Around the same time I started the Learning Design and Technology program at Purdue University, I also made a commitment to professional development in the field of instructional design and open education. I figured if I’m making the decision to go back to school, I’m going to make the time and financial commitment really worth it and go all in within the field I’m choosing to commit to. Two specific ways I have demonstrated a “disposition for life-long learning and continuous professional development” are by my involvement with the Open Education Group and the Open Textbook Network. These two organizations allow me to apply my specialty in instructional design to the field of open education.
Around this time last year (May 2017 or thereabouts), I applied for a research fellowship with the Open Education Group. Specifically, an OER (open educational resources) Research Fellowship which facilitates research on the impact of open educational resources and open pedagogy. This research is centered on the COUP framework (Cost of learning materials, student success Outcomes, patterns of Usage of OER, and Perceptions of OER). I was selected as a fellow, and have spent the past year writing my research paper: “Are Private Schools Exempt from Student Concerns About Textbook Costs? A Survey of Students at American University.” This artifact is viewable above. The paper has been submitted to Open Praxis for publication, and has also been accepted for presentation at the 2018 Open Education Conference in Niagara Falls, NY this coming October.
My involvement with the Open Textbook Network also allows me to apply my instructional design skills within the field of open education. The Open Textbook Network (OTN) helps higher education institutions and systems advance the use of open textbooks and practices on their campuses. My employer, American University, is a member of the Open Textbook Network. One of the ways the OTN is achieving their missing is through the development of an OER Bootcamp for librarians who want to get into the field of open education. The Bootcamp is funded through an IMLS grant, and I was chosen as one of four practitioners in the field of open education to develop and teach the bootcamp. This will be a hybrid learning experience with online work completed between November 2018 and April 2019, followed by an in-person intensive period during the ACRL 2019 Conference in Cleveland, OH.
These two projects have allowed me to further develop my skills as a practitioner in the fields of instructional design and open education. What I would like to seek out further moving forward with regards to my professional development are opportunities to lead and effect change on a programmatic level. I’d like for the next step in my career to be more of a director role where I can implement and oversee bigger picture programming.