Categories
open content

Open Curriculum Director Position

If you’re a fan of OER and looking for an awesome job, look no further than the Open High School of Utah! OHSU is hiring a Director of Curriculum and Development to oversee the open curriculum. The job description is below; apply online here.

JOB DESCRIPTION:
Open High School of Utah is now accepting applications for a Director of Curriculum Development. Candidates should have experience in instructional design, instructional technology, or related field. Prior experience working with open source curriculum development is preferred. Position requires exceptional skills utilizing technology in instruction and use of media.

Candidates should hold a valid Utah teaching license, or have the skills and credentials needed to obtain such licensing. Candidates with highly qualified status are preferred.

Salary will be determined based on candidate experience and credentials.

NECESSARY SKILLS:

  • Experience in instructional design, instructional technology, or related field
  • Experience managing one or more successful open educational resource development projects
  • Strong technology skills, use of media and instructional design techniques
  • Maintains Highly Qualified Teacher status and current educational license
  • Good communication and people skills, ability to interact well with others
  • Ability to meet deadlines with creativity, independence and high standards

PERFORMANCE RESPONSIBILITIES:
The Open Curriculum Coordinator is responsible for managing the curriculum at the Open High School of Utah. Responsibilities include but are not limited to:

  • Reports regularly to the Director and provides him/her with oral reports and/or written summaries regarding the status of curriculum and instruction within the school
  • Chairs and assists Teacher Leaders in a systemic review and comprehensive assessment of curriculum and instructional programs
  • Works with the individual Curriculum Teams to assist them in the development, implementation, evaluation and revision of grades 9-12 curriculum
  • Assists the Administration in the development of budgets for curriculum development and evaluation, textbook purchases and staff training
  • Works individually and collectively with staff to ensure that they are properly trained and know how to use the LMS and any relevant technology/programs/applications
  • Provides oversight of special projects as they relate to curricula and instruction
  • Maintaining a complete and current listing of organizations and / or websites that provide access to high quality, appropriate OERs
  • Ensuring that teachers maintain curriculum maps that match relevant Utah Core Curriculum Standards to existing OERs
  • Supervising and training teachers and instructional designers to ensure that OERs fare adapted for instructional effectiveness, age-appropriateness, consistency of tone and style, and general readability
  • Managing the design process, and development of new OERs in coordination with other OHSU staff and teachers when appropriate OERs cannot be located
  • Specifying and developing appropriate, standards-aligned assessments together with other OHSU staff and teachers
  • Maintaining an online collection of official OHSU OERs that is easily accessible by the public according to the prescribed release schedule
  • Overseeing the process for uploading OERs, assessments, and other materials as necessary into the OHSU learning management system
  • Providing LMS-related feedback for future improvements to the system; point of contact for teachers, staff and Agilix
  • Participating in usability testing of OERs and lessons and incorporating results
  • Participating in the Open Curriculum continuous improvement process and research cycles and incorporating results
  • Coordinating the open source aspect of Open Curriculum development, including receiving and managing curriculum contributions from the public people outside the OHSU (volunteers, interns, etc.)
  • Coordinating the efforts of other OHSU curriculum development staff or individuals / organizations contracted to provide curriculum-related services
  • Developing stylistic, coding, and visual standards for content together with professional designers, OHSU staff, and teachers
  • Staying up-to-date on relevant current research and new instructional design approaches and models
  • Representing the OHSU at relevant conferences and meetings
  • Disseminating information about the Open Curriculum through scholarly outlets like peer-reviewed journals and conference presentations
  • Coordinating and finalizing all development within schedule and on budget
  • Completes other tasks as assigned by Director
Categories
open content

Utah and Creative Commons

Last year I began having conversations with Utah public school educators about sharing their educational materials as open educational resources. The conversation generally went like this:

Me: Would you be willing to share the lesson plans and other materials you create with others for them to reuse?

Teacher: Sure!

Me: Great! The best way to do that is by applying this Creative Commons license to your work.

Teacher: A copyright license?

Me: Right. So that others know for certain that they’re allowed to reuse, revise, and redistribute your work.

Teacher: I don’t think I can make copyright assignments. I’m happy to share informally, but when it comes to formal sharing, I don’t know who actually holds the copyright in the materials I create for use in my class. Sorry.

After hearing this a few times I dug into the Utah Administrative Rules to answer the question of who owns the work teachers produce for their own use in their own classrooms. The answer? The issue was not addressed anywhere in the UAR. A call to the State Superintendent’s office and some research by their staff confirmed that there was no explicit statement about who owned the teachers’ work. Consequently, no one knew who could share what with whom.

So, last summer I testified at a meeting of the Interim Education Committee and had a longer conversation with our State Superintendent and one of his staff asking for a new Administrative Rule, explicitly stating that teachers can in fact share their work under open licenses. State Superintendent Larry Shumway then grabbed a hold of the idea and worked on making it happen.

The result is the shiny new Rule R277-111: Sharing of Curriculum Materials by Public School Educators, which includes the following language:

The purpose of this rule is to provide information and assurance to public school educators about sharing materials created or developed by educators primarily for use in their own classes or assignments. The intent of this rule is to allow or encourage educators to use valuable time and resources to improve instruction and instructional practices with assistance from appropriate materials developed by other educators….

Utah educators may share materials under a Creative Commons License and shall be personally responsible for understanding and satisfying the requirements of a Creative Commons License…

The presumption of this rule is that materials may be shared. The presumption is that Utah educators need not seek permission from their employers to share personally-developed materials.

I haven’t done an in-depth review of state policies, but I believe that Utah is one of the first (if not the very first) to formally adopt language (a) saying that teachers are allowed or encouraged to share their educational materials or (b) actually mentioning Creative Commons by name. Many thanks to Superintendent Shumway and his staff for making this happen!