This week is shorter for me because of Friday Flex day hence the reason for posting this review today, Thursday. This week was what I would refer to as a “wrap up” week. Today is my last day in the office until January 6, 2020. It was a week where I felt at odds with myself, torn between starting new initiatives and tying loose ends.
The week started off really well with a presentation by Josie Gray, our Coordinator of Quality Collection. She walked the entire team through the process of going from the proposal acceptance of a resource to having it placed into our open textbook collection. While I knew much of the process, I was quite impressed with the dialogue that resulted across our team. For example, how do we best support the editing process of the open textbooks. All of our books must go through a copy edit before submission to the collection and how can we best support authors at Institutions who do not have a copy editor on staff and/or a colleague with copy editing experience. This is one of the issues we plan to get feedback on from the Rebus Foundation as well as other trusted colleagues in OER.
I met with the DOER’s Capacity Group. The Driving OER Sustainability for Student Success (DOERS 3 ) Collaborative was conceived in 2017 by the University System of Maryland (USM), City University of New York (CUNY), and State University of New York (SUNY). Launched in fall 2018, DOERS 3 is a collaborative open to public higher education systems and statewide/provincewide organizations that are supporting large-scale,statewide/provincewide Open Educational Resources (OER) initiatives and committed to advancing innovation in OER. I sit on the Capacity Building Group and am currently working on collating examples of Tenure and Promotion policies that have mention of OER. Hope to be able to share outputs from this group in early 2020.
Much of my work this week was focused on creating the space for team members to communicate and collaborate with others across the organization. Ensuring that the right hand knows what the left hand is doing, sort of thing. This pertained to STEM ZTC work and an Engineering project in the works as well as initial research happening on Institutional Effectiveness and Open Education.
In November our Open Education Team gathered for a strategic planning day and at that meeting it was suggested that we have more activities that bring together the entire organization. Because we are a distributed organization this can be challenging, so I scheduled a 15 minute virtual coffee session with anyone in the organization who wanted to participate. I used Microsoft Teams, made the call and was surprised and thrilled to see 22 others on the call. I wasn’t sure what we would talk about but the virtual coffee conversations included how to blur the background on your profile, medical training, and favorite tv shows.
In a conversation with colleague, Tim Carson, where we did some coaching he referred me to five suggested books to read: Deep Work (Cal Newport); 7 Habits of Highly Effective People (Steven Covey); Execution (Larry Bossidy & Ram Charan); From Values to Action (Harry Jansen-Kramer); Essentialism (Greg McKeown); Manage Your Day-to-Day (Jocelyn Glei); Ego is the Enemy (Ryan Holiday). Looking forward to digging into a couple of these over the holidays.
As part of our $3 million funding allocation from the Ministry of Advanced Education Skills and Training we are working on improving findability of OER and in particular how users interact and find resources within our open.bccampus.ca collection. Selina McGinnis, UX/Information Architect at BCcampus, presented the initial findings in the first information session of the findability project. Selina’s expertise is invaluable. While we are not ready to share the findings of the interviews and observations gathered by Selina, it is fair to say there will be many more conversations had, led with “how might we…” in improving findability on the open site.
My final meeting today was with our BCcampus Leadership team. Mary Burgess (Executive Director) brought us together to examine our personal/professional values and to compare them with those in the Grandmother’s teachings (Indigenous Values) from the Leaders and Administrators Indigenization Guide. We also looked at our BCcampus organizational values in relation to the other sets of values. It was a fascinating discussion, quite personal and re-iterated the reasons I love working and learning with others at this organization. I hope to bring this exercise to my own team in the New Year.
My keynote from the Open Education 2019 conference, From Lost to Belonging, is now posted on YouTube.
As I write out these week in reviews I am reminded that these are the highlights of the week. The moments/meetings/conversations I feel compelled to share. The reviews don’t include email writing, meeting planning, crafting job descriptions, etc.
To all- I wish you the very best for the rest of 2019 and health and happiness into the new decade- 2020!
Currently doing: Jazzercising this week, eating lots of Purdy’s chocolates- quality people, quality.
Currently reading: Same as last week
Currently watching: Same as last week, plus a few Christmas movies sprinkled in.