04.12.2018 - 5 min. Read

The Catch: Fall 2018 Issue #2

What’s Happening in Technology-Enabled Learning?

Photo by Kelly Sikema on Unsplash.

The Cutting/Trailing Edge

It’s not every day that you get the opportunity to report on a home-grown, free, open source educational technology. One day in recent history, Ryan Martin of the Department of Physics at Queen’s University had a thought. That thought went something like this:

“These in-class response systems (a.k.a. ‘clickers’) have something to offer to enhance engagement in lectures, but they are not free and I don’t like that. If I were to get eleven or so of my students to work with me, we could create an open source version and we will be rich! Not rich in the money sense but rich in our hearts for all the good we are doing for students’ wallets and minds!”

He was absolutely right. These 12 selfless heroes developed  , an open source tool for “live in class polling right on your phone,” and put the source code on Github for anyone to take. Grab it here: https://github.com/qlicker, and grab the user guides here https://qlicker.github.io/.

So, just to be clear: it is OPEN SOURCE. That means FREE TO USE. You can just TAKE IT. Let us know if you need any help. Email thecatch@ecampusontario.ca.

Thank you to Ryan, his eleven wonderful students, and everyone else  at Queen’s who helped to make this project happen!

Trickle Up

Here at The Catch, we like to try to keep up with what the learners are doing by staying in touch with The Pitch, a monthly eCampusOntario blog post about how learning is happening in Ontario. Have a look at this month’s post which includes the following topics:

  • The Open Learner Patchbook
  • Qlicker Open Source response system (but you already know about that!)
  • A call for SXD Lab ambassadors

The Pitch and The Catch are both at their best when the stories we share are coming from you, so please feel free to send us your ideas for future stories! Email thecatch@ecampusontario.ca to connect.

Network Connectivity

The Open Education Ontario Summit 2018!

On Sunday, November 11, 2018, thirty-plus pairs of experienced and rising Ontario Open Rangers gathered in Toronto for an afternoon of workshops and connecting. There was a Keynote from Billy Meinke of University of Hawai’i Manoa, Open as a Set of Values, Not a Destination and an Open Educational Resource Production workshop from Billy as well featuring his OER Production Workflow. Also shared was this OER on How to OER (so meta!) that made slick use of H5P interactivity in Pressbooks.

Also featured at the summit was the Growing Open Education Initiatives workshop with Ali Versluis of University of Guelph and Jessica O’Reilly of Cambrian College, and an end-of-day roundup with the eCampusOntario Open Education (OE) Fellows Helen DeWaard, Maureen Glynn, Laura Killam, Aaron Langille, Jessica O’Reilly, and James Skidmore leading an exploration session Blazing Open Trails!

Any and all Ontario open education and OER advocates interested in joining the Ontario Open Rangers are welcome to connect and be Rangers. We meet on a quarterly basis, share ideas for open education advocacy on Ontario campuses, share resources, and connect with each other for collaboration and community. If you’re interested in becoming an Open Ranger and learning more, connect with us at open@www.ecampusontario.ca

Now and Next

You’ve probably heard the saying “go big or go home” but have you heard the saying “go medium or go home”?

Medium is our creed, our motto, and our goal for the next time eCampusOntario hosts an offering of the Ontario Extend program. We are rebuilding the modules in an open source MOOC platform called Open EdX. MOOC normally stands for MASSIVE Open Online Course. In the Extend mOOC, the lower case “m” stands for medium-sized. We are shooting for 150 or so participants to join us in January for 12 weeks (approximately 2 hrs per week) to work through the Extend modules together.

We recently passed the 100 mark on our sign up list. If you want to get medium with us, pop your name in to the list here: bit.ly/ExtendMOOC.

Open Treasure

The Rebus Community, a global community committed to creating and facilitating open educational material, offers another gem ~ The Rebus Guide to Publishing Open Textbooks (so far). The nod to this document as a ‘perpetual work in progress’underscores the values of open and free access: “Come on in and give it a go! You can always change it. Others can always build on it.” Being in a beta state of continuous improvement might sound like a collection of buzzwords from software development; but with open, it’s real! Groups like Rebus live by these words.

Whether you are an open publishing guru or just exploring this concept of free, adaptable, and shareable resources, the guide assists individuals at all levels. Although its team-based approach to design and development may not be possible at your institution alone, you can rely on Rebus Community and eCampusOntario. We are keen to connect interested educators to create and adapt OER (open educational resources). Our Pressbooks EDU platform offers a familiar path to this collaboration and creation.

  1. Read | skim the Guide
  2. Get inspired
  3. Phone a friend | Email eCampusOntario | Connect with Rebus
  4. Create a resource capturing your content knowledge and creativity, while saving students from costly courseware
  5. Bask in the glory
  6. Repeat steps 4 and 5

The Catch is a regular blog post on ecampusontario.ca curated, created, and collaborated on by the eCampusOntario Program Managers: Terry Greene, Peg French, Joanne Kehoe, and Jenni Hayman. Other contributors include… you? Let us know if you have something that you think would fit nicely in here by emailing thecatch@ecampusontario.ca with the subject heading “Catch This!” or whichever subject heading you want to use, really.