This month I celebrate 25 years since I started working at the Tecnológico de Monterrey here in Guadalajara. I’ve spent about 6 of those years back in Canada and the USA working as a software engineer and pursuing my doctorate. Why do I state this? I am fairly well known and respected as a leader in educational innovation at this university system with 26 campuses spread across our country with close to 8000 faculty. I can make a difference and should take that role seriously.
Our university system covers high school (grades 10 to 12 equivalent to Canada), undergraduate education and graduate programs. We have a long history of investing in pedagogical and technology training for our faculty. Recently, our university system made an announcement and commitment to produce open content. We are a member of the Open Education Consortium but I believe that our implementation from the ground floor of the faculty can be improved and enabled.
This essay lays out some plans that I can take action on to improve that adoption at the ground level.
You can see an old video of our work in OER in the video below:
The Tec Values and Practice
We have a culture from above of sharing and contributing to OER. The Tec de Monterrey as I mentioned previously made a commitment and released a policy of open access, here a quote taken from our page at the OE Consoritium:
“Through the National Office of Library Services the Tecnologico de Monterrey leads the efforts towards adoption of OER and OA through its academic community. In 2018 the Tecnologico de Monterrey became the first private university in México to release an Institutional Policy of Open Access.”
So from my perspective as a faculty member, we have directives from above about a policy of open but on the ground floor we have some work to do.
Our institutional initiatives (some mentioned in that video above form 2012) include(d):
- TEMOA – a multilingual knowledge hub to catalog OER (site no longer active or working). We won an OE Consortium award in 2016 for this project.
- RITEC – a repository for content produce by members of our institution (site no longer active or working).
- An OER Chair UNESCO-ICDE which is currently held by our faculty researcher Dr. María Soledad Ramérez Montoya who won an OE Consortium individual award in 2016.
- Observatorio de Innovación Educativa – a central hub to collect and distribute open and innovative practices. Site is principally in Spanish but also has some English content and a broad reach across Latin America. This project won an OER Collection award in 2017.
I am sure there are more initiatives and more awards to list related to open practices but clearly we have some excellent leadership in open practices.
For a deeper view into the values of the Tecnológico de Monterrey as an institution and our values in educating students, please check out this post (in English) at the Observatory (mentioned above): “Tec de Monterrey defines its plan towards 2030“.
Values on the Ground
I have witnessed at a ground level resistance to creating educational resources from individual educators and my anecdotal evidence comes to this list of responses when I ask educators to both use OER as well as to openly share their own work. In the next section I will list some project plans I have to work towards resolving these concerns.
- “I found it on the internet, so it is okay to use this in my <internal> course”
- “I don’t want people to steal my work”
- “My work is not that innovative or worth sharing”
- “We are not allowed to share our work, the Tec de Monterrey owns it”
A Call to Action
So how do I plan to address these issues? I have experience and have been involved in the Open Educational Practices community even more so than my work in OER. I was pulled into this open community back in 2016 when Tannis Morgan invited me to participate in a hybrid in-person and online course for 300 faculty at the University of Guadalajara over the summer (in person for two weeks) and into the fall. That project won an award from the OE Consortium in 2017 as well, “The Agora: An open faculty development program in student centred and mobile learning”.
So I have the connections to the open community, I have connections to top-level administration in my university system and (I believe) that I have the respect of my peers in my past work with them on other projects including various courses on Flipped Learning (see my course site for The Open Flip).
So the projects I intend to embark upon:
- (Small goal) Videos in Spanish on how to search for, use and credit OER. This is simple and I am already doing similar work with my #TechEduTips videos on YouTube as well as our private internal (Facebook’s Workplace tool) site dedicated to sharing educational practices.
- (Medium goal) Engage leadership to be sure that our policy on open access is clear to our faculty and we make it crystal clear how faculty can publish their works using a Creative Commons license with proper ownership information.
- (Large goal) A local MOOC (in Spanish, although some of my international colleagues prefer English) covering content similar to this CC course for educators that I am taking. I could technically fork the course and cover the content without the ability to give the certificate. I have the experience offering my “The Open Flip” cMOOC. My main needs for this would be a small group of colleagues to help mentor this.
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