Call for Proposals

Call for Proposals

Aim and Scope

The purpose of this call is to invite contributions to an experimental variation on the open textbook concept. With a focus on learning design, the resulting digital publication is designed in a manner to permit an ongoing evolution, extension and reframing of the original content in learning environments. Students will continue to add to this resource as part of their coursework in a process of ongoing co-creation in a manner consistent with open licensing and pedagogy. In particular it is designed to encourage student responses from critical perspectives. While the focus of this text is learning design, the model can be adapted to any other field of inquiry where knowledge is continually evolving or problematized and there is a desire to invite and incorporate alternative perspectives in the educational setting.

This invitation represents a later stage in a design-based research project being conducted by the editorial team of this call. Originally introduced as an “untextbook” in its early stages, as a customized WordPress site we are now calling it an open digital learning resource. Both scholars and graduate students are invited to contribute as well as participate in further developing the concept. 

Background

The movement toward open education and other more inclusive pedagogical approaches has created opportunities for  new ways of designing learning experiences in higher education. At the same time, our learning design practices are often influenced by historically embedded approaches and existing legacy artefacts and systems, including textbooks, resources and learning management systems, assessment expectations, institutional boundaries, and traditional course publishing/development models. As learning design professionals and faculty strive to adopt new approaches, including more collaborative and open ways of sharing, there are questions around how traditional tools and spaces that shape our educational systems can meet these pedagogical and epistemological shifts. Learning designers and other learning support specialists encounter tensions in their daily practice, as they try to critically engage with institutionally mandated curriculum, provisioned tools and resources, and the dynamics of their roles as leaders, advocates, and colleagues.

As learning designers who are committed to embracing open educational practice and open pedagogies, our goal for this resource is two-fold. The first is to create a resource that can be used by learning design students and professionals to engage with ideas to critically examine contemporary practice and learning design issues. The second is to create a model for an inclusive community developed resource that opens up different kinds of spaces for authoring,  reading and learning. Our hope is that it will be a living community sourced-resource, where students and professionals continue to iterate, expand and reframe issues through extended responses and new contributions. Through the development and planning for this resource we have been grappling with the following questions as we consider both the content and the design of the resource itself:

  • How can we build open pedagogy and other critical approaches into the design of educational resources so that students can contribute more effectively?
  • How can the design of educational resources challenge the structures, roles and hierarchies encountered in traditional learning environments?
  • How can we design resources that can help challenge traditional notions, processes and roles of the learning designer?
  • As learning designers are inspired to change practice in response to more critical approaches, what are the practices and issues that they will encounter or need to consider?  
  • What does learning design look like in different settings?

It is our hope to create spaces that will allow for multiple modalities, diverse contributions, and varied structures. Beyond open licensing, how can the traditional textbook/resource form evolve to support the interactivity, agency, and accessibility needed to enable spaces that honor multiple voices and perspectives, co-create knowledge and challenge traditional roles and hierarchies supported in open pedagogical approaches? We have based the design for the resource on community feedback.  We hope that it can lead to a more open and participatory platform for digital resource development that will provide some opportunity to move beyond the hierarchical and linear ordering of content, and to move beyond dominant western epistemologies and knowledge sharing traditions. Two examples of variations on the concept we are exploring is 25 Years of Ed Tech (https://25years.opened.ca/), and the RavenSpace project at UBC (https://ravenspacepublishing.org). 

Important Information for Potential Contributors

The editorial team (Harrison, DeVries, Morgan, Paskevicius) will review all submissions and serve as the resource’s editors. To provide more background and to review the publication platform we are planning to organize a kick-off meeting in December. Contributors will also be invited to participate in further supportive writing and brainstorming sessions throughout the winter. 

The resource will be published under a CC-BY open content license (for more on Creative Commons licenses, see: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/). This license lets others distribute, remix, tweak, and build upon this work, even commercially, as long as they credit the author(s) for the original creation. This is the most accommodating of the creative commons licenses offered and is recommended for maximum dissemination and use of licensed materials. 

Expressions of Interest: What to Include and How to Submit

Expressions of interest should be submitted in the form of a maximum 300-word submission and should include:

  • A working title;
  • Your own setting and position as a graduate student or scholar;
  • Brief description of your idea for a contribution and its relevance to one of the themes listed or a topic in learning design and your own setting;  
  • Description of how the contribution can support further development from alternative perspectives in the educational setting

If you have any questions about any aspect of the project please email mharrison@tru.ca. 

To submit an expression of interest, please fill out the form at the end of this post.

Should your proposal be accepted by the editors, you will be asked to develop your idea into a contribution draft. Please see the “Contribution Guidelines” and “Peer Review” sections below for further information.

Contribution Guidelines

One of the goals of the resource is to expand the scope and inclusiveness of the textbook, and to bring student voices into the ongoing process of developing educational content in an open resource. We are looking for contributions either in text or other media (audio/video) that could be used as a prompt for discussion and discourse around topics related to critical approaches to design. We are particularly interested in areas of design where change is needed or is happening. In a short essay or audio/video file, we are asking contributors to  provide a descriptive overview of the learning design challenge associated with any one (or more) of the following dimensions that others can respond to and extend in different ways: 

  • Issues – Topics and areas of concern that require further thought and development in theory and/or practice
  • Lenses – An issue or topic can be framed by a particular lens, such as decolonization, historical justice, anti-racism and other such anti-oppressive perspectives that centre on alternative narratives. 
  • Role perspectives – Different roles can have an impact on the interests and perspectives of learning designers, as roles are impacted by systems, hierarchies, and power.  
  • Settings – Different settings may impact the role of the learning designer and the possibilities for design. For instance, learning design in higher education is often quite different from the corporate world or within government. 

Textual contributions should be limited to between 750-1500 words, video/audio contributions should be no longer than 15 minutes. 

The following topic areas are of particular interest:

  • Designing for open platforms and tools
  • Assessment
  • Learning design in different settings (HE, corporate, public service, etc,)
  • Leadership in learning design  
  • Open pathways for learning – outcomes and frameworks
  • Learning design from various worldviews
  • Open pedagogies and practices
  • Inclusive and/or Universal Designs for Learning
  • Scale, space and place in digital design
  • Data, surveillance and privacy

Peer Review Process 

The original contributions will go through an open peer-review process, where constructive feedback will be provided by other contributors and the editorial team. 

Criteria for peer review

  • Respectful of diversity and all people and cultures
  • Represents credible research and knowledge
  • Coherent development of ideas
  • Well written and argued
  • Puts forward a position or question suitable for a classroom discussion and further development
  • Acknowledges other resources used
  • Permits open licensing of content 

Submission Procedures and Due Dates

ElementsDatesTasks
Expression of InterestNovember 29th, 2021Write a short proposal (no more than 300 words) describing the focus for your provocation or topic
NotificationsDecember 3rd, 2021Editorial team will review submissions and notify contributors 
Kick off meetingWeek of December 6-10th Contributors and the editorial team will meet to review platform and discuss focus
Collaborative meetingsTBD (January-March 2022)2-3 synchronous meets to discuss learning design approaches/issues
Final SubmissionMarch 11, 2021 A final version of the contribution will be submitted
Open Peer reviewApril 2022Contributors will be asked to participate in the peer review process 
First iteration publishedJune 2022 

Criteria for Inclusion and Cultural Diversity 

We seek contributions from participants around the globe. We strongly encourage researchers and graduate students from varied cultural and social backgrounds to submit their work.


Submission Form

Please fill out the following form to submit a proposal for this resource.
Please provide some background about your role
Please provide the following (maximum 300 words): Brief description of your idea for a contribution and its relevance to one of the themes listed or a topic in learning design and your own setting; Description of how the contribution can support further development for alternative perspectives in the educational setting
Please provide email(s) for corresponding contributor(s)


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