Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Be it Resolved that all Knowledge be Open

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You're Invited! University of Alberta’s Open Education Week Event 2017

Thursday March 30, 12:30-1:30pm, Cameron Library Rm 4-02

In support of the global Open Education Week 2017 (March 27-31) a one hour panel discussion will be hosted at the University of Alberta. The discussion is themed on the statement “Be it resolved that all knowledge be open” and will feature several perspectives from across campus critically discussing and reflecting on openness in education at the University of Alberta.

Openness in education is focused on eliminating barriers that inhibit the use of knowledge, and includes a variety of open alternatives – open source software, open access scholarly publishing, open research data and open educational resources. Collectively these open alternatives come together under the ideas of open scholarship and open education. All of these opens have their roots in the academy’s values and tradition of the free exchange of knowledge.

The University of Alberta as a public institution has a clear role and commitment to making the work of its faculty available to the public. This sentiment is reflected in the University’s promise made by the University’s first president, Henry Marshall Tory, in 1908:

"The modern state university has sprung from a demand on the part of the people themselves….The people demand that knowledge shall not be the concern of scholars alone. The uplifting of the whole people shall be its final goal. This should never be forgotten."

The new institutional strategic plan, For the Public Good, reaffirms this commitment stating: “When we excel, our work sparks and feeds widespread social, cultural, and economic benefits for others—indeed for the uplifting of the whole people,” and Objective 12 (iii) states, “Encourage and facilitate knowledge and technology transfer to ensure that society can realize the benefits of intellectual capital arising from research and creative endeavours.” Finally, the University’s collective agreement with Faculty defines service, in part, as “dissemination of knowledge to the general public by making available the staff members expertise and knowledge of the discipline.”

Given the apparent alignment between open education and the University’s own promise, plan and collective agreement, to what degree and how should faculty be open scholars?


Amanda Wakaruk, MLIS, MES, is the Copyright Librarian at the University of Alberta. Prior to this, she worked as a Government Information Librarian and has held secondment positions in data and digital repository services at two major Canadian universities.

Dr. Geoffrey Rockwell is currently the Director of the Kule Institute for Advanced Study and also teaches in the MA in Humanities Computing. He has published on textual visualization and analysis, and computing in the humanities including a book from the MIT Press, Hermeneutica: Computer-Assisted Interpretation in the Humanities (2016) and is a co-developer of Voyant Tools, a suite of text analysis tools, and leads the TAPoR project documenting text tools.

Dr. Samer Adeeb is currently an associate professor in Civil and Environmental Engineering. He started at the assistant professor level in 2007. Prior to that, Samer finished his Ph.D. at the University of Calgary, worked in the pipeline industry, which was followed by a short post-doc period at the Human Performance Laboratory at the University of Calgary. Samer's research expertise is in numerical modelling applied to Biomechanics and pipelines. Samer has always been a proponent of open education. In particular, he is excited about using online web tools for creating interactive web content for engineering education. The contents of the courses he teaches: CivE 398, CivE 295, CivE 664, and CivE 665 are available online at: He also worked with the Centre for Teaching and Learning to create online lectures that are available on the web to augment his classes:

Dr. Sean Gouglas is a Professor in Humanities Computing and Senior Director of Interdisciplinary Studies in the Faculty of Arts. He is also the co-director of UAlberta’s new computer game development certificate program, which brings together students in computing science, art, music and design to build and study computer games. Dr. Gouglas' research focuses on the relationship between universities and the computer game industry in Canada, especially as it relates to curriculum development. He also studies how gender shapes the production and consumption of video games.

Gerald Beasley was appointed Vice-Provost and Chief Librarian on July 1, 2013. His previous library experience includes leadership positions at the Canadian Centre for Architecture, Montreal; the Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library, Columbia University, New York; and Concordia University, Montreal. He has also worked at the Royal Institute of British Architects and the Wellcome Institute for the History of Medicine in London, England. Gerald is a graduate of Oxford University (M.A., English Lang. & Lit.) and University College, London (M.A., Library Studies). He is currently the chair of the Canadian Association of Research Libraries Policy Committee.

We welcome you to join us for a lively discussion and, if interested to join our list serv on Open Educational Resources

More information on Open Educational Resources is linked here.

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