Rethinking and recasting the textbook: Reframing learning design with open educational practices

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EquitySocial JusticeLearning DesignOpen Educational PracticesOpen Textbooks
Many notable developments have taken place in the evolution of open educational practices (OEP). Among these, we focus on two in particular. First is the proliferation of the use of open textbooks, which have become a major component within OEP. Second, there are ongoing efforts at rethinking learning design in the context of open education. The purpose of this chapter is to discuss how we challenged ourselves to rethink learning designs that can result from a rethinking of open textbooks as educational artefact. We position this in the context of centering equity and social justice in learning design through both challenging single narratives and taking advantage of the affordances of an open textbook. As part of this discussion and challenge, we outline a design-based research project where we are developing a prototype for a community-generated, non-hierarchical teaching and learning resource (“untextbook”) model that is open to ongoing extension and reframing. As we engage in the development of an organic, fluid resource, we invite learners to participate in ongoing cycles of extending and reframing the existing content to open new learning pathways prompted by considerations of relevant issues, lenses, roles and settings in a WordPress-based authoring tool. These cycles include a research project that is in the process of obtaining feedback and reflections from graduate students involved in courses where the prototype is being implemented.


In this chapter, we encourage the reader to consider how the possibilities for teaching and learning practices are shifting in light of open educational practices (OEP) in education, with a particular focus on social justice. There is no single, comprehensive definition for OEP, but they are typically described as teaching and learning approaches that include participatory pedagogies focused on collaboration, co-creation and use open licensing and open technologies, the adoption and/or development of open educational resources (OER), and recognising multiple voices and perspectives (Tietjen & Asino, 2021). Beyond the adoption of OER, which are teaching and learning materials that are free to the user, and through open licensing that enables re-used, remixing and revising of content, openness has been posited to provide a stimulus for rethinking learning designs and, in some cases, providing impetus for rethinking teaching and learning processes (Lane & McAndrew, 2010; Littlejohn & Hood, 2016; Porter, 2013). The opportunity for the diffusion of these learning designs among communities of scholars has also been boosted by the underlying openness. Some OER now provide a description of teaching activities and learning plans and, in addition, educators are increasingly sharing learning designs through blogs, social media and social networks (Jhangiani et al., 2016; Kimmons, 2016; Petrides et al., 2011).

As one area of consideration for OEP, we focus on the structure and the role of the textbook, and more specifically the open textbook. As a major contributor to the growth of OER, the open textbook has rapidly made major inroads into education. While the related issues of access and cost are well recognised in relation to the open textbook, its role in OEP and, more specifically, critical pedagogy remains somewhat less developed.

The textbook has been a prominent focus in the discourses and practices of open education practitioners. Textbooks

…mediate the structure of knowledge on the one hand, and the performance of teaching and learning on the other … At the same time, however, textbooks contain a deep contradiction. They are today’s mediation of yesterday’s knowledge in the light of educational projections about tomorrow. (Hamilton, 2003, p. 8).

We observe a similar contradiction when applying textbook use to open pedagogies. While open licensing enables certain pedagogical practices, what other aspects of the textbook ought to be rethought in the context of open pedagogies and practices?

The authors of this chapter bring our own contexts and perspectives as learning designers and researchers heavily engaged in the broader open education community. We captured our initial positions in 2018 at the outset of a design-based research (DBR) project that sought to challenge conventional designs of the open textbook as well as the traditional notions, processes and roles of the learning designer. These initial reflections based on our individual contexts are shared below.

I’ve always hoped that openness would provide more of an impetus for innovation in teaching and learning. Certainly in my practice, it has changed the way I design my pedagogical approaches, strategies, resources and assessment methods. Open resources and technologies can be used to support and enable active learning experiences, by presenting and sharing learners’ work in real-time, allowing for formative feedback, peer-review, encouraging learner contributions, and ultimately, promoting community-engaged coursework. Yet, open textbooks, in very traditional forms, remain a dominant theme in open discourses. I joined this project to consider and contribute to exploring how critical instructional design might be used to rethink course resources and design methods, and further the maturation of instructional design in light of open educational practices. – Michael Paskevicius

 Much instructional design today is embedded in thought structures and processes of an earlier era. Too often we remain bound up in a project management mindset and an instructional development process focused on highly predetermined learning activities and outcomes in a world that demands creativity and critical insight. In addition, many of the resources available to instructors and students in instructional design are based on traditional course structures and set faculty and learner roles. My hope is to be part of the development of a living resource for instructors, students and practitioners that both explores and models alternative approaches to instructional/learning design, in the form of an untextbook. The term “untextbook” is a placeholder for an open, creative, community-developed and -maintained resource that advances theory and practice in critical instructional/learning design. – Irwin DeVries

 For me, critical approaches to learning design mean thinking about ways to open up our spaces or make them more permeable. I feel we are often constrained by technology, institutional policy or other traditional expectations about learning – be it responses to academic integrity or assessment. I am always trying to think about design that can open up barriers, perceived or real, so that we can invite learners in to take more ownership of their learning. This project takes one traditional element that often defines our learning spaces, the textbook, and asks us to rethink how it can be more open and sustainable. As a designer, I wonder how rethinking one of our fundamental learning resources may open up new possibilities for practice. – Michelle Harrison

 For me, critical learning design is about challenging our assumptions about instructional design processes, the teaching and learning environments that we build, and the artefacts that we’ve come to expect in a teaching and learning experience. What aspects are timeless, and what aspects no longer make sense when we embrace openness? How can we challenge these things in an inclusive and participatory way? – Tannis Morgan

Before delving more deeply into the relationship between OEP, social justice and open textbooks, a significant context stands out in the foreground of our research and associated workshops during our work on this project. As in many countries around the world, Canada, the home country of the authors, exists historically as a result of European colonisation of Indigenous lands. Throughout its history as a country, this fact underlies the positionality we hold toward the very land on which we live, work and learn. A cross-country Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) – which operated from 2008 to 2015 – documented many of the injustices inflicted on Indigenous people throughout the history of Canada and into the present. Calls to action from the TRC cut across many spheres of public and private life in Canada. Coverage given to a growing awareness of unmarked graves at some of Canada’s residential schools has become part of mainstream media reporting. Growing awareness of historical and continuously perpetuated injustices suffered by Indigenous peoples is significant and compels a challenge to dominant narratives. Following the local publication of an open textbook on Canadian history (Belshaw, 2015) and the subsequent participation of the author in our data collection, we became aware of both the need and interest in means to extend and reframe sections or chapters from a variety of perspectives currently limited by the textbook structure.

The purpose of this chapter is to explore learning designs that emerge from a rethinking of textbooks as artefact in the context of centering equity and social justice in learning design by means of challenging single narratives while at the same time taking advantage of the affordances of an open textbook.

Rethinking learning design in the context of open education

Several researchers have examined the phenomenon of open education beyond resource provision. Even in the early days of OER adoption, Camilleri and Ehlers (2011) suggested that OEP would be

…the next phase in OER development, which will see a shift from a focus on resources to a focus on OEP being a combination of open resources use and open learning architectures to transform learning. (p. 6)

Hegarty (2015) proposed eight attributes which describe the strategies and policies which encompass OEP, including: participatory technology; people, openness and trust; innovation and creativity; sharing ideas and resources; connected community; learner-generated; reflective practice; and peer review. Cronin (2017) notably defined OEP as the

…collaborative practices that include the creation, use, and reuse of OER, as well as pedagogical practices employing participatory technologies and social networks for interaction, peer-learning, knowledge creation, and empowerment of learners. (p. 4)

Scholars have suggested OEP may provide an impetus for innovative teaching and learning processes, resulting in new conceptualisations of the roles and practices of both educators and learners (Lane & McAndrew, 2010; Littlejohn & Hood, 2016; Porter, 2013). As highlighted by Coughlan et al. (2018) as well as Harrison and DeVries (2019), engaging with open education can be a foundation, conduit or catalyst for further innovation in teaching and learning practice. More recently, OEP has been positioned as an approach that embraces social justice as a critical value that must be explicitly addressed through the selection of resources, inclusion of marginalised voices and inclusive design (Bali et al., 2020; Hodgkinson-Williams & Trotter, 2018; Lambert, 2018). For these researchers, OEP reflects an intentional approach to both the selection of learning resources and the design of learning that addresses the needs of learners with inclusivity and equity as core values.

These scholars have taken an expansive view of openness in teaching and learning, either in making use of OER, engaging learners with openness or making professional practice more accessible. All of this can only be enacted through learning designs that recognise, acknowledge and even prioritise the contested nature of knowledge. Yet, to date, the most common teaching and learning practices in higher education – and particularly in North American education systems – are still largely mapped to existing artefacts and systems such as commercially published textbooks, the learning management system (LMS), traditional instructional design processes and academic publishing models. We believe that OEP, including the use of OER, provides us with several emergent ways of approaching critical instructional design in higher education contexts.

Commercially produced textbooks still prevail in higher education contexts. However, that dominance is shifting to open-licensed resources (Seaman & Seaman, 2019). A reliance on commercially produced textbooks has implications on teaching and learning, as faculty adopt the textbook as a script for the course in some cases while in others the textbook is only partially used but is a required resource for participation. Inadvertently, many curricula are structured around the contents of the adopted textbook that are perceived to be the most useful. Following Facer and Selwyn (2021), one must consider who benefits from the use of such tools and how their use is negotiated. It often goes unrecognised that the physical and digital boundaries created by these environments may determine available pedagogies (Dron, 2016).

In rethinking learning design, we believe it is important to gravitate away from the defaults. Since many faculty have had little preparation or formal training in the processes of teaching, defaults such as the use of a commercial textbook, the utilisation of the LMS, or application of online learning rubrics are, in many cases, supported, adopted or even promoted by the institution (Stommel & Burtis, 2021). How does one design a course prioritising open pedagogies that foreground equitable access and the exploration of multiple perspectives using a single authored text as the primary mediating artefact? There has been a call for learning design and technology adoption to go beyond the traditional focus, an approach described by Veletsianos (2021) as the three E’s of learning design – effectiveness, efficiency and engagement – to include a fourth E: “equity”. This has been echoed by Facer and Selwyn (2021), who recommend specifically directing educational technology interventions towards addressing issues of equity, diversity and overcoming disadvantage. However, this does not simply mean adopting a new set of tools, but rather designing learning experiences in new ways.

Extending open textbooks

The open textbook has great potential in supporting OER-enabled pedagogies, owing mainly to the open licensing of the content permitting an extensive array of opportunities to repurpose textbook content (Wiley & Hilton, 2018). These opportunities include assignments that can incorporate revisions or additions to the content by students, with the potential to create an ongoing series of revised, expanded or even substantially new open textbooks for use in subsequent learning settings in an evolving, organic manner. From a critical pedagogy stance, DeVries (2017) describes a discussion held with colleagues about how open licensing and the “5Rs of open pedagogy” – to retain, reuse, revise, remix, redistribute (Wiley & Hilton, 2018) – offer the opportunity to

…work the boundaries of openness toward open/critical pedagogy, extending past the perceived affordances of the 5Rs of openness and other tools of open education practices such as Creative Commons licensing. (para. 3)

Examples of prompts for critical pedagogy include those in Table 1, which were derived by collectively brainstorming an expansion of the original “5Rs of open pedagogy” (Wiley & Hilton, 2018), shifting from the more general terms in the “5Rs” to those that invite or prompt critical approaches to dominant narratives. These are just some possibilities with the letter R, leaving open many other possible such tables. The “5x5Rs of ours” (Table 1) can be used to invite or prompt critical approaches to dominant narratives. 

Table 1

The 5Rs of Ours


With open licensing, teachers can use the open textbook’s permissive licensing to strategically support an intentional critical pedagogical approach that invites an opening up of new voices and perspectives, as well as prompting awareness of new issues derived from the original chapters. For assignments, it provides a format for responses that create new learning and knowledge pathways through and beyond the original content. A further recentering of these new pathways can then deliver seeds for further continuation of the same process on an ongoing basis.

A notable project adopting many principles of the “untextbook” concept is the book 25 years of ed tech, in which Weller (2020) provides a history of the use of educational technology in higher education over the period 1994–2018. Each chapter covers a specific topic, ranging from early bulletin board systems and computer-mediated communication to artificial intelligence and blockchain, closing with a focus on “Ed tech’s dystopian turn” (p. 169). The conclusion offers reflections on the larger themes that characterise this period, including an overemphasis on technology in place of education, the recurrence of the same ideas under different guises fueled by a pervasive sense of techno-optimism, and the co-optation of technology used for educational purposes while not having been designed for that specific context.

Published under a Creative Commons licence, the 25 years of ed tech book was followed up by a serialised audio podcast version hosted by Pasquini (2020), in which each chapter was read aloud and recorded by a guest reader. These were then followed up with another podcast Between the chapters, which presented a series of recorded audio interviews between a host and a variety of scholars from around the world. The original text has been significantly expanded through the podcasts to include discussions, extensions, critiques and further questions about each chapter. Rather than closing off each of the chapters and topics, this format continues the discussion and builds upon the original ideas. The two complementing resources result in a rich tapestry of voices and perspectives that go beyond the original text and collectively offer a multidimensional and robust introduction to the field of educational technology.

The conclusion to the serialised podcast project provided reflections on the success, challenges and further potential of the Between the chapters concept. One of the challenges stated was the inclusion and exclusion of many other voices that could speak about topics related to such a project in addition to those already invited. However, as noted in the podcast, the current iteration was limited by a somewhat random selection of participants, consisting largely of convenience-based samples of interviewees. Within a more structured pedagogical setting, specific contributors could be strategically invited as under-represented voices to provide new perspectives, which could in turn provide content for new editions. This requires some thinking about how subsequent conversations and voices can be recentred in subsequent revisions and continued as part of an ongoing discourse on educational technology. This context and example both point to the possibilities afforded by a critical and social justice-oriented approach and the use of technology to extend and reframe aspects of the open textbook that have been inherited from its traditional antecedents.

Conceptualising the untextbook

As we considered how to reframe and extend the resources and technology we use in our teaching and design practice, we came to develop an alternative view of the textbook as well as the learning environments that are intended to complement them. As part of our ongoing project, we first considered how readers/participants would engage directly with the resource from a practical sense. In this next section, we discuss the design of a prototype platform and activity which could help facilitate a change in practice.

Reframing and extending 

Critically, we are viewing the textbook itself as a potential mediating artefact for the interrogation and development of knowledge. This is most salient in content areas where multiple views and perspectives come into play and vie for dominance in the textbook narrative.

As we consider practice cases, theory and approaches for use in a variety of learning design courses and programmes, we hope to create a resource that includes content that has critical approaches for practice, but that also enables continued expansion from new perspectives authored by students through a digital platform. Though many open platforms, such as Pressbooks, allow for collaborative generation of OER and other interactivities, they are still often presented in a similar form and structure to a traditional text. As we will describe below, we hope this resource can open new ways for inviting multiple perspectives and co-creation of content.

Our explorations and discussions about critical and open approaches to design evolved into a DBR (McKenney & Reeves, 2012; Pool & Laubscher, 2016) project that included goals for producing a community-generated resource and inviting feedback from colleagues and design practitioners. Our DBR process included three iterative stages, including analysis and exploration, design and construction, and evaluation and reflection with practitioners and students working in open education (McKenney & Reeves, 2012). In the first phase of this project (analysis/exploration), we hosted a variety of collaborative workshops, where participants were asked to consider what textbooks meant. What emerged were ideas for an “untextbook” that included attributes such as inclusion of multiple voices in the ongoing creation and re-creation of the textbook, student production, accessibility, customisation, and “foraging” in the development of new pathways. Foraging in this instance can be described as a way to search, seek or wander in search of provisions or resources. The notion of foraging becomes ever more important in an information-abundant world. Developing foraging literacy can be a means to practice critical digital literacies and seek out diverse perspectives (Zamora et al., 2021). Five overall key attributes emerged that expand the functionality of the textbook to provide a useful starting point to center equity-centred learning design, including interactivity, agency, accessibility, structure and voice. Many of these attributes are already associated with OEP. However, while some participatory and open platforms for digital resource development offer opportunities to move beyond the hierarchical and linear ordering of content, many of these platforms still represent western epistemologies and knowledge sharing traditions (Funk & Guthadjaka, 2020).

The second phase of the DBR process (design/construction) entailed the development of a platform that aims to invite elements of open pedagogies, including participatory technologies, knowledge sharing and co-creation, and open, connected communities (Hegarty, 2015), as well as critical approaches that are more inclusive and equitable. We were inspired by ongoing work to design digital platforms that extend the conventional tools of digital textbooks (e.g. Hypothesis, Pressbooks, H5P) and in creating this boundary object (Star & Griesemer, 1989), we can then explore the possibilities for learning designs through the space that it opens up. It is our hope that through this design process we can expand our capacity to work with students and instructors to develop knowledge resources that are networked and fluid, rather than fixed and linear, where knowledge is examined by learners who are exercising increased epistemic agency (Scardamalia & Bereiter, 2021) and examining learning content across multiple dimensions.

Platform and activity design

As we explored a variety of current publishing models, we found that even fairly novel open textbook publishing platforms such as Pressbooks do not fully allow for non-linear pathways, or for inclusion of multiple voices, multimodalities or annotation. A notable exception is Ravenspace, a publishing company that describes itself as a “digital publishing platform for media-rich, interactive books, where Indigenous communities and scholars can work together respectfully and knowledge circulates across networks and generations ”.

Our challenge was to consider the ways that non-linearity and more open structures could be built into a digital online space. We were inspired by elements included in other projects, such as Ravenspace and the Between the chapters (Pasquini, 2020) project that focused on providing space for alternative modalities and commentaries, specific invitations for participation and guidance on centring and respectful inclusion of traditional knowledge. As we explored the possibilities and constraints of the various platforms, our colleague and web developer posed many challenging questions, including:

Table 2 outlines some of the platform design elements that were considered to help reflect early participant feedback about agency, voice, structure, interactivity and accessibility that emerged from the first stages of the research. For example, the platform allows for the ongoing building of resources and learner ownership/authorship, where simple authoring tools embedded directly in a page will allow students to choose different lenses and approaches. Content can be reorganised into new configurations and iterated, and there are choices about peer review, authoring (open/anonymous or other), and different context types and modalities. We also considered how to create an invitation to contemplate contested knowledge and invite multiple layers and perspectives. 

Table 2

Textbook design considerations

Design elementDesign implications from studyPlatform design
 AgencyDevelop capacity for “foraging literacy” to help learners develop their own resources/pathways togetherOngoing building of resources, annotation and learner ownership/authorshipSimple open authoring embedded directly on pageStudents choose lens/approachFlexible search/tagging structure
 VoiceInclude diverse perspectives and voices – beyond one dominant, authoritative voiceMultiple layers/lenses/approaches (within framework)Invitation to consider contested knowledgeEmbedded choice about authoring and peer review optionsCenterd invitation on how to participate (a model)Content can be reorganised into new configurations
StructureNon-linearityScaffolding (a framework for engagement)Open content/licensing typesAbility to iterate from new contributions, rearrange (randomise content)A framework for engagement is providedAuthoring access has choice (open, anonymous)Different content types (chapters/responses)
 InteractivityParticipatory activity and multiple ways of linking materialsInclusion of more interactive forms of engagement (through embedded response fields vs. the more traditional “comment” box)Beyond annotation
 AccessibilityUDL principlesAccessibility requirements will be notedConsidered in visual design/styles

As highlighted in the design elements column (Table 2) and questions outlined, there is a tension between creating a space that has structured connections versus one that is completely open but which might become chaotic and unnavigable. As we considered how this untextbook might be used, we felt that some pedagogical structure might be helpful for students to develop what we thought of as a “foraging fluency” and created a framework consisting of four framing

prompts (outlined below) that would invite deep and critical engagement with the content through guided explorations. It is important to stress that this structure is intended for use within an educational setting that includes responsible and accountable moderation, setting appropriate boundaries for debate, including a focus on equity and respect.

Revisiting the 5 R’s from Table 1 led us to think about ways we could provide prompts that could help frame a response, for example in the form of “respect” and “reframing” of a topic. In the current design, each use of the untextbook begins with a chapter that presents a discussion of a topic relevant to the course. Learners are then invited to create responses in a custom-developed WordPress-based tool that may incorporate all, or any combination of, aspects that can be assigned or negotiated as part of the learning activities of the class. These aspects include issues, lenses, roles and settings and are discussed in more detail below.


Textbooks, scholarly literature and even current events reflected in settings ranging from social media to journalism, all present a continuous range of issues that have topical relevance in a course setting. Instructors may select or collaborate with students to identify one or more issues that are relevant to the course and potentially of interest to students. Issues can range widely, from ongoing debates about privacy to public health to emerging stories about climate events.


Students may choose or be assigned to research the issues from a particular lens, such as decolonisation, historical justice, anti-racism and other such anti-oppressive perspectives that centre on alternative narratives to those obtained from dominant cultures. By working with a specific lens, students will research issues from a social justice perspective. In addition, the use of lenses can also encourage a focus on transdisciplinary approaches.


Different roles can have an impact on the interests and perspectives of students. Being a student is in itself a role – undertaken in domestic, international, full-time or part-time, newly matriculated or mid-career professional settings – along with other possible roles as parent, administrator, educator or other areas within their life outside of the educational milieu.


Many learning experiences in higher education include various forms of experiential learning intended to integrate workplace or community-based learning with formal education. Focusing on a specific setting can help focus the learning on specific settings. Students may come to their studies from, or with ambitions toward, a particular industry or workplace, community setting, education or profession in the corporate or public sector, or any of many possible disciplines. For instance, learning design in higher education is distinctly different from the corporate world or government contexts. These settings may have an influence on the perspectives students bring and/or would like to bring to their research and course work.

Once students have responded in this way, students, the instructor or both may collaboratively identify one or more of the newly created pathways and recentre the next round of activities on those.

Learning activity

The following activity introduces an example of approaches that can be experimented with in designing for and/or working with an open textbook towards a critical pedagogy and social justice perspective.

  1. Discussion points: What has your experience been with open textbooks as a teacher, instructional designer and/or student? Were you able to take advantage of the format and open licensing to extend the textbook in new directions? If yes, what were you able to accomplish? If no, what were any limiting factors?
  2. Reflective activity: Take some time individually or in small groups to discuss and reflect personally on where and how you situate yourself with the four aspects given in this chapter:
    1. Issues: Identify an issue in an open textbook or other open resource relevant to the topic of your study that is of particular interest to you (and/or your group) and reasons you’ve chosen it.
    2. Lenses: In relation to your chosen issue, consider adopting a lens such as decolonisation, historical justice, anti-racism or other such anti-oppressive perspectives through which to examine your issue.
    3. Roles: Consider a role you play that affects your perspective on the issue you’re interested in.
    4. Settings: Situate your exploration within any of a number of settings, such as a particular industry or workplace, community setting, within education or a profession, corporate or public sector, or any of many possible disciplines.
  3. Describe and/or (time permitting) develop a potential artefact (e.g. video, text, podcast, artwork or other) that you could create that would help to reframe and extend the issue using your perspective that could be contributed as an additional section or modification to the resource you originally worked from.
  4. Describe how you would implement this approach in your own teaching practice.


Open educational practices continue to emerge and evolve as educators experience and research their potential, particularly in the context of critical digital literacies in service of social justice. Part of this process of change involves re-evaluating current practices and tools. As a deeply entrenched aspect of our educational systems, textbooks are employed to mediate teaching and learning interactions and activities. Open textbooks in particular continue to contribute by providing increased access and lowering the cost of education to students. By using open licensing, they also offer an opportunity to rethink approaches to content in ways that support increasing OEP beyond access toward social justice.

Our dialogue with educators in various global settings provided insight into ways to expand the textbook. They shared with us a desire for textbook-like platforms that encourage learner agency in responding to content by creating new pathways as extensions of the original content, the inclusion of diverse perspectives and multiple lenses within a scaffolded framework, the ability to contest given knowledge, iterate with learner-generated contributions in a non-linear manner, provide for interactive forms of engagement, and ensure accessibility.

In response, a DBR approach led us to prototype a community-generated, non-hierarchical teaching and learning resource (“untextbook”) model that is open to ongoing extension and reframing as part of the development of an organic, fluid resource. The prototype is designed to invite learners to participate in ongoing cycles of extending and reframing the existing content to open new learning pathways prompted by considerations of relevant issues, lenses, roles and settings. These considerations arise in the context of an increasing awareness of social justice frameworks in OER and OEP, challenging us to rethink our practices and artefacts in a way that invites a growing diversity of voices, including those that are traditionally marginalised. As learning designers, we have an important role in extending our practices and challenging what appears to be conventional notions of learning design and open textbooks. This chapter provides some examples of extension and outlines how a DBR approach is informing an example of the development of an approach and a digital platform for this work. Our DBR is currently continuing with a research project under way involving multiple cycles of in-class use in two graduate-level educational technology and leadership courses followed by student feedback and reflections.


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Michelle Harrison

Thompson Rivers University

Dr Michelle Harrison is a Senior Instructional Designer and Assistant Professor at Thompson Rivers University—Open Learning and is the past Chair of the Learning Design and Innovation department. Her research interests lie in learning design, open educational practices, and designing learning spaces with emerging educational technologies. She has a PhD in e-Research and Technology Enhanced Learning from Lancaster University in the UK, where she focused on exploring how we perceive and use space in networked learning environments.
Irwin DeVries

Thompson Rivers University

Irwin DeVries is committed to making higher education more accessible using open learning methods. His experience and research interests include distance education, instructional design and open educational practices. He has worked in professional and higher education settings, in both practice and leadership roles. Most recently Irwin was Director, Curriculum Development and interim Associate Vice President, Open Learning at Thompson Rivers University. He is currently Associate Faculty with Royal Roads University and Adjunct Faculty with the School of Education at Thompson Rivers University. Irwin has a PhD in Education from Simon Fraser University.
Michael Paskevicius

University of Victoria

Dr Michael Paskevicius is Assistant Professor in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Victoria. His research focuses on learning design practices, the development of digital literacies, and supporting personal knowledge management in an environment of rapid technological change. Michael has worked in higher education institutions across Southern Africa and Western Canada since 2005, supporting collaborative, creative, and personalized approaches to learning. As an advocate for openness in education, his research explores the integration of open source tools, open educational resources, and the development of open educational practices among educators.
Tannis Morgan

Vancouver Community College

Dr Tannis Morgan is AVP, Academic Innovation at Vancouver Community College. She has worked as an Advisor, Learning and Teaching, and Researcher, Open Education Practices at BCcampus. Her research is at the intersection of distance education, educational technology, and open education, and is currently focused on impact and OEP, and social justice frameworks for measuring impact. Tannis is one of the founding members of the OpenETC , a community of educators, technologists, and designers sharing their expertise to foster and support open ed tech infrastructure for the BC post-secondary sector.

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