Writing and Communication Advisor, Workshops and Integrated Programs, STEM specialist

My OER projectElisabeth van Stam

Sharing Research in the Age of Misinformation

We just created a series of stand-alone workshops on science communication for an undergraduate audience. They have been designed specifically to be used as asynchronous resource for STEM instructors that want to include a communication component/assignment in their class but may not feel comfortable teaching the subject matter themselves. Workshop topics include fundamentals of science communication, clarity in science communication, exploring online science communication, integrating quantitative data into science communication, and sharing research in the age of misinformation.

What prompted you to become involved in OER?

To support the communication needs of UWaterloo students, the writing and communication centre was looking for an opportunity to develop and expand our resources/programming related to science communication and scholarly communications in STEM disciplines. The 2021 eCampus VLS call for proposals provided that opportunity while simultaneously allowing us to develop collaborative relationships with other communication and science communication experts.

What excites you most about your OER project?

I just completed the WCC's “Fostering Undergraduate Science Communication Skills” project, where we developed five asynchronous workshops for eCampus VLS. These OERs provide instruction on science communication, the communication of science or technology knowledge from an expert to non-expert audience. This project allowed us the exciting opportunity to support students coming to the WCC by expanding our resources and knowledge on STEM focused writing and communication. Additionally, it is an important opportunity to showcase and share the WCC’s communication expertise with other Ontario post-secondary institutions.

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

At this point in time I have no positive/negative feelings about OERs, but would love to learn more about them.

Can other instructors interested in OER reach out to you?

Yes, at evanstam@uwaterloo.ca.

University of Waterloo

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