Call for Participation: Open Textbooks National Scoping Study
February 27, 2020
We are seeking expressions of interest from Australian Universities to participate in the Deakin-led national scoping study investigating the potential of Open Textbooks to act as social justice for under-represented learners in the Australian University context. Based on existing research from Canada, USA, and the UK we are exploring the financial and social-inclusion potential benefits for Australian students. Please see the project website for more information about the team and the project.
There are three ways to participate in the research (listed below). To express interest in any of these possibilities, please email some information about areas for potential collaboration to Habiba Fadel email@example.com by C.O.B on Friday 29th May.
- Awareness raising: collaborate with us on an agenda and PPT for a 1-2 hour workshop customised for teaching staff in the Australian context. Delivery of the workshop by staff (Library, Faculty or eLearning) at your institution. Outcomes will be reported in the Final Research Report.
- Institutional Case Studies: collaborate on institutional ethical consent to interview key people (Library, elearning, open education, teaching, student union representatives). Interviews must be undertaken from May to the end of October 2020. We can support ethical approval for staff and student interviews and other forms of data collection to develop a case study of your institutional practice (relating to Open Textbooks and OER) as part of the research project. In addition, if applicable we can also interview staff and students identified by you who are actively adopting and/or adapting open texts as noted below.
- Staff and students involved in adopting an open text: staff/units who are moving away from a commercial textbook in favour of adopting free/open texts and/or resources. There must be a change from resources that cost money, to resources at no cost to the student.
- Staff and students involved in adapting an open text: identify staff/units who would like to create a new or modify an existing open text or resource to make it more inclusive of under-represented students. This would involve adding in more indigenous, multi-cultural and gender-balanced content in ways that empower our students rather than re-inforce negative stereotypes. We can provide some advice on this process. Our project website has some examples of similar projects undertaken overseas.
- Promote staff participation in the national survey of staff awareness of and interest in Open Textbooks. We are open to the best ways to do this within your institution. Timing is July 2020. It might work well to undertake awareness raising workshops or seminars (see option 1) prior to emailing staff to participate in the national survey of staff awareness.
I would like to participate in item 1, awareness raising. I am a liaison librarian for business and law at Swinburne and I am frustrated by publishers increasingly making their content off limits to libraries. Some teaching staff are open to my alternative suggestions, but raising awareness is a big challenge, as academics are so time poor.