Changes

Jump to: navigation, search

Canada

8,769 bytes added, 08:30, 28 May 2014
/* OER Initiatives in {{PAGENAME}} */
<!-- some initiatives in the VISCED/Re.ViCa wiki may be OER initiatives -->
Canada has important areas of expertise in OER, mostly on the tertiary level, which are beginning to be built upon or replicated more broadly. Canada commented also that there is no federal government strategy at present, but there is activity at the provincial level in Western Canada.
In its response Other than the western Canadian initiatives on OER (see Regional initiatives below), there are not yet any governmental policies to support OER. With only the OECD questonnaire western Canadian exception, there are few other signs of any significant OER-related activity across Canadian governments, institutions or industry. OER initiatives in Canada reported tend to focus on access and availability issues as opposed to development of practice and policy and/or initiatives to encourage use and re-use. This state of affairs was supported by UNESCO and Commonwealth of Learning (COL) [http://www.col.org/resources/publications/Pages/results.aspx?lk=%22open+educational+resources%22&CID=&lsort=date&lstart=1 research and literature] on the experiences of other jurisdictions, that despite its relatively limited involvement OER creation, licensing, costs, business models, etc. are neither widely known nor well understood, especially by policy makers and institutional managers. These factors, and the degree of confusion surrounding terminology related to open educational resources, open source, open access, openness and accessibility - and the relationship between each to OER are important for an understanding of the broader Canadian landscape. The need to connect OER with other open educational initiatives is essential to create a full picture of the activities informing policy and practice in Canada. In this regard, Paul Stacey (formerly at BCcampus) now of [http://creativecommons.org/about Creative Commons] - a non-profit organization that "enables the sharing and use of creativity and knowledge through free legal tools," - has worked intensively on what he terms the Creative Commons opportunity and has developed [http://edtechfrontier.com/ a map] of what he views as "the opportunity sectors which are undergoing change through use of open licences" and the activity and new public/business models emerging across:* open educational resources;* open access;* open user generated creative works;* open data;* open GLAM (Galleries, Libraries, Archives and Museums);* open government;* open policies, practices and guidelines;* open licences;* open licence tools (i.e., Creative Commons), embedding them in authoring and search engine platforms;* open standards; and* open source software. Stacey reflects on the impact of openness, suggesting there is indeed "a lot of open" and many opportunities to work in an open environment whose full potential has not been tapped. It is notable that although OER is at the top of Stacey's list, it does have some important areas is nonetheless only one in a group of expertiseelements related to open education. And, mostly although the Canadian government's promotion of open access to all ended in March, 2012 with the termination of its 17-year-old [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Community_Access_Program Community Access Program (CAP)], providing access to computers and the Internet to citizens in communities across the country, there is a [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open_data_in_Canada federal program underway to promote the growth of the open data movement] through the introduction to businesses and citizens of an [http://www.data.gc.ca/default.asp?lang=En&n=F9B7A1E3-1 open data pilot project] with three streams: open data, open information and open dialogue. The anticipated benefits of this pilot project include:* support for innovation;* leveraging public sector information to develop consumer and commercial products;* better use of existing investment in broadband and community information infrastructure;* support for research; and* support for informed decisions for consumers. The British Columbia government has undertaken open government initiatives that provide public access to government information and data, giving citizens opportunities to collaborate on matters such as policy and service delivery. Its open government licence enables use and reuse of government information and data. In October 2012, the tertiary government announced support for an OER initiative for the creation of courses at the post-secondary level(see below). Respondents to a [http://poerup.referata.com/wiki/Policies_Survey Policies Survey] from Canada highlighted the following challenges to the adoption of OER:* There is no pan-Canadian agreement on the sharing of educational resources (this is backed up by Canada's response to the OECD questionnaire (1)). * There are no pan-Canadian studies on the existing OER landscape and its effectiveness, which and thus provinces/territories currently say that they do not have access to sufficient data that would allow for properly assessing the economic benefits and potential impacts of OER for all partners and stakeholders involved in the development and procurement of learning resources. * Although OER could lead to overall savings in the production of educational resources, costs for securing the right to incorporate copyright materials in OER could increase. Third-party copyright material incorporated into those resources would have to be built upon or replicated cleared for worldwide use, which costs more broadlythan clearing for use in a province or country. The amount of the increase remains unknown as no extensive pan-Canadian research on the amount of copyright royalties paid for the production of educational resources has yet been undertaken (this is backed up by Canada commented also 's response to the OECD questionnaire). * There are concerns around the “integrity” of materials should they be altered and adapted, as departments will not be able to guarantee the accuracy of materials. * It will be difficult to ensure that there materials produced are legitimately OER, as learning resources are typically developed by publishers and third-party content is used in everything from textbooks to exams. Immense resources would therefore be required to ensure that no fully copyrighted third-party content is distributed inappropriately. * There are also concerns around “accountability” and the use of public funds for the explicit development of resources used outside the provincial jurisdiction. Canadian universities are becoming familiar and comfortable with the concept of open access and are actively sharing scholarly research and data through university repositories; author funding to assist researchers minimize or avoid open access fees levied by publishers; support for open university presses such as [http://www.aupress.ca Athabasca University Press] ([http://www.aupress.ca AUPress]) and limited titles from [http://www.press.uottawa.ca/ University of Ottawa Press]; and participation in the development of the [http://www.creativecommons.ca/ Canadian Creative Commons licences]. The concept and activities of openness are clearly evident in the many Canadian universities and community colleges developing programs and policies to broaden open access and designing, developing and building learning object repositories (e. g., Athabasca University, Memorial University, Concordia University, University of Calgary, etc.). Of these, Athabasca University - sometimes referred to as Canada's "[http://wikieducator.org/Athabasca_University/Meet_Athabasca_U_-_Canada%27s_First_OER_university First OER University]" - was the first Canadian institution to adopt an [http://ous.athabascau.ca/policy/research/openaccess.htm open access policy] in 2006, revised in 2014, which recommends ...that faculty, academic and professional staff deposit an electronic copy of any published research articles (as elsewhere accepted for publication) in an AU repository. In 2009, The University of Ottawa adopted "[http://scholarlycommunication.uottawa.ca/ a comprehensive open access program that supports free and unrestricted access to scholarly research]." Some of the initiatives in its open access program include a promise to make accessible for free, through an online repository, all its scholarly publications; an author fund designed to minimize open access fees charged by publishers; funding for the creation of digital educational materials accessible by all online, for free; and commitment to publish a collection of open access books and research funds to continue studies on open access. Other universities are following suit. University of Toronto/OISE, for instance, adopted a [http://www.oise.utoronto.ca/research/UserFiles/File/OA_Policy.pdf formal policy] on open access in March 2012, referencing the [http://data.gc.ca/eng/content/open-data Open Data] pilot (Government of Canada initiative). Nonetheless, while the concepts of openness and open access appear to be gaining considerable ground, and in spite of the apparent endorsement by government strategy at present, but there their growth - similar to that of OER - is discussion going threatened by lack of public funding. While openness can be seen as a growing trend, specific or detailed Canadian OER initiatives, in many sectors, are difficult to isolate. Few Canadian institutions are visibly working on at the provincialOER practices and/territorial levelor policy development. Nevertheless, the western region of Canada does have real projects and initiatives in progress and is engaged assembling, developing and using OER (1see Regions below) .
For a comprehensive description of the few OER initiatives in Canada see the companion report [[Overview of Open Educational Resources Policies in Canadian Institutions and Governments]]
=== National OER initiatives ===
None.
 
=== Regional OER initiatives (Provincial OER initiatives) ===
The nearest is '''BC Campus''' which could be construed as a province-wide initiative. See http://www.bccampus.ca/bccampus-news/tag/OER
 
=== Institutional OER initiatives ===
See [http://www.virtualcampuses.eu/index.php/Athabasca_University Athabasca University] and [http://www.virtualcampuses.eu/index.php/OER_u OER u].
 
=== Canadian Open Access Policies ===
60
edits