At ASCILITE 2023, Open Education was addressed in 3 sessions. Below, I outline each of their key findings and outcomes.

1. Developing learning activities and authentic assessments through OERs

On behalf of Dimity Wehr and myself, I presented a Pecha Kucha that discusses the alignment of The Adaptable Resources for Teaching with Technology (ARTT) with Open Educational Practices (OEP). Launched by the LX.lab in 2019, the collection focuses on enhancing student learning experiences through the pedagogically sound use of technology. The resources draw on authentic teaching practices from academics and learning designers within UTS and other higher educational institutions. They can be easily adapted to suit the needs of other educators in different teaching contexts.

The collection is made up of two main sections: ‘Learning and teaching activities’ and ‘Assessments’, as well as an introductory page that explains how you can contribute. Each resource is organised with clear objectives and step-by-step implementation instructions for educators. It also includes estimated time commitments for both teachers and students, outlines required technologies, and provides supporting evidence from literature to validate teaching efficacy. Proper attribution to the original authors, UTS academics and learning designers is maintained, and the resources are available under Creative Commons licenses.

Watch my Pecha Kucha presentation in the following video (6:58 min):

2. Dismantling the education exclusion zone: empowering OER authors towards inclusive design

The reality is OER alone cannot achieve this goal [inclusive design] because OER itself is not the goal. OER is the vehicle to the goal of dismantling the education exclusion zone.

Ash Barber

Ash Barber from the University of South Australia presented her project, EmpoweredOER. She discussed the challenges encountered in the adoption of inclusive open educational resources in Australia. In response to these challenges, her project proposed the development of a practical resource to empower Australian open education practitioners to create and evaluate OER, influencing greater diversity and inclusion in pedagogical practice.

The project involved an international study tour to North American institutions where inclusive OER practices have been successfully implemented, with the hope of bringing these ideas down under. The trip revealed important findings about best practices for adopting inclusive OER in higher education:

  1. Accessibility – which goes beyond technological access and includes analysing all types of barriers to educational materials
  2. Intersection of Universal Design for Learning (UDL) and Inclusive Open Education
  3. Perspective and representation

These themes informed the development of EmpoweredOER, a website and practical tool designed to guide the development of inclusive OERs by providing simplified explanations and concrete examples of good practice.

Ash received an honourable mention during the conference for her paper Dismantling the education exclusion zone: Empowering OER authors towards inclusive design!

3. ASCILITE special interest group – open educational practices

The concluding session brought together individuals in a hybrid model who possess a keen interest and thirst for knowledge about Open Educational Practices (OEP). Ash Barber and I facilitated the in-person session, while Adrian Stagg, Nikki Anderson (both from University of Southern Queensland), and Alice Luetchford (James Cook University) facilitated the session for online participants. As well as providing a report on the annual SIG activities to the membership, the session raised awareness of the Down UndOER book project

Open Education Down UndOER

This forthcoming publication is a peer-reviewed collection featuring scholarly contributions from librarians, researchers, learning and teaching teams, and practitioners across Australia, Aotearoa New Zealand and the Asia-Pacific region. The publication aims to raise awareness of Open Educational Practices (OEP) and their impact on learning and teaching, encouraging educators and institutions to embrace open practices while promoting inclusivity, equity, and sustainability in education. The case studies within this book share the voices and lived experiences of practitioners, highlighting the crucial role of third-place professionals in supporting initiatives that contribute to student learning success.

Discover more at the UTS Open Education Week

The programme for the UTS Open Education Week (March 4-8) has been revealed:

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