Building OpenVA

Building OpenVA is a one-day event designed to bring together educators, administrators, technologists, and policy makers from around Virginia to start framing out how higher education institutions can work together to more effectively share educational infrastructure, resources, and pedagogy.

Date: Saturday, October 18th, 2014

Location: Tidewater Community College, Virginia Beach campus

  • Open infrastructure
  • Open content/resource
  • Open pedagogy/curriculum

This event isn’t a conference, per se. It will be broken down into four sessions.  The first three will showcase open initiatives happening currently in Virginia that embody each of the three faces of  open listed above.  The final session will be a culmination of the discussions with the goal of charging participants and laying out a strategy for action at SCHEV, higher education institutions, and legislative bodies.

Each session will be 90 minutes long and formatted as a kind of call/response. The first half will be a presentation by a panel consisting of Virginia higher ed institutions and educators who are at the forefront of open innovations currently taking place in VA.  This will be followed by a directed panel discussion by a small group of stakeholders including representatives from faculty, IT, librarians, administration, and legislature.  The panel will discuss how the current initiatives might be scaled to move beyond their existing implementations and be adopted by a larger number of Virginia institutions.

What’s more, there is an open call on the OpenVA website (http://openva.org/innovation) seeking examples of projects happening currently in Virginia’s colleges or universities that represent an innovative approach to opening up infrastructure (sharing technical resources, server space, applications, etc.), content (open educational resources, textbooks, media, etc.), and pedagogy (syllabi, innovative course practice, research, curriculum, etc). The organizing committee will use these examples to contact various presenters and create a schedule for the day that is rooted in what’s happening on the ground. The event will be about augmenting and amplifying the best of what’s already out there.

Who Should Attend?

This conference has been designed to help provide direction and focus to OpenVa.  The three primary areas we have identified—infrastructure, resources, and pedagogy/curriculum—are all essential to creating and supporting open educational goals.  We have seen some incredible initiatives taking place across the state.  Educators, administrators, and legislators all have a hope and a vision for more open and accessible education.  Individually, educators at various Virginia Institutions have put together some amazingly creative courses using open content.  Administrators have supported policies that allow for open educational opportunities and legislators have looked for ways to incentivize open policies.

We believe that all constituencies need to come together to look at the challenges of building an infrastructure around open from a 360 degree view.  Our hope is that together we can build something that will be stronger and more far-reaching than even the most influential, individual effort.

To that end this conference welcomes administrators, educators, legislators, librarians and learning technologists:

  • who have put together successful individual initiatives that they would like to expand or scale
  • who know, or want to know, how to support an Open educational initiative
  • who understand the importance of an Open Initiative and want to get a better understanding of how ‘Open’ is currently being deployed throughout Virginia.
  • who believe in the promise of ‘Open’ but don’t know where to get started or how to sustain an open initiative once it gets started.
  • who want to learn how to to form and write policy for open education.

Objectives of the event:

  1. To create an understanding of the role that OpenVA can enhance higher education in Virginia by addressing the increasing costs of textbooks and creating a more flexible and effective community and resources that increase the value of a VA college degree.
  2. To identify both barriers to and opportunities for implementing OpenVA at the state and institution levels.
  3. To equip participants to return to their institutions and become change agents to effect these changes.
  4. To create a framework and initiate actions that will guide state policy regarding OpenVA