This week of presentations at the MALAT Virtual Symposium 2021 and past recorded presentations inspired me—there was so much information and new ideas to learn. I work in a college library where we support faculty with the curation of Open Educational Resources (OER). We have built and curated resources on how to use OER and where to find them. While I have worked with OER, I had never heard about Open Educational Practices (OEP). Coolidge refers to open practice as “moving beyond content-centered approach and shifting focus from resources to practices, where learners and teachers share in the process of knowledge creation” (2021, 8:33). The question I have asked myself is, “How can I support OEP in my role in the college library?” One common theme I found on these presentations was the need for digital literacy competencies to enable participation in open educational practices and online environments. So, to answer this question, I asked myself, “Should the Library expand its existing training material, which currently includes research, presentation, and writing skills?” These materials could include how to effectively use social media platforms in the educational and professional context, be a good digital citizen, and use different technologies to create accessible online content. I think I have much to learn about these practices, but for me, this is the start of a project I want to bring forward to my library.
Cronin talks about Jenkins’s definition of “Participatory Culture” (2017, 12:15) and what Jenkins and colleagues describe the importance of digital practices that are “multimodal, multimedia, networked, social, purposeful, social, collaborative, and agentic” (Cronin, 2017, 12:38). She asked in her presentation: “How successfully do you think our education institutions are in helping students to develop these literacy practices?” (Cronin, 2017, 12:30). This question made me reflect on how much of these practices I do not know. I need to research what other people are doing around the world but also in my community. How much do my colleagues know about open educational resources and open educational practices? Can we build a community in the college to share practices and knowledge? Should the library lead this initiative? The more we learn and share practices as a community and apply them to our professional and personal life, the more we can prepare our students.
The Virtual Symposium was a great start to my new journey. I am looking forward to learning more about open educational practices and applying those practices to my daily job.
Coolidge, A. (2021, April 12). Open Education: what it is; what it does, and its amazing impact! [Webinar]. Royal Roads University. http://bit.ly/CoolidgeVS2021
Cronin, R. (2017, April 20). Open culture, open education, open questions [Webinar]. Royal Roads University. https://malat-coursesite.royalroads.ca/lrnt521/catherine-cronin-choosing-open/