Open Education Events

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  • How the Sausage Gets Made: Building State-Wide Support for Open Education Initiatives
    Cohen, Sarah Faye; Butterfield, Robert; Gallaway, Terri; Thornton, Glenda; Walz, Anita R. (2017-11)
    Over the last few years, we've seen increasing state-wide support for open education. But how does that support begin? Who's behind those initiatives and what are they doing to advance open education efforts at the state level? This panel presentation will share the experiences of initiators of state-wide programs across four states (Ohio, Virginia, Louisiana, and Wisconsin). While each panelist has gained state-wide support for open textbook adoption, they have done so in different ways and with different degrees of mandate. The panelists will have the opportunity to share their processes, their lessons learned, their successes, and the status of their efforts, helping attendees identify avenues for their own state-wide initiatives while also demonstrating there is not just one way to establish or implement support. One thing these panelists will certainly agree on though --it's worth the effort. Link to conference site:
  • Library Selection -- and Uses -- of Printed Open Textbooks
    Walz, Anita R. (2017-06-07)
    Open educational resources (OER) are available in a variety of formats, including print. This presentation highlights potentials for use of printed OER as a promotional tool for OER initiatives in college and university settings. This presenation was delivered at VIVA (the Virtual Library of Virginia) Annual Collections Forum 2019 in Richmond, VA.
  • Conversation: Discussion and Hands-On Exploration of Open Educational Resources
    Walz, Anita R.; Pannabecker, Virginia (2015-02-05)
    This conversation session was hosted at the Conference on Higher Education Pedagogy in Blacksburg, VA on February 5, 2015.
  • 2023 Spring Open Forum: Connecting the Opens: Open Access, Open Data, Open Educational Resources, and Establishing Your Online Scholarly Presence
    Walz, Anita R.; Young, Philip; Petters, Jonathan L.; Miles, Rachel A.; Surprenant, Aimee (Virginia Tech, 2023-02-20)
    Join the University Libraries for a presentation for future professors regarding open access, open educational resources, open data, and establishing an online scholarly presence. University Libraries’ faculty Philip Young, Anita Walz, Jonathan Petters, and Rachel Miles will provide a brief overview of each topic, with discussion to follow.
  • Open Education Week 2022 Open Course Tours Event
    Thompson, Liz; Finlayson, Caitie; LeClair, Renee J.; Binks, Andrew P.; Goodwin-Jones, Robert; Leek, Danielle; Westcott, Stephanie; Ghaphery, Jimmy; Thomas, Judith (Virginia Tech, 2022-03-09)
    This event sponsored by SCHEV-Open Virginia Advisory Committee (OVAC) provides four virtual tours of courses utilizing Open Education Resources (OER) and/or Open Pedagogy. These course tours are designed to move beyond the basics of OER to show how OER are being implemented in actual courses by colleagues in Virginia, in a variety of educational contexts. A summary of the Virginia Course Materials Survey and information on VIVA Open Grants available for OER is also presented.
  • Open Education Forum 2022: Connecting the Opens: Open Access, Open Educational Resources, and Open Data
    Walz, Anita R.; Young, Philip; Petters, Jonathan L.; McNabb, Kayla B.; Surprenant, Aimee; Binks, Andrew P.; LeClair, Renee J. (Virginia Tech, 2022-02-21)
    Join the University Libraries and invited guests for a panel discussion for future professors regarding open access, open educational resources, and open data. University Libraries’ faculty, Philip Young, Anita Walz, and Jonathan Petters will provide a brief overview of each of the three topics. Selected Virginia Tech faculty will be invited to share about their career development and how they have incorporated open practices into their teaching and scholarship. And, we will moderate a robust conversation among attending graduate students.
  • SCHEV Open Virginia Advisory Committee (OVAC) Webinar Series Part IV: Open Education: Student Success and Faculty Autonomy: Listening to OER Stakeholders in Virginia
    Rondeau, Sophie; Thomas, Judith; Rebar, Beverly; Ghaphery, Jimmy (Virginia Tech, 2021-04-09)
    This presentation will discuss Virginia OER stakeholder interviews conducted by SPARC Open Education Leadership Program participants, Judy Thomas (UVA; 2019-2020 SPARC Open Education Leadership Cohort) and Sophie Rondeau (VIVA; 2020-2021 SPARC Open Education Leadership Cohort). Come prepared to contribute to the conversation as Judy and Sophie invite attendees to share their perspectives on open education. This event is part of the Open Education: Student Success and Faculty Autonomy 2020-21 Webinar series sponsored by SCHEV's Open Virginia Advisory Committee.
  • Open Education Forum 2021: Connecting the Opens: Open Access, Open Education & More
    McNabb, Kayla B.; Miles, Rachel A.; Wolfe, Mary Leigh; DePauw, Karen P.; Ogejo, Jactone Arogo; Tucker, Thomas J. (Virginia Tech, 2021-03-01)
    Join faculty presenters from around the university, University Library faculty, and the Future Professoriate Graduate class in a robust discussion about nuances, similarities and differences in the "opens." Learn about open access (OA) trends in the U.S., Europe, and at Virginia Tech. Learn about the differences between open access and open educational resources (OER). Presenters and panelists include Karen DePauw (Dean, Graduate School), Jactone Ogejo (Biological Systems Engineering), Mary Leigh Wolfe (Biological Systems Engineering), Thomas Tucker (School of Visual Arts), Kayla McNabb and Rachel Miles (University Libraries). Slides from this presentation are available at
  • SCHEV Open Virginia Advisory Committee (OVAC) Webinar Series Part III: Open Education: Student Success and Faculty Autonomy : Getting Started with Open Educational Resources
    Elder, Abbey; Walz, Anita R.; Rebar, Beverly; Davis, William Preston (2021-03-05)
    Would you like to incorporate open educational resources (OER) into your course, but aren't sure where to start? In this workshop, Abbey Elder, Iowa State University, guides you through the processes of finding, modifying, and creating OER. The workshop includes a set of practical tools and strategies for approaching their OER journey, as well as a better understanding of the support available for instructors in Virginia. Speaker Bio: Abbey Elder is the Open Access & Scholarly Communication Librarian at Iowa State University. Her work uplifts and supports instructors who are interested in open education, open access publishing, and other scholarly communication topics. Abbey's handbook for instructors, The OER Starter Kit, has been used in professional development programs across the United States, and was adapted into a reusable workbook in 2020. This event is part of the Open Education: Student Success and Faculty Autonomy 2020-21 Webinar series sponsored by SCHEV's Open Virginia Advisory Committee.
  • Moving STEM Documents Online: Sustainable Workflows for Accessible Content
    Sorge, Volker (2021-03-04)
    Although for many years there has been a steady push to move teaching content online, the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated this trend, suddenly forcing all faculty to focus on delivering teaching and learning online. However, rushing material online without understanding some of the requirements of usability and accessibility of web content will not only lead to a negative student experience, but may also threaten fair and inclusive education for many years to come. This threat is particularly potent in scientific subjects where equations and diagrams play an integral role in education and present a major obstacle for accessibility. This talk will discuss how to overcome these obstacles and present techniques and technologies that enable the conversion of existing documents to accessible web content with relatively little effort but high impact on inclusive STEM education. This presentation includes a general introduction to web accessibility and usability issues related to scientific online content, past and future. This will include the implications of accessibility and requirements for barrier-free access to STEM teaching with the perspective that the Web is nevertheless the ideal platform for hosting and curating modern math-based content. At the end of this presentation, attendees will be more familiar with a set of open source software for conversion of mathematical documents from standard sources (like LaTeX, Word or text) to accessible web content. The presentation will highlight how specific tools like pandoc and TeX4ht allow for bulk conversion of documents resulting in material that can be directly rendered and made accessible in any browser using MathJax. Presenter Bio: Dr. Volker Sorge is Professor in Document Analysis and Accessibility at the School of Computer Science, University of Birmingham, UK. He leads the Scientific Document Analysis group whose research primarily focuses on mathematical document analysis, diagram recognition and handwriting recognition. For many years Volker has worked on STEM accessibility. As a visiting scientist at Google he integrated mathematics support into the ChromeVox screen reader. As a member of the MathJax consortium he has worked on formula accessibility on the web. Most recently, in collaboration with the PreTeXt group, the NFB and the American Institute of Mathematics he contributed to the automatic transcription of LaTeX textbooks into tactile Braille books. In his start-up company Progressive Accessibility Solutions (, Volker focuses on exploiting pattern recognition and image analysis technology for automatically making STEM diagrams accessible for use in teaching and science. Volker Sorge has studied Mathematics, Computer Science and Philosophy at the University of Würzburg, University of Texas at Austin, and University Saarbrücken. He holds Research Masters in Mathematics and a PhD in Computer Science (Computational Logic). This is the feature presentation of Virginia Tech's 2021 Open Education Symposium.
  • Re-envisioning Accessibility for Math-Intensive OER
    Walz, Anita R. (2020-11-10)
    Video recording available at The accessibility of publications is critical for learners who rely on screen readers. What happens when an OER you plan to use, remix, or are creating is math intensive and you neither know LaTeX nor the accessibility options involved in presenting machine-readable equations? Issues abound! How can math display in OER be re-envisioned? This highly-interactive presentation builds off of the experiences of six people at three different institutions who met up to discuss their respective math & accessibility journeys, math-intensive OER accessibility failures, successes, and solutions that work for their level of capacity. From the extremely labor-intensive to the “automatic,” this case study-based presentation will aid participants in what not to do, and how re-envision processes and decision points for creating, adapting, and retrofitting OER that contain equations. Participants will have opportunities to share their knowledge regarding tools, solutions, and approaches in a common document and will leave with a tool kit of potential solutions for different electronic environments and platforms. Learning Outcomes: Participants will be able to summarize standards, common issues, and options for displaying, printing, and developing screen-readable math in OER; Participants will be able to recall specific issues with math display in OER as these will be connected to particular examples of OER; Participants will leave with a tool kit of potential solutions for different electronic environments & platforms. Participants will also be able to share their knowledge regarding tools, solutions, and approaches.
  • SCHEV Open Virginia Advisory Committee (OVAC) Webinar Series Part II: Open Education: Student Success and Faculty Autonomy
    Rebar, Beverly; Soholt, Chris; Bai, Yu; Brown, Anne M.; Thomas, Judith; Davis, Preston (2020-10-23)
    SCHEV Open Virginia Advisory Committee (OVAC) Webinar Series Part II: Open Education: Student Success and Faculty Autonomy Fall 2020 ESL Composition II Handbook Chris Soholt and Yu Bai, Northern Virginia Community College This presentation showcases the ESL Composition II Handbook developed for ESL 41 at the Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA) Loudoun Campus. The Handbook is being piloted in Fall 2020. This presentation includes both the instructor and the students' feedback to the Handbook and insights into the development of OER. We hope that our work will encourage our fellow faculty to embrace, adapt and create OER to reduce the cost for students and to improve the quality of education by making it more personalized and adaptive. Using Open Science Framework (OSF) and GitHub to Promote Student Training and Research Transparency Anne M. Brown, Virginia Tech Open access practices can be a cornerstone of undergraduate research training to encourage best practices with data and research reproducibility. Our research lab utilizes platforms such as GitHub and the Open Science Framework (OSF) consistently and with a structure to train and promote research outcomes and products. In using these tools and introducing them to students early, we are promoting a culture of research training and reproducibility in our students, while also documenting and providing all workflows and tutorials that our students utilize in an open way. This approach provides a digital footprint of student work, strengthening their portfolio and recognition in the field, and making our research and training more transparent. This talk discusses the creation and organization of a research lab centered OSF and GitHub page and how it is used by students and researchers. Privacy and Surveillance in Digital Courseware Judith Thomas, University of Virginia Much digital courseware, including “inclusive access” products, pose a threat to the future of open education. Purporting to address the textbook affordability crisis, publishers have devised automatic billing models for products that gather a lot of student data, which is then put to various uses, including product development and learning analytics. Students must agree to privacy terms in order to access the materials, and have no say in how their data is gathered, analyzed, and used. In this talk we look at a few privacy notices from major vendors and discuss the ethical implications of this type of data capture.
  • SCHEV Open Virginia Advisory Committee (OVAC) Webinar Series Part 1: Open Education: Student Success and Faculty Autonomy
    Rebar, Beverly; Walz, Anita R.; Westcott, Stephanie; Geary, Tom; Woodward, Tom; Rondeau, Sophie (2020-09-18)
    SCHEV Open Virginia Advisory Committee (OVAC) Webinar Series Part I: Open Education: Student Success and Faculty Autonomy Fall 2020 Virtual Events on Open Education: Student Success and Faculty Autonomy. Join us for lightning rounds of presentations, small group discussions, and expert panels. Welcome: Beverly Rebar, SCHEV Institutional OER Policies - Highlighting Virginia Tech's Guidelines for OER & Open Textbooks Anita Walz, Virginia Tech In 2018 the Virginia General Assembly passed legislation that required public institutions to develop and approve guidelines for Open Educational Resources and/or Low Cost materials. This lighting round talk gives the history of the legislation, provides information regarding how the charge was interpreted at Virginia Tech, and describes the resulting contents of Virginia Tech's Guidelines for Open Educational Resources and Open Textbooks which were passed by VT's Board of Visitors in June 2020. It will also make brief mention of the status, types, and contents of guidelines at other Virginia public institutions. Lessons from the First Year of VIVA Open Grants Stephanie Westcott, VIVA Three rounds of awards in VIVA’s Open Grants Program have offered some lessons about the support for faculty as they adopt, adapt, and create Open Educational Resources in Virginia: (1) The need is great, with nearly two million dollars in support requested in under 18 months; (2) The advantages of this work go beyond cost savings and include faculty autonomy and student engagement; (3) While enthusiasm for this work is high, some disciplines and course levels are better represented than others, leaving work to do. This presentation will elaborate on these lessons and suggest opportunities and directions for the future. Using OER to Amplify Diverse Voices in Multiple Modalities Tom Geary, Tidewater Community College Increased access and affordability are often touted as the key benefits of open educational resources, but perhaps the most significant advantage is the inclusion of marginalized perspectives in different modalities. Zobel (2015) writes, “OERs expose students to potentially more diverse texts than they might normally see in any traditional textbooks” (para. 6). In this lightning talk, I will argue for the importance of amplifying diverse voices in readings, videos, and podcasts to engage students in multiple learning styles and share my strategies for incorporating OERs by minority scholars in my technical writing and composition courses. Building OER in WordPress Tom Woodward, Virginia Commonwealth University WordPress is the ubiquitous open source software that runs a large portion of the Internet. It can be customized to do virtually anything. We’ll look at how VCU has been able to build bespoke textbooks, interactive 3D media, geographic data visualizations, customized student portfolios, multimedia timeline tools and much more using WordPress as the foundation. Learn about useful plugins and economical development patterns. All of the examples are public on the web and the code for various plugins and themes is available in GitHub. Bringing it all together: Mapping OER with Virginia faculty review Sophie Rondeau, VIVA Identification and discovery of appropriate and high quality open educational resources (OER) is a significant challenge for faculty and is often a barrier to adoption. In response, the VIVA OER Course Mapping Project Task Force is developing a listing of OER through VIVA Open that align to Transfer Virginia courses. Virginia faculty are invited to “sprint” review the curated content for quality of explanation of subject matter and comprehensiveness. The results are increased engagement with and among Virginia faculty, exposure to available OER in their discipline, a faculty reviewed seal of approval, and greater insight into their valuation of curated OER.
  • Introduction to Open Educational Resources (OER)
    Walz, Anita R. (2020-10-06)
    This presentation provides information in response to commonly-asked questions about OER, including: What are OER? Where can I find them? How can I use them? How do others use them? And how -- and where -- can I share what I made? Presenters were encouraged to complete a presession survey to identify levels of knowledge and areas of interest. A definition: Open Educational Resources are freely and publicly available teaching, learning, and research resources in the public domain or which have been released under an intellectual property license that permits free use and re-purposing by others. OER include a broad range of formats.
  • Faculty & Student Panel Discussion: Issues in Course Materials Access and Use
    Walz, Anita R.; Cox, Larry A.; Falls, Jonathan; Filer, Kimberly L.; Mantha, Anurag; Meinke-Lau, Billy; Poff, Ron (Virginia Tech. University Libraries, 2020-03-03)
    Faculty and student panelists will discuss the interplay of issues such as equity, cost, persistent access, customization, and pedagogical affordances in relation to open course materials, as well as implications for career advancement in academic contexts when creating and using such materials. We’ll consider a variety of perspectives on these considerations, challenging one another to engage with the complexities of championing openness in higher education.
  • Lighting Rounds & Expo: OER, Pedagogy, and Tools
    Kinnaman, Alex; Becksford, Lisa; Dean, Kirsten; Napier, Mike; Forte, Joseph A.; Mease, Sarah; Walz, Anita R. (Virginia Tech. University Libraries, 2020-03-03)
    Join us to learn about OER affordances, tools, support and applications! This session will include brief lightning talks to provide an overview of these open education topics as well as hands-on time for attendees to ask questions about some current and recent open education projects at Virginia Tech, the pedagogical implications of open educational resources, and support that is available for instructors and learners who would like to share or create open educational resources. Topics include: open publishing, Creative Commons licensing, open source virtual reality, Omeka, the Open Textbook Library, and more.
  • Leveraging Open Practices in Scholarship & Teaching in International Liberal Arts Education: What Does Success Look Like?
    Walz, Anita R. (2019-03-30)
    Open Access. Open educational resources. Open pedagogy. Beyond access and direct-cost reduction to readers, open educational practices — when deeply understood and thoughtfully implemented — have the potential to transform higher education and to reconnect us to our liberal arts roots. You may already be involved in leveraging such practices. This scholar/practitioner-led keynote invites you to come further and deeper into a rich conversation about open practices, what they are, how they are connected and what values drive them with the aim of developing a vision for why they matter to international American-style liberal arts education. We will explore transformative possibilities for higher education, values which underlie open educational practices, and a series of case examples of various scales which demonstrate the power of open practices for advancing scholarly disciplines, addressing pedagogical issues, amplifying student voices, extending opportunities for others, and working together on high impact projects. A video recording of the keynote is available here.
  • Open Education Symposium Panel: Facilitating Openness at the University: Connecting the Opens + Making Change Happen
    Bishop, M. J.; Corl, Benjamin A.; DePauw, Karen P.; Plummer, Ellen Wright; Franco Duran, Diana; Potter, Peter J.; Porter, Nathaniel D.; Walz, Anita R. (Virginia Tech. University Libraries, 2019-03-04)
    This panel discussion begins with brief presentations of several “core open practices”: Open Access, Open Education/Open Educational Resources, and Open Data by experts from the University Libraries at Virginia Tech. Faculty, administration, and student panelists from diverse disciplines will discuss their rationale for exploring and in some cases adopting and championing open practices -- including overlaps in philosophy and values between different types of open practices, perceptions of the value of open practices for individuals, disciplines, and institutions, and barriers and opportunities to becoming more open on individual, disciplinary, and institutional levels in higher education. Panelists include: MJ Bishop, Associate Vice Chancellor and Director of the William E. Kirwan Center for Academic Innovation, University System of Maryland Benjamin Corl, Associate Professor and Interim Department Head, Department of Dairy Science, Virginia Tech Karen DePauw, Vice President and Dean for Graduate Education, Virginia Tech Diana Franco Duran, Doctoral Candidate, Civil Engineering, Virginia Tech Ellen Plummer, Associate Vice Provost for Academic Administration, Virginia Tech Peter Potter, Director of Publishing Strategy, University Libraries, Virginia Tech Nathaniel Porter, Social Science Data Consultant Data Education Coordinator, Virginia Tech Moderator: Anita Walz, Open Education, Copyright & Scholarly Communication Librarian, Virginia Tech This event is part of the Open Education Symposium at Virginia Tech. Further details:
  • 2019 Open Education Symposium Poster Session
    Terry, Christine H.; Kinniburgh, Garnett; Browder, Robert; DeCarlo, Matthew; Becksford, Lisa; McNabb, Kayla B.; Lachniet, Jason; Hipple, Britton; Maczka, Darren; Donnelly, Sarah; Ireland, Leanna; Erickson, Sue (2019-03-04)
    Faculty, instructional designers, graduate students, and librarians from six institutions of higher education will briefly present an overview of peer-reviewed posters on diverse topics including: Creating open educational resources, linking open education and the career center, a cMOOC for exploring open education, class book projects, introduction to an open learning object repository, open software for graphic, and campus responses to the use of open educational resources. Presentations Writing and Publishing OER for an Upper-Level Genetics Course (Christine H. Terry, University of Lynchburg) The Career Center and Open Education (Garnett Kinniburgh, William & Mary) Open Learning '19: a cMOOC for Exploring Open Education (Sue Erickson, Virginia Wesleyan University) Class Book Projects and Collaborative Technologies (Robert Browder, Virginia Tech) Integrating an open science project as an open educational resource (Matthew DeCarlo, Radford University) Open, Accessible, Reusable: Creating a Open Learning Object Repository for Learners and Educators (Lisa Becksford & Kayla B. McNabb, Virginia Tech) No graphing calculators, no license fees: free software for the mathematics classroom and beyond (Jason Lachniet, Wytheville Community College) A Discussion on the Use of Open Educational Resources on Campus (Britton Hipple, Darren Maczka, Sarah Donnelly & Leanna Ireland, Virginia Tech) This event is part of the Open Education Symposium at Virginia Tech. Further details:
  • OER Update
    Walz, Anita R. (2018-06-29)
    This OER Update, provided at the request of the Virginia Scholarly Communication Interest Group, provides an overview of the values underpinning open education, the complexity of higher education and commercial actor incentives and actions affecting student facing and student-created course materials, learning resource costs, value matrices, areas of investment, topics of conversation, state and local level updates.