Assistant Professor, Canada Research Chair, Political Science

My OER projectAlana Cattapan

Welcome to Canadian Politics (always a work in progress)

What prompted you to become involved in OER?

I was tired of costly textbooks in my field that don't cover and do not substantively address the impacts of colonialism (I work in Canadian politics). I have also engaged in OER projects involving Wikipedia to address gaps in what was there.

What excites you most about your OER project?

I'm currently working on a project in collaboration with others called "Welcome to Canadian Politics" which asks students to engage in group work to contribute to an online, open-access introduction to issues in Canadian politics, that aims to include both "mainstream" issues and ideas often left out of conventional textbooks. What excites me most is helping students publish their work online, and collaborating with others to redefine, at least for the project, what constitutes the field (through an introductory text).

A lot of instructors are hesitant about OER. Do you share those hesitations? How do you address them?

It is a lot of work to develop these resources, particularly when we could just buy relevant textbooks. Creating something that is both novel and accessible/open and doing so with students is a significant challenge. For me, thinking about the development of the resource as an ongoing project that will take shape over many years has helped me address my own hesitations...

Can other instructors interested in OER reach out to you?

Yes, at

University of Waterloo

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