Join Alex Podut, Eric Saczuk, James Brewer, & Julia Alards-Tomalin on Zoom for a panel discussion about the impact of the BCIT Open Education grant program on teaching practice.
Date: Thursday, October 28th
Time: 11:30am – 12:30pm
Where: via Zoom (registration required)
About Alex Podut firstname.lastname@example.org
I did a grad course in UBC Engineering when I was in my late 30’s. I have always valued textbooks from an educational perspective since my early education. That didn’t change, but being a mature student (read with bills to pay) I also found textbooks costly. Interesting how “valuable” may have positive or negative connotations when it comes to textbooks.
Fast forward a few years and I’m on the other side of the class, teaching engineering subjects to Power Engineers. For many years I used reputable engineering textbooks to deliver my courses. Even before, we ran into issues with textbooks being discontinued by the publishers and always looking for affordable textbooks.
All changed in 2018 when I adopted an OER textbook for one of my courses. The original author chose not to include chapter questions in his textbook, as he found more suitable to hand them to students directly. Upon contacting the author I decided to use his book as the main reference and complement it with extra problems that are more relevant to Power Engineers. Students currently work with both textbooks, learning from one and reviewing a summary and completing problems from my “supplement”. We have delivered the course in this format for the last 4 years and managed to improve content year after year.
About Eric Saczuk Eric_Saczuk@bcit.ca
OpenEd has been an excellent gateway for me to consolidate some of the work I’ve done with drones and disseminate it to a much wider audience than previously possible. The other element is that OpenEd has allowed me to involve students, both from BCIT and from high school volunteer programs.
Eric has led a number of OpenEd projects, including:
Image Acquisition for 3-D Mapping with DJI Phantom 3 Pro
Practical Accuracy of the DJI Phantom 4 RTK RPAS
Processing Multi-spectral Imagery with Agisoft MetaShape Pro
Processing UAS Photogrammetric Images in Agisoft Photoscan Professional
About James Brewer James_Brewer@bcit.ca
My open education journey began when I took a poll in my Astronomy 7000 class (this is an elective for engineering students taking a bachelor’s degree) and found that, on account of its cost, none of the students had bought the recommended text. To counter this, I switched to using the OpenStax astronomy text, and made a work booklet (based upon OpenStax problem and solution sets) to replace the online homework system of the previous text.
I am primarily a physics instructor at BCIT, and after my success with switching my astronomy course, I switched my physics courses to be zero-cost material courses (ZCMCs). Whereas my physics courses follow a well-known physics text, there is no need to buy the text as the same content can be found in the OpenStax Physics text. Hardcopies of the OpenStax cost are available on Amazon for a modest cost, or the text can be downloaded for free. In abandoning the commercial text, I also abandoned its online homework system (which students had always complained is awkward to use). In lieu of this I generated worksheets with accompanying solution sets. The students seem happy with the worksheets, and as these are mine I control the content and ensure the solutions are clear and error-free (and also get to inject some humour).
In physics we use the word inertia, which is a measure of the resistance to change of a system. Having settled down with a text you are comfortable with, it’s hard to change. My advice is to fight the inertia holding you back, and start making small changes, such as providing an option of texts or generating material to supplement what is provided by a publisher, be it better overheads or clear solution sets. This is an ongoing process for me; each term I try to complete a small project to improve my course materials and some terms I fight the inertia and make a big switch. Whereas this is extra work, it’s also keeps my job interesting, challenging and rewarding!
About Julia Alards-Tomalin email@example.com
I work as an instructor in the Renewable Resources department at BCIT and teach both the Forest and Natural Areas Management diploma and the Fish, Wildlife and Recreation diploma programs. I am a double grad from BCIT with both a diploma in Forestry and a degree in Ecological Restoration. One of the things I enjoy the most about teaching is coming up with creative and fun ways to interact and engage with the students. I have been using and creating OER’s since 2019, including a plant identification card game, a winter tree/shrub identification textbook, a series of plant ID videos and self-guided plant ID tour maps. I am passionate about sharing my love of OER’s with other people and inspire them to begin creating their own.
To register visit here.