Join Wayne Mackintosh, the founding director of the OER Foundation, Otago Polytechnic, in this rich discussion about how OERs could widen access to more affordable education.
The first FLANZ Conversation for 2021 saw Wayne Mackintosh in conversation with Simon Atkinson. Wayne is the UNESCO Chair in OER, and leads the work of the work of the OER Foundation in widening access to more affordable education in support of the UNESCO OER Recommendation.
The conversation revolved around the fact that tax payers have already paid for the vast majority of the academic output generated by educators.
The OER movement believe that asking people to purchase those resources again is wasteful and morally questionable.
Simon and Wayne discussed the quality issues that often undermine the reuse and repurposing arguments, agreeing that having open systems of peer review, quality badging and professional development all play a part. They both shared anecdotes of working with different subjects and contexts, on the lessons learnt and the challenges that remain.
Wayne finished the conversation by inviting educators from higher education institutions in Aotearoa to join a national collaborative pilot to roll out the ‘Extend’ professional learning suite as an academic development initiative using OER. Details are below.
Capacity building for professional learning
During the session, Wayne, on behalf of the OER Foundation and in partnership with the New Zealand Centre for Open Education Practice (COEP) and Otago Polytechnic, shared an open call to action inviting volunteers from the sector to join in preparing a national pilot of the New Zealand ‘Extend’ capacity-building model for professional learning.
Volunteers are required to assist with developing quizzes for participation badges and to support New Zealand educators on their digital learning experience during the pilot. This initiative provides a unique opportunity to take part in an innovative collaborative project, while developing participants own knowledge of open educational resources and practices.
If you would like to join our first open planning session to explore opportunities and discuss next steps, please register your interest by completing this online form:
New Zealand Extend
The idea for New Zealand Extend was sparked at the 2019 inaugural OER Symposium of the New Zealand Centre for Open Education Practice, when Keynote speaker Dr David Porter, then CEO of eCampusOntario, talked about the ‘Ontario Extend’ professional development suite. This was developed to build capacity in digital fluency for educators and the ability to make informed choices about the use of technology-enabled learning tools. The EXTEND model is grounded in the belief that learning to teach effectively with technology requires an experiential learning approach.
Leveraging the open nature of Ontario Extend, Otago Polytechnic successfully completed a small internal pilot and feedback from the first New Zealand Extend badge awardee, Graham Philps, speaks for itself:
The content is simple, but leads to complex thought; the themes are familiar but the scope for self-enquiry huge; the activities are fun but serve the serious purpose of reminding why we do what we do. What’s not to love!
Through this national collaboration, we hope to expand options for earning badges for participation, and promote wider reuse and adoption of this open professional development opportunity, hence the call for volunteers.