It has been quite the week. Snow descended upon Vancouver Island Sunday evening which resulted in a mix of chaos as well as pure glee from many who have the opportunity to play in the snow and enjoy the warmth of a home. As far as the week in review (and yes I am doing this on Thursday as tomorrow I have a flex day) let’s get started.
As some of you may know I was recently promoted to Director, Open Education at BCcampus. This week was really about transitioning more into that role. In my role, while not terribly different from what I have been doing, I am noticing that my week’s work is more focused on strategic planning and research then it has in the past. I have been delegating more and listening to how my team responds to their project work and let me say that I am so honored to work with such an amazing team of individuals.
I attended two advisory meetings this week. One with Adult Basic Education (ABE) educators (led by Krista Lambert) and the other with STEM educators (led by Melanie Meyers). My role in these meetings is to provide strategic oversight and to respond to questions that either impact funding (I get asked about money a.lot.) or organizational decisions. From the ABE advisory meeting I learned that like many instructors who are working on OER off the side of their desks, creating and/or adapting OER is time consuming. In addition, the next steps for this group and an area I plan to support is the development of ancillary materials to enhance the current OER they are developing. Lastly, there is a need for Instructor resources for the OER- a resource that assists instructors in knowing HOW to use the resource, etc. It was the first meeting for the STEM Advisory group so much of the conversation was centered around questions. What makes a course ZTC (Zero textbook cost)? How does a course get designated a ZTC? What if a course is designated a ZTC in the course calendar but the instructor assigned to teach the course doesn’t want to use the OER and based on academic freedom uses a commercial resource of their choosing? Neither Mel or I had all of the answers but it is clear that processes at Institutions need to be established prior to designations being attributed to courses- and it might be our role to assist in working through those processes and brainstorm the HOW.
Today, Josie Gray and I had a fabulous meeting with Zoe Wake Hyde and Apurva Ashok about Rebus Community. Both Josie and I started the meeting wanting to know more about their collaborative publishing model and ended the meeting being blown away by their Textbook Success Program. For those who don’t know and I was one of them, the Rebus Textbook Success program is a cohort model where instructors/staff who want to develop an open textbook are taken through the stages, start to finish, in a year long program. The first 12 weeks are dedicated to learning about collaborative publishing, best practices for writing, accessibility, development, etc. and the final 9 months is an opportunity for the cohort to create alongside support systems. I, personally, have so many light bulbs going off about how we (BC) might be able to collaborate with Rebus to leverage this program to meet the needs of our many projects and many open textbook authors across the Province.
In addition to Open Education I am also adding Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) at BCcampus to my portfolio. I am still in the VERY EARLY learning stages of DEI at the organizational level and am using this space to share some of my preliminary reading and research. I have initial ideas on how we in Open Education can have a more focused DEI lense in our work specifically and hope to be able to bring forward a lot of my learnings to the organization as a whole over the next few months. Here are some of the readings and links to webinars I have been reviewing, reading, and taking notes on.
Finally something I have been reading about lately is the 80/20 rule or Pareto principle. That is, 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes. In terms of how this relates to my world- it helps to respond to the question, what are the areas that I want growth or movement in? I know that when I am doing too much I feel anxious, breathless, edgy, flustered. Rather than work in that fashion I want to identify my 80/20. Based on this podcast episode from Kate and Mike, this is one way you can identify your 80/20. Choose one area of your life to do this particular activity (e.g Work, Relationship, Health). Draw a line down the middle of a sheet of paper. On the left side write down all the activities/tasks you do that in area of you life on a daily/weekly basis (emails, phone calls, writing proposals, etc). On the right side write down your wins to date (no win is too big or too small). Once you have done that, draw a line from the wins to the task that enabled that win. The question is what leads to your biggest wins? Ultimately this should show you were to put your energy , i.e where 20% of your focused energy should go in that one area of your life. I have yet to do it. I plan on doing this and am interested in the results. Stay tuned.
Puzzle- FINALLY finished a puzzle that had me stumped
Less Jazzercise this week because of driving conditions
Sledding with family
Doing- LESS (noticing how comfortable I am lately with being at home, settled into routine)