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Wednesday, November 2 • 10:55am - 11:20am
Faculty Experiences, Reflections and Perceptions of Open Textbooks

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The rationale for adoption of open textbooks for students is easy, but for faculty the decision to adopt open textbooks may occur for multifaceted reasons. A selection of a random subset (n=25) of faculty members in British Columbia will mine the experiences of educators through the lens of activity theory. In particular the questions will seek to uncover:

- Motivations for adopting open education

- Nature of adoption/adaption

- Experiences with adopting/adapting

- Perceptions of open textbook

- Perceived impact on the adoption of open textbooks on their students

- Reflections on changes to teaching philosophy or pedagogy

- Evaluation of the open textbook adopted (based on a rubric)

Additional themes the researchers seek to uncover will include faculty member's exposure to targeted OER training programs or open textbooks advocates, how storage and search functionality advances open textbook adoption, and what community of learning supports exist for instructors wanting to implement open textbooks and share their experiences.

By investigating faculties adoption of open textbooks through the lens of activity theory, we are exploring open textbook adoption through the analytical components of subject, tool and object where the subject is the faculty--including consideration of their personality and teaching philosophy, the object is an open textbook, and the tool is the mechanism by which the adoption took place.

In addition, the lens of activity theory will illuminate the historical context and current environment in which faculty implement open textbooks. A holistic approach to exploring researcher's experience includes consideration of the community the faculty member finds herself in, the rules of OER, and the way that the relationships of faculty to open textbooks are mediated by the division of labour.

OER development and implementation practices have become well documented in open education. As the movement grows beyond grassroots activism to widespread adoption, a research gap still remains in exploring educator's experiences in adopting open textbooks.

As John Hilton (2016) has stated "OER has moved into theory from practice" and in Canada and the United States open textbooks are the most obvious point of entry into OER. Textbooks offer an easy alternative to full-scale course development when Universities are employing more adjuncts and instructors are finding themselves struggling to catch up with changing technologies.

Exploring the motivations and perceptions of faculty allows for the gradual development of "case studies' and a chance to study the emergence of best practices in open textbooks through every step of the development and implementation process. British Columbia is an ideal place to document the successes of open textbook adoption as they have seen great success in open textbook initiatives.

avatar for Rajiv Jhangiani

Rajiv Jhangiani

Open Studies Teaching Fellow & Psychology Professor, BCcampus
I am the University Teaching Fellow in Open Studies and a Psychology Professor at Kwantlen Polytechnic University in Vancouver, BC, where I conduct research in open education and the scholarship of teaching and learning. I also serve as the Senior Open Education Advocacy & Research... Read More →
avatar for Danielle  Paradis

Danielle Paradis

Co-Researcher, Kwantlen Polytechnic University

Wednesday November 2, 2016 10:55am - 11:20am EDT