Tue 20 Jan 2015 10:51PM

NZ Declaration on OERs

MM Matt McGregor Public Seen by 301

Hi all,

This year, we're going to be working more closely with the many NZ students' associations, building towards a campaign for open educational resources in our tertiary education institutions.

This campaign will largely follow in the footsteps of the US PIRG, which has done some excellent -- and very successful -- work advocating for OERs. This survey was particularly important: http://creativecommons.org/weblog/entry/41906

Here's the plan at present:

Step one will be to advance a simple declaration in favour of OERs, and ask all the SAs to endorse it.

Step two will be to work with NZUSA to replicate the survey mentioned in the blog post, above.

Step three will be to advance OER policies at the every tertiary education institution, alongside NZUSA.

I'm speaking to the NZUSA National Conference at the end of this month, and will hopefully receive a positive response.

A working draft of the declaration is here: https://docs.google.com/a/creativecommons.org.nz/document/d/15CgU3kCif4rZmPGPKhWO-noRNKL6uBTy3CdrrBfNvqU/edit

Comments, as ever, welcome!


Nigel Robertson Wed 21 Jan 2015 5:18AM

Great initiative Matt.

Besides the work in the US, there has been some good progress in Canada, particularly in British Columbia. This Open Textbook site http://bccampus.ca/open-textbook-project/ has some good info and there are some useful links in this post http://bccampus.ca/2014/04/22/five-lessons-learned-at-the-open-textbooks-summit-2014/ and some figures in this one from Tony Bates http://www.tonybates.ca/2014/04/23/what-i-learned-from-the-open-textbook-summit/ (e.g. OpenStax has saved students $9.3m in 18 months).


Matt McGregor Wed 21 Jan 2015 9:31PM

Thanks Nigel. There are some impressive figures on savings to students being generated from OER projects overseas - definitely of use as we make our case.


Matt McGregor Sun 1 Feb 2015 11:23PM

Just a quick update - I distributed the draft to the students' associations last night, as part of a one hour introduction to OERs. They were keen to support the idea, though it's still early days. I think I'll take a breath and get more feedback from academics & students - as @nigelrobertson suggested - before actively pushing public endorsement.

We are planning some tertiary OER events in mid-April. It would be nice to have this as something we can actively push then, though we'll see how the feedback process goes.


Danyl Strype Mon 5 Oct 2015 1:34AM

How did those events go Matt? Any news on this?

We have a number of academics in Aotearoa who are passionate about CC adoption in tertiary. It would be great to figure out a way to form a country-scale working group bringing them all together. Here in Otago, for example, we have Erika Pearson, Mark McGuire and Martin Purvis at Otago Uni, and I know there is strong support among the teaching staff at Otago Poly too.

A Tertiary Education subgroup of this Loomio group perhaps?


Matt McGregor Mon 5 Oct 2015 1:47AM

We've actually been having some informal calls every eight weeks or so! But we should channel more of that activity here, for sure.

The events went very well - Auckland and Christchurch especially. That was back in April. We've been having regular chats with Otago folks (among others) and there's been a feeling that we need to advocate for more grassroots uptake. Our part could be doing some departmental-level outreach.

Another way is to work with subject librarians to suggest open alternatives to the academics they work with. We're planning to get some resources for them off the ground soon - some folks from Otago (not the ones you mention) have been leading some work on that.

I've also been reaching out to government to see what interest there is in supporting the adaptation of international OERs for NZ, especially where there is a connection with employment outcomes. This was a key driver for TAACCCT (the big government OER programme in the US), though we haven't found a home or champion for this yet.


Matt McGregor Mon 5 Oct 2015 1:49AM

Also noting that we held off on the declaration because some folks are currently doing research into student attitudes into textbooks, so it we want to get some data before making a stronger, and louder case.