Voices from JIBC | Krista Lambert & Melanie Meyers

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Krista Lambert & Melanie Meyers

About Krista
Krista joined JIBC in 2009 and has worked in Fire, Marketing, and then Fire again before landing in CTLI, where she is an instructional designer. For the past 4 years, Krista has been on secondment to BCcampus where she has been leading the development of open educational resources—including textbooks, test banks, and homework assignments—to replace costly commercial educational resources in Adult Basic Education and health programs. Krista has a BA from Kwantlen Polytechnic and a MEd in Ed Tech and Learning Design from SFU.

About Melanie

Melanie started work at the JIBC in 2008. In 2019, Melanie joined BCcampus on a secondment as a Project Manager and currently leads the Findability and Open Course projects.  Her background is in Instructional Design and she completed a Master’s of Arts in Educational Technology at Concordia University, Montreal, in 2004. Before joining BCcampus she was working as a Program Director in the Centre for Teaching, Learning and Innovation at the JIBC where she was part of a number of open education projects and became passionate about working in this area. Melanie looks forward to continuing this work back at the JIBC in 2022.

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Welcome to Open Education Week!

Hi everyone, it’s Mel and Krista from CTLI! We want to share a bit about what we’ve been up to over the past 2.5 years on our secondments to BCcampus.

In spring 2019, the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Training gave provincial post-secondary support organization BCcampus $3.26 million to invest in large-scale open education projects. Then, in summer 2019, we had the opportunity to temporarily join BCcampus as Open Education Project Managers. Since then, we have made significant progress in the development of ZTC (Zero Textbook Cost) programs, working with a variety of institutions to create credential pathways to be used across the province and around the world. In the last year, our focus has been on improving the findability of open resources and the design and development of an open online course collection. The BCcampus Open Course Collection includes openly licensed course materials for educators teaching in B.C. post-secondary institutions and beyond.

In our first two years with BCcampus, we worked with B.C. and Yukon faculty and staff on developing open textbooks, case studies, test banks, and courses that instructors  are free to adapt and adopt, thus providing better (and free!) access for students. In some cases, these projects have included JIBC collaborations, such as a sexual violence misconduct course, health resources for B.C. faculty and students, and PowerPoint lecture slides for an upcoming criminology textbook. It’s been a great experience to make connections between the work happening across the sector with the important work happening at JIBC. Currently, the CTLI team is developing solutions that increase the use of open educational resources (OER) in programs with the support of a BCcampus Sustainability Grant.

The work currently being done builds upon the open education foundation that JIBC has developed over the last decade. JIBC is a leader in open courses, open resources, using open technology, and developing Zero Textbook Cost programs. Because we work in public safety, making educational content free, open, and accessible aligns with our values and commitment to our community. Open education allows JIBC to be relevant and responsive through lower costs, wider reach, and greater student access and flexibility which aligns with the JIBC Strategic Plan. There is a connection between social justice and open education that is particularly relevant to JIBC’s commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion in their programming.

During our time at BCcampus, we’ve had the opportunity to engage in discussions about open education at articulation meetings, department meetings, and open ed working groups across B.C. We’ve also had the opportunity to organize, attend, and present at numerous international conferences and webinars. It’s been wonderful meeting colleagues engaged with open education and learning from their experiences, while at the same time sharing our JIBC and BCcampus experiences with them. We see clear alignment between open education and the JIBC context and think there are opportunities for collaboration and connection across the province in the future.

We would be remiss if we didn’t acknowledge that the majority of our secondment has taken place during the COVID-19 pandemic. During the “pivot to online” in spring 2020, we supported faculty and staff at post-secondary institutions throughout B.C. with transitioning their courses from face-to-face delivery to online. We hosted numerous webinars and also worked on the development and facilitation of a new Facilitating Learning Online (FLO) Bootcamp that helped faculty move a course online in a  1-week period. In these sessions, we dove into tricky teaching topics like alternative assessments and improving online delivery. Last year, during Open Education Week 2021, we hosted the Open Ed Challenge series (and had a few participants from JIBC), which consisted of 5 days of micro-learning activities for faculty to learn about open education and how to incorporate open educational practices into their work and teaching.

In one short post, it’s challenging to summarize all of the learning and growth we gained from  our experience, and impossible to mention all the wonderful colleagues and friends we have made at BCcampus, but we are looking forward to sharing and applying what we have learned to the open work at JIBC starting next month.

Want to chat more with Krista and Mel? Reach out to them (until April 1st!) at klambert@bccampus.ca and mmeyers@bccampus.ca. After April 1st, you can find them both at their @jibc.ca addresses.