Turkstra Chair in Urban Engineering, Civil and Environmental Engineering

My OER projectsNadine Ibrahim

The Sustainability Contribution Project
Connecting Sustainable Cities for the Future

What prompted you to become involved in OER?

I was interested to produce a tangible output that could be shared beyond the course material for the benefit of other students in the course and for the wider community of students and educators. Beyond the initial interest, I also wanted to create an opportunity for students to contribute to a resource, and to have a takeaway of the course beyond their assessments and course notes. The creation of the OER created a new sense of motivation in the class knowing that what will be shared will be seen and used by many others.

What excites you most about your OER project?

The OER projects I worked on with students in two courses, in addition to teaching assistants and class reps are e-books on sustainability topics. Students in the courses were tasked with making a written and visual contribution to sustainability efforts. The e-books showcase their contribution that cover all course topics as they apply to cities around the world. This activity encouraged students to explore sustainable cities, infrastructure, solutions and technologies globally to generate an enriched learning experience and create an opportunity for peer-to-peer learning, and together, they co-created content for the e-books. The OER are connected to my course, CIVE 230: Engineering and Sustainable Development.

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

I do not share these hesitations. I have been a member of a Special Interest Group on Open Education Resources at the Canadian Engineering Education Association for years before the pandemic, and have been on a learning curve regarding OER uses, assessing fit and quality, and identifying the sources of the material. I believe with time the quality of the material and their relevance will improve as more and more people get onboard with OERs.

Can other instructors interested in OER reach out to you?

Yes, at nadine.ibrahim@uwaterloo.ca.

University of Waterloo

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