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Friday, November 4 • 1:40pm - 2:05pm
Canvas Network's transition from passive promoter to active promoter of open education

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Canvas Network was born in 2013 as an open platform for open education. You could say that openness is in our DNA.

We believe openness is critical to making learning accessible for everyone and to ensuring that creativity and innovation thrive in education. That's why, at the start of 2016, we conducted an internal review of our primary mission-to promote openness, innovation, and experimentation in education. We discovered that although Canvas Network is an open platform, some of our policies and practices have actually hindered our ability to champion open education. This, and concerns voiced by open education advocates about the status of MOOCs, was the impetus for a new strategy to further align our mission with the open education movement.

In 2014, David Wiley declared that "MOOCs "_ have done more harm to the cause of open education than anything else in the history of the movement. They have inflicted this harm by promoting and popularizing an abjectly impoverished understanding of the word "open.'"

Wiley's statement reflects the view that MOOCs and MOOC providers have hijacked the term "open," replacing the movement's definition and popularizing their own. Our strategy is to embrace-and be embraced by-the open education movement by striving to achieve the true meaning of openness. This type of change will require an internal cultural shift, which we plan to bring about through new policies and processes, as well as a campaign to encourage educators (both teachers and administrators) to embrace open education when they launch courses on Canvas Network.

We began this shift by envisioning what our ideal open, online platform would look like. First, it would have a low barrier to entry for learners. It would offer more courses with Creative Commons than private licenses. And it would make content accessible to other instructors and designers to retain, reuse, revise, remix, and redistribute.

When we compared our ideal platform with the reality of Canvas Network, we discovered that only 40 percent of our courses had Creative Commons licenses and only 25 percent were publicly-viewable with the course URL. Only 21 learning resources from our courses had been shared to Canvas Commons, a learning object repository where teachers can access all or parts of courses for reuse. The takeaway: Having the ability to deliver open education is not the same as promoting open education.

Our team identified three goals we could implement right away with a target completion date of March 1, 2017:

* Increase the number of publicly-viewable courses to at least 60 percent, which will lower the barrier to entry for learners.
* Increase the number of Creative Commons-licensed course materials to 60 percent.
* Contribute at least 300 courses and/or objects to Canvas Commons.

In this session, you will learn about our efforts to shift Canvas Network from being a passive to an active promoter of open education through policy changes and an educational campaign. We also want to take the time to hear your questions, comments, and suggestions.

avatar for Hilary Melander

Hilary Melander

Senior Product Manager, Instructure
I am passionate about life, learning, challenging myself, and striving for excellence.My journey with Instructure started over 5 years ago as an Instructional Designer for Canvas Network. Today I am a Product Manager focusing on Canvas Discussions, the Course Import Tool, and the... Read More →

Friday November 4, 2016 1:40pm - 2:05pm EDT