch the surface of the potential for open education to transform the way we share knowledge. By empowering librarians, students, presses, and practitioners to share their expertise and experience, OER can shine a light on underrepresented voices and share cutting edge practices in new and exciting ways.

Building on our current IMLS-funded work (LG-72-17-0132-17) on collaborative creation of OER for teaching issues in scholarly communication, this hands-on workshop will prepare you to design an open learning object like a video, lesson plan, game, or hack, that shares your own story and expertise.

As librarians with significant experience with open education, copyright, and publishing, we will lay a brief foundation for the work with a general overview of open pedagogy with an emphasis on the concept of renewable assignments, and then devote most of the time to working collectively to develop the materials. Using a modified Open Canvas, attendees will design a roadmap for understanding and solving a problem in their field and create a resource that improves practice and reflects the unique value they bring to the field. Finally, we will end the session by working together to openly license and deposit the community-generated OER in an appropriate repository such as MERLOT or OER Commons. You will leave with an openly-licensed educational resource that demonstrates your own creativity and expresses an aspect of scholarly communication from your own perspective. In addition, you will deepen their understanding of OER and open pedagogy as well as your skills in using Creative Commons licenses to openly share their work.

If you’re attending Charleston and that sounds interesting, consider attending? You can register here; note that early bird registration has been extended to Friday September 28 due to Hurricane Florence (all 3 of us are either Carolina natives or lived there at some point, so we’re watching the storm closely and with concern for our friends, families, colleagues, and all the folks in the region who may be impacted).

-Will, Maria, and Josh