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Open Educational Resources at ATESL

  • Open Educational Resources at ATESL

The following blog post was written by Glen Cochrane, a faculty member at the Centre for Excellence in Immigrant and Intercultural Advancement (CEIIA). This blog post is part of our Conference Reflection blog series. The blog series is an opportunity for Centre faculty to share a key finding or teaching technique learned at a conference.  

At the ATESL 2016 conference in Edmonton, conference planners hosted a new type of session called the Ed Tech Jam. The idea, borrowed from the recent BCTEAL provincial conference, is similar to a poster session except the presenters use electronic devices to showcase technology and language related projects.

At the Ed Tech Jam, I presented on a recent partnership project between Bow Valley College and NorQuest College to create Open Educational Resources for ELL. The project produced two e-textbooks intended for immigrant adult learners who require English language programming.

Interest in these textbooks was enthusiastic and questions came from educators in all sorts of contexts:

  • A classroom teacher asked about the availability of the textbooks and how to access digital copies of the material. She planned to read through the material and start using parts of it in the next week.
  • An administrator asked about the creation process and the differences between creating textbook exercises for print and for online.
  • A project lead asked about the coordination of the project and the purpose behind the open nature of the material.
  • Another classroom teacher, who is actually piloting one of the books, asked about the mechanics of the online exercises and the hosting platform.

The two takeaways I gained from hosting this session were that the multi-faceted nature of this project shines though in the end product and that people in all corners of ELL in Alberta are excited to learn about and to use these great resources.

The session was a wonderful experience, and the Ed Tech Jam was an overall success.