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Thursday, October 21 • 11:30am - 12:25pm
What’s the Long Game? Facing the Challenges of Professionalization and Retention for OpenEd’s Future

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Video Stream
Slides available here: www.bitly.com/OpenEd21-the-long-game

While the OpenEd movement has gained immense traction through the successes of librarians, instructional designers, and professors, we are keenly interested in the labor of others who may fall outside of these roles. We want to call attention to what we are provisionally calling ‘ancillary’ workers: enablers of OpenEd who occupy non-teaching, administrative, or newly defined support roles in or adjacent to institutions for learning. These are workers who thread through OpenEd projects without necessarily being the ‘creators’ themselves. We call attention to these people in order to anticipate and proactively address the longer-term sustainability of the OpenEd movement.

We are both raising the question for our own vested interests as well as for the greater OpenEd movement writ large: “What’s the long-game for those of us who are in it now?” Rather than take an alarmist approach to such a question, we present four perspectives that nuance the types of considerations that may be overlooked in the grand scheme of OpenEd advocacy. (See note below in bold.)

Specifically we will examine the following dimensions:
  • Beyond the question of who gets involved, we ask who stays? Rather, who is enabled to stay, and to thrive?
  • How are individuals retained, recognized, and rewarded for their roles?
  • What are the structural considerations of how positions are created, framed, termed?
Some of the topics that we aim to discuss include:
  1. credentials and the limited pathways for growth / advancement
  2. job security and strategic realignment to create supportive structures
  3. the efficacy of OpenEd messaging especially with regards to retaining newcomers

*NB. We will only record the first half of our presentation when we will share some of our insights and experiences. WE WILL NOT BE RECORDING THE SECOND PORTION, WHEN WE OPEN THE CONVERSATION UP FOR DISCUSSION AMONGST THE ATTENDEES. We will also provide opportunities for folks to contribute ANONYMOUSLY if they so wish. It is our sincere hope that these considerations will help encourage candid conversation amidst session attendees.*

Given that pandemic and economic concerns have welcomed an influx of newcomers to the OpenEd community, we critically and earnestly raise the question of retention in an effort to flesh out the long-game of OpenEd advocacy.

We anticipate the session to begin with identifying the challenges (based on the presenters’ insights), and then open it up to discussion (in non-recorded and/or anonymous formats). We hope the discussion will be candid and ideational, and include perspectives of both workers and stakeholders/employers/managers. While we hope that our discussion will help us to generate potential strategies/tactics to bring to decision-makers, we are more interested in drawing attention to the sustainability of the OpenEd movement if it cannot support the people it needs most.

After participating in this session, attendees will be able to:
  1. Recognize at least one existing/anticipated challenge that ‘ancillary’ workers to OpenEd uniquely face
  2. Relate to the presenters’ challenges and/or provide their own examples
    2a. If the attendee identifies as an ancillary worker, we invite them to anonymously express at least one challenge they face
    2b. If the attendee employs an ancillary worker, we invite them to predict at least one challenge that may specifically affect one of their ancillary workers
      2c. If the attendee identifies as neither ancillary worker or employer, we invite them to pose queries that the session may have overlooked
  3. Generate potential strategies and tactics to present to decision-makers in OpenEd

avatar for Maya Hey

Maya Hey

Post-doctoral Researcher, Colorado State University
Let's chat if you're based in Colorado (US) or British Columbia (CA), because I'm conducting a research project related to how these places became OpenEd hubs. No need to preface our convo; just tap me on the shoulder and let me know where you're based. Building on my work from last... Read More →
avatar for Apurva Ashok

Apurva Ashok

Executive Director, The Rebus Foundation, https://twitter.com/RebusCommunity
Apurva leads The Rebus Foundation and brings a tireless determination for systemic change in education at Rebus and through collaborative partnerships. She helps educational institutions build human capacity in OER publishing through professional development offerings such as the... Read More →
avatar for Amy Song

Amy Song

Customer Success Manager, Pressbooks
I talk to & support many people in the educational community about open education and technology, especially surrounding the creation of OERs at Higher Eds. As the client manager at Pressbooks, most of my days are spent having conversations with faculty and members of the Open community... Read More →
avatar for Monica Brown

Monica Brown

Assistant Program Manager, Rebus Community, The Rebus Foundation
I'm a former composition faculty and writing center consultant who is passionate about helping folks share their knowledge and experiences through all genres of writing. I graduated from Boise State University with a Masters of Arts in English. My work in Open Education explores the... Read More →

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Thursday October 21, 2021 11:30am - 12:25pm EDT
Room D