Week in Review – January 17

This week in review is coming a day early as I head to Edmonton for the Junior Nationals Olympic Weightlifting competition, perfectly timed with a deep weather freeze.

Let’s start with the important stuff. I finished my 2 quilt blocks for #femedtechquilt. First is a rip off/inspired by Effin Birds, using a laser printed photo transfer. This is where you reverse print your image, then apply it to fabric with gel medium. Once dried overnight, you soak it with water and gently remove the paper. The removing the paper part is a bit tricky and you have to have a fair amount of patience (which I don’t have) but after a few attempts I landed on one that worked.

The second is a very hacky embroidery. I was actually trying to make the embroidery look nice but the messiness of it looks a bit angry and seems to convey a mood so maybe it kind of works*. I’m seeing a lot of beautiful embroidery pieces coming in on Twitter and I am impressed with the skillz of these femedtechers. Where did y’all learn your stitches?

I’m wrapping up a research plan that included scoping out an advisory that will look at impact of OEP in BC PSE. I’m rapidly beginning to think about so much of what we do in open in terms of impact, but it’s challenging and feels somewhat elusive to figure out how to ‘measure’ it. I’ve been thinking that some institutions may want to measure a specific aspect of OEP in relation to their strategic plans – eg. the impact of OEP on non-traditional student enrolments. In other words, as we gain momentum with open education practices (OEP) in our institutions, how do we begin to measure and narrate the impact our efforts are having at our institutions?  What should we care about?  What are the important stories we should be telling and how do we do that?  How can OEP efforts open education practices can be monitored and measured in conjunction with our respective institutional priorities and plans? Some things will be harder to get at than others and as my colleague Tracy suggested, maybe it’s like a Maslow’s pyramid, with the more basic and easy to measure things at the bottom (costs/savings) and the more elusive but equally important things at the top (learning/transformation).

Fortunately, I also had a helpful chat with Rob Farrow at OER Hub group about their work on impact and he gave me some great ideas for how to frame and contain this topic while making it meaningful to different stakeholders.

Other highlights this week included:

  • BCcampus Faculty fellows meeting where we touch base on where we are at in our research
  • an open research webinar and open research institute planning meeting
  • I reviewed a journal article for JIME
  • I submitted an awards proposal for CNIE for the OpenETC
  • Our OER20 proposals were accepted!

In the category of other stuff there’s a whole thread by Paul Seesequasis that shook me. It’s tough to read, not only for the history, but also for the blatant and unquestioned way settler history permeates the story we tell about Canada. I’ll never be able to go to a historical site again without wondering about the non-whitewashed history of places we celebrate. In the same way that sports teams need to stop using Indigenous peoples and cultures as mascots, we should be doing more to challenge government sites, parks, labels and push for adopting a practice of fore-fronting the Indigenous history of the place and get more comfortable with some of these dark realities.

*To be clear, I’m not against lists. But how many times do we have to create and remind people of them? Does anybody actually use them or is it just a feel good exercise?

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