TESS award statuetteThe Office of Open Learning won the inaugural eCampus Ontario award for achievements in open, online, and technology-enabled teaching and learning.

Partnerships in pedagogies and practices win provincial recognition

A provincial award recognizing the commitment of the UWindsor Office of Open Learning to open pedagogies and practices is the result of its partnerships across campus, says director Nick Baker.

The office received the inaugural eCampus Ontario award — acknowledging outstanding achievements in open, online, and technology-enabled teaching and learning — in a ceremony at the Technology Enabled Seminar and Showcase conference held in Toronto on 21 November.

“This award is recognition not only of the hard work of our small but mighty team in partnership with the Leddy Library, but also of the fantastic and innovative work of the UWindsor educators we are lucky enough to work with on a daily basis,” Baker said.

Over the last four years, more than 50 instructors have partnered with the Office of Open Learning on projects funded by eCampus Ontario. Many more have worked on unfunded or internally funded projects, with all contributing to a culture of openness that the award recognizes.

“At the heart of all these projects is an instructor, or sometimes a team of instructors, with great ideas and a commitment to doing what is best for their students,” Baker said. “We feel very privileged to work with these committed and innovative instructors in truly collaborative projects that are making a difference.”

He noted that the University of Windsor has been in the top two or three most successful institutions in the province over the last five years in receiving provincial funding for developing online and open educational resources.

The work going on around campus to create, adapt, and use open educational resources is making an impact on student access and experience.

“In the last semester alone, we saved students over $64,000 by adopting and creating open educational resources such as open textbooks,” Baker said. “By the end of fall 2018, when more open textbooks that are currently being developed and adapted are integrated into courses, we will be saving students over $214,000 a year in the cost of textbooks.”

The Office of Open Learning is launching a series of initiatives to help faculty adopt, adapt, and create open educational resources — including seed grants, a certificate in online and open learning, and a regional symposium on open educational practice in the new year.

Faculty interested in learning more or exploring what open educational resources can do for them and their students can contact Baker by email at nbaker@uwindsor.ca, phone at 519-253-3000, ext. 4925, or by dropping in to the office in suite 205, Welcome Centre.