EDI and OER Learning Community Reads

The CCCOER EDI Learning Community has monthly informal meetings about issues in EDI. People from the community raise topics, issues, and/or ideas from their personal and professional practice and we have discussions on the topics raised. Our goal is to support one another in building practices that center EDI in openness.

For Open Ed Week (March 1-5) we would like to have an asynchronous group discussion about “Diversity, Equity And Inclusion In Open Research And Education” by Tara Robertson. The EDI Learning Community selected this chapter from Open At the Margins, an openly licensed collection of writings that seeks to highlight and listen to people who have been historically marginalized in the creation and practice of open education.

Please join us in our conversation!


@Quill: Thanks for coordinating this opportunity. Tara Robertson’s article is very thought-provoking and I like that she asks questions and is comfortable knowing that she can’t provide all the answers. One question she asks is “Whose ideas are respected as centered by default?” When we look at who is creating OER, the numbers are almost as unequitable as they are in traditional textbook publishing as seen from the Open Ed 2019 presentation “Who writes traditional textbooks? Who writes OERs?” 66% of traditional textbook authors are men, and 96% of the authors of those same traditional textbooks are white. There are several reasons for this including the lack of diversity of full-time professors (the ones typically writing the textbooks) but the question Tara Robertson asks here is also part of the reason. Who gets to be an expert? Do you have to be an expert to create educational resources for a course?

One thing I love about the Open movement is that anyone can create a resource regardless of their status as an “expert” in a field. All of the OER 101 trainings available now can guide faculty who a traditional publishers never would have turned to as an expert through the steps of creating an OER.

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Thanks so much for the discussion. I have made a few friends in the OER circles. I am so thankful for this great learning community. I am learning so much, and I look forward to the future projects and collaborations that will happen in the years to come.
Deidre Tyler

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Thanks, Quill, and the CCCOER, for this learning opportunity. My week has been spectacularly busy and finding the time to read Tara Robertson’s article was a challenge. I am glad that I found the time and that it’s still OEWeek!

This is a powerful essay. As an advocate of open practices, accessibility, and a representative of marginalized communities, Tara’s voice is impactful. Asking the simple question, “Who is missing?” creates a moment to stop and reflect on what we do as open educators and how we go about our work. Open is about creating diverse and inclusive environments in course materials, in the classroom, and in our community of advocates and practitioners. We need to seek out the “missing” and invite them in.

I found the example of when open can be harmful to marginalized communities resonated with me and my role as an OER advocate. It is important to remember the impact of Western scholarship on the ownership of indigenous knowledge. Especially, when we engage with indigenous communities and OER. For me, this is our Native Hawaiian community. I’ve had several conversations over 6 years to encourage NH faculty to develop an open reader for Hawaiian Studies 107, a high-enrolled course. I haven’t gotten any traction and I didn’t understand why until fairly recently. Several months ago, I initiated another discussion with our faculty and learned that they are now interested in developing a zero-cost reader for students. However, their plan doesn’t involve me. Will it be CC-licensed? I don’t know. I know now that I have to give them the space and freedom to make that decision. Hopefully, they will reach out to me when the time is right and any discussion of CC licenses will be according to their terms.

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