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Fellowship blog post #3. Equity, Inclusion and Australian Open Educational Practices.

As the year draws to an end I’m grateful for the support I’ve received from the GO-GN network to develop my current and future research projects to progress equity and inclusion within Open Educational Practices.

I’m continuing to work with Amanda White from the University of Technology, Sydney as she develops an Australian version of an open textbook for 2 accounting subjects. Amanda is wanting to localise the text and at the same time help students come to grips with a new graduate attribute – social responsibility and indigenous knowledge recognition. We met with another GO-GN alumni, Jo Funk to help Amanda navigate a way into indigenous knowledge recognition in her textbook, in a way that is suitable to the accounting profession and doesn’t overwhelm the many international students. This is a work in progress – something that both Amanda and I continue to discuss.

We have developed and then received research ethics approval which will help us collect data on this project – from students who will act as peer-reviewers of the new/edited chapters of the modified textbook, and from the next round of students who will use it to support their class/online learning. We will also be able to use data from our own reflections as educators via a collaborative ethnographic digital process of textual and audio notes. The research will ask students about their use, experience and the impact of the free/open textbook and if we the way we’ve integrated content relating to social responsibility and indigenous knowledge has helped them to feel more prepared for socially and culturally responsible conversations in future workplaces. I hope the research work we do also helps illuminate the open textbook journey for academics who want to do better with various kinds of updating the content including indigenous knowledge recognition – but are not too sure how to go about it.

I also had a chance to engage fellow GO-GN alumni Deb Baff to do a series of sketchnote type illustrations to explain the recommendations of my Australian National Textbook study. These were then incorporated into a major seminar presentation of the findings. While we are still waiting for final approval to publish the final report (I think approval is required from the Federal Education Minister) it has been good to get as many of the interim findings and recommendations out to the sector while there is still so much interest in the topic.

Image: Institutional Policy Recommendations from the Australian National Textbook study CC-BY-SA Sarah Lambert and Deb Baff with thanks to the GO-GN Fellowship project 2021.

Sarah Lambert

PhD thesis "Open Education as Social Justice" (2019). Interested in interdisciplinary theory, methods, mentoring, systematic reviews. Widening HE participation practitioner.

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