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VIVA: 2021 Open and Affordable Course Content Forum

Virginia's Academic Library Consortium

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2021 Open and Affordable Community Forum

Open for All: Expanding Inclusion, Expanding Impact

September 24, 2021 from 10:00 AM - 2:30 PM

Register for the Forum here:

Please note VIVA's Code of Conduct

KEYNOTE: Open education & open capabilities in a time of social change

Catherine Cronin 


The potential benefits of open education are often considered in three areas: improving educational access, enhancing pedagogy and advancing equity. Ample evidence over many years has shown the potential value of open educational resources (OER) and open educational practices (OEP) for sharing and accessing educational resources, designing meaningful forms of assessment, fostering cooperation and collaboration, developing digital/data literacies, and contributing to public knowledge. But openness is not a panacea; it cannot be disentangled from wider efforts to foster learner agency and further equity. During a time when local and global inequalities have been exposed so dramatically, this keynote explores how open educational practices, in a range of diverse contexts, can be useful and meaningful for learners and teachers, for all who support and lead within higher education, and for our wider communities.


Catherine Cronin is Strategic Education Developer at Ireland’s National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education where her work focuses on critical approaches to digital and open education, spanning practice and policy. Involved in teaching, research and advocacy in higher education and in the community for over 30 years, Catherine is a regular contributor to conversations and collaborative projects in the area of open education, within Ireland and globally. You can find Catherine at @catherinecronin and

Featured Plenary: What's Your OERgin (OER origin) Story? Pathways into the Open Education Movement for Women of Color.

Ursula Pike

Six leaders in the Open Education Education Movement, all women of color, share their insights on Open Education and higher education.

Ursula Pike is the Associate Director at the Digital Higher Education Consortium of Texas (DigiTex) and a Creative Writing instructor for Austin Community College. In 2021, she published OERigin Stories: Pathways to Open Education, as part of the SPARC Open Educational Leadership Program. Ursula is a member of the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion committee for the Community College Consortium for Open Educational Resources. Ms. Pike earned her Master’s degree in Economics at Western Illinois University and MFA in Creative Writing from the Institute of American Indian Arts. Ursula is an enrolled member of the Karuk Tribe and the author of An Indian Among Los Indígenas: A Native Travel Memoir (2021).

Time Session
10:00 AM


Steve Litherland, Chair of the VIVA Open and Affordable Course Content Committee (TCC)

10:15 - 11:15

Keynote: Open education & open capabilities in a time of social change

Dr. Catherine Cronin, National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education 

11:15-11:30 Break

Plenary Session: What's Your OERgin (OER origin) Story? 

Ursula Pike, Associate Director at the Digital Higher Education Consortium of Texas, discusses OERigin Stories, her research examining the stories of women of color working in OER, and how Open Education can play a role in system transformation.

12:15-1:00 Lunch

Roundtable Discussions:

Breakout Session One: Collaborative Test Bank Development: Multi-institutional and Pandemic-Style

Anita Walz (Virginia Tech), Eli Jamison (Virginia Tech), Candice Van der Weert, (Cleveland State University), and Mandi Goodsett (Cleveland State University) will share their efforts to create a faculty-access-only test bank aligned to an open textbook, and discuss its benefits for students and faculty alike.

Breakout Session Two: Planning and Creating an Open Educational Resource with Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Mind  

Jiale Hu (Virginia Commonwealth University), Juhong Christie Liu (James Madison University), Melissa Wells (University of Mary Washington), Renee LeClair (Virginia Tech), Liz Johnson (James Madison University) and Andy Peachey (James Madison University) will share their experiences planning and executing VIVA Open Grant projects and discuss the question, “How does planning a project with DEI in mind impact the resource and its use in the classroom?

Breakout Session Three: Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and the Impact of OER in the Classroom

Christine Schull (NOVA), Kimberly Sanders Austin (Southwest Community College), Laurie Massery (Randolph-Macon), Chris Loy (Christopher Newport University), and Kris Paal (Longwood University) will share their efforts using OER in the classroom and discuss ,"How has the move to using OER in the classroom effected your efforts toward equity and inclusion?”  


VIVA Update

Anne Osterman, VIVA Director 


Wrap Up

Dale Dulaney, Chair of the Open and Affordable Community Forum Planning Committee (VWCC)