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This observation was written by Caroline Winter.

At a glance:

Title Open Education Week 2019
Creator n/a
Publication date n/a
Keywords open education, open access

Open Education Week celebrates and raises awareness of the global Open Education (OE) movement. It was founded in 2013 by the Open Education Consortium, a nonprofit organization that supports a global network of OE advocates.

Open Education Week 2019 ran from March 4–8, 2019, and was celebrated with over 190 in-person and online events including conferences, webinars, project spotlights, blog series, online courses, videos, and project tours, among other events, and almost 6500 participants in 123 countries took part (OE Week 2019a, n.d.). A list of events is available on the OE Week website and by following the #OEWeek hashtag on Twitter.

Open Education is part of the Open Access (OA) movement. It focuses on educational materials such as textbooks, pedagogical resources, and other learning resources. OE applies to all levels and types of education, from elementary to postsecondary and continuing education, and to formal and informal learning. Just as OA leverages the potential of the internet to make material available to anyone with a connected device, open education enables the sharing and reworking of educational resources as well as opportunities to connect and collaborate (OE Week 2019b n.d.).

In Canada, universities across the country celebrated OE week with a variety of events, some featuring the work of INKE Partnership members. In a post on its blog Radical Access: Scholarly Publishing + Open Access, Simon Fraser University Library highlighted SFU’s OER initiatives, including its OER Grants program and its resource Finding and Evaluating OER: Open Education Resources. Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) Richmond and BCcampus hosted Open in Action 2019, a one-day conference about open education featuring talks, discussions, and hands-on table session about finding, using, and creating open education resources (OER). These table sessions featured the Open Journal Systems and Open Monograph Press software developed by the Public Knowledge Project. KPU also launched OPUS, its new open publishing suite, and announced its third Zed Cred program, a two-year Associate of Arts degree in General Studies.

Elsewhere in BC, at the University of British Columbia, David Gaertner and Erin Fields facilitated an Indigenous Writers Wikipedia edit-a-thon in collaboration with UBC Library, UBC’s First Nations and Indigenous Studies Program, and its Centre for Teaching, Learning, and Technology.

Many universities in Ontario hosted events celebrating the week. McMaster University Library hosted an Open Education Week featuring talks, an open textbook display, faculty workshops, and a trivia night. The University of Ottawa hosted an OER Expo, a #TextbookBroke workshop, and a Take Action session for faculty. The University of Toronto Libraries hosted Open Textbooks: Open Minds: A Colloquium Exploring Re-Use of Open Resources to Improve Quality and Access and a Pressbooks workshop. Lakehead University hosted Open Day: Learning for Everyone, a day of panels and presentations live tweeted with the hashtag #OpenDayLakehead2019. OCAD University hosted Guerrilla Education! A Very Hands-On Open Education Week Event featuring an unconference and an Art+Feminism Wikipedia Edit-a-Thon.

As this survey of OE Week celebrations suggests, the OE movement is active and growing in Canada and internationally, complementing other aspects of the Open movement.

Works Cited

OE Week 2019a (Open Education Week 2019b). N.d. “Open Education Week 2019.” Accessed March 22, 2019, https://www.openeducationweek.org/.

OE Week 2019b (Open Education Week 2019). N.d. “What is Open Education Week.” Accessed April 10, 2019, https://www.openeducationweek.org/page/what-is-open-education-week.