Open Educational Resources (OER) 2021 Grant Projects

** This grant is offered in partnership between CLT and Dalhousie Libraries through the support of Dalhousie’s Strategic Initiative Funding


An Inclusive Applied Ethics Primer: A Global Approach to the Basics of Ethical Thinking

Dr. Letitia Meynell, Associate Professor, Department of Philosophy, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Amount: $3,601.09

Project Abstract

Every applied ethics course requires some brief introduction, survey, or primer on ethical theory. At the same time, spending too much time on normative ethical theory can take precious course time away from the applied issues that are the raison d’être of the course. A number of authors have developed ethics primers as part of textbooks but these tend to have two flaws. First, they tend to be specific to their applied ethics subdiscipline. Second, they tend to be Eurocentric.

In this project, I will complete a 20,000-25,000 word Applied Ethics Primer, which takes a global perspective and which could be integrated into any applied ethics course. I plan to publish this online through Dalhousie’s OER. I will also investigate the possibility of developing a companion resource that invites others to share case studies from different applied ethics subdisciplines, in effect, crowd sourcing teaching materials for applied ethics

Research Methods and Evidence-based Practice for Occupational Therapists

Dr. Sorayya Askari, Assistant Professor, School of Occupational Therapy, Faulty of Health
Amount: $4,801.46

Project Abstract

The audience of most existing research methodology textbooks are researchers who need to learn about the best study design that can answer their research question and how they can conduct a research study. Occupational Therapy (OT) is a practice-based profession that needs the therapist to engage in evidence-based practice. Therefore, the OT students need to gain skills to be able to locate the relevant evidence, critically appraise them, and inform their clinical practice based on the evidence. Currently, there is a mismatch between the needs of OT students and the content of existing research methods textbooks. The use of non-OT examples and the cost of these textbooks are of main reasons for OT students not to refer to these textbooks. Therefore, the goal of this project is to develop an open educational resource for OT students to serve as the textbook for research courses that can be freely accessed.

Canadian Business Communication for Success

Dr. Linda R. MacDonald, University Teaching Fellow, Rowe School of Business, Faculty of Management
Amount: $4,790.29

Project Abstract

This Business Communication OER prepares Commerce students for the verbal and written communication demands of the workplace. The  OER adapts two existing OERs, one on business communication and one on web literacy. The OER will supplement these works with originally developed material as well as student-written scenarios and writing samples. The new OER will address current issues in business communication including the use of pronouns in business writing, the use of land acknowledgments in presentations, and culturally sensitive vocabulary. The result will be an innovative textbook that addresses modern communication forms, practices inclusivity, incorporates the essential skills of web literacy, benefits from the experience of students in the field, and situates the work in a Canadian context.

Canadian Legal Research Skills: A Practical Approach

Hannah Steeves, Reference & Instruction Librarian, Sir James Dunn Law Library, Schulich School of Law
Amount: $4,900.84

Project Abstract

The Canadian Legal Research Skills: A Practical Approach addresses the foundational knowledge and practical skills required to conduct comprehensive legal research in the Canadian context. The subject matter includes a broad overview of the Canadian legal system, sources of Canadian law, the legal research process, and legal information literacy. The content is ideal for individuals who are new to legal research and educators in a variety of disciplines and settings. This Open Educational Resources (OER) includes embedded interactive and visual components such as practice questions, quizzes, and charts. As the body of common law evolves and secondary sources adapt to the digital environment, Canadian Legal Research Skills serves as an openly available and interactive “living” option in a constantly changing legal landscape. Canadian Legal Research Skills is updated regularly and is distributed using the Creative Commons Attributions ShareAlike 4.0 License.

Canadianization and Indigenization of Introduction to Psychology and Neuroscience

Dr. Leanne Stevens, University Teaching, Department of Psychology & Neuroscience, Faculty of Science Fellow
Dr. Jennifer Stamp, University Teaching Fellow, Department of Psychology & Neuroscience, Faculty of Science
Amount: $1,920.58

Project Abstract

In the spring of 2020, the Open textbook Introduction to Psychology & Neuroscience was successfully launched at Dalhousie. To date, the use of an open textbook in the Introduction to Psychology & Neuroscience program at Dal, has saved students more than $150,000 (approx.). Since its launch, we have sought feedback from students about the usability, quality, and course integration of the book. From student feedback, one area of concern has been repeatedly mentioned – the need for Canadian-centric examples and content. The current project aims to update and edit our textbook to include Canadian examples, contributions, and perspectives. Importantly, Indigenous voices have historically been absent from many Canadian Introduction to Psychology texts. We hope to (1) prioritize highlighting the contributions of Indigenous Peoples (specifically in Canada) in the fields of Psychology and Neuroscience, and (2) acknowledge injustices committed against Indigenous Peoples, within the context of the content covered in an Introductory course.