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Submission for Alberta 2030: Building Skills for Jobs Consultation

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  • Executive Summary:
    The following submission responds to many of the questions from the Alberta 2030: Building
    Skills for Jobs - Stakeholder Discussion Workbook and proposes that an important part of a
    modern, innovative, competitive and cost effective provincial post-secondary education system
    is a comprehensive strategy that incorporates the proven benefits of Open Education and Open
    Educational Resources (herein OE/OER). An OE/OER strategy that includes funding of a
    provincial, cross-institutional open education coordinating and funding body - which for the
    purposes of discussion will be called Open Education Alberta (herein OEAB) - will result in
    numerous benefits:

    ● Diminishing barriers to post-secondary education by reducing the cost of educational
    materials and delivering proven cost savings to Albertan students and their families
    ● Eliminating the competitive gap with other major provinces (specifically Ontario and
    British Columbia) which already have their own provincial OE/OER offices
    ● Recognizing the role OE/OER can play in facilitating knowledge mobilizing and sharing
    not only across post-secondary institutions in the province, but also knowledge to
    Alberta’s businesses, not for profits, and individuals across the province
    ● Providing opportunities for Alberta students to develop crucial skills related to a variety of
    21st century skills and competencies including digital literacy, multimedia creation,
    copyright and licensings along with disciplinary skills and knowledges, and
    ● Enhancing the quality of post-secondary education across the province
    ● A significant return on investment for every dollar spent

    As discussed herein, investing in OE/OER with a coordinated, strategic approach via OEAB can
    result in tangible benefits to the post secondary sector and entire province. Furthermore, it is
    crucial that Alberta consider such an approach to stay competitive with other jurisdictions. While
    some direct cost is involved in establishing OEAB, as demonstrated, there is the potential for
    considerable cost savings to Alberta’s students and their families. This submission also
    includes an Appendix ( Appendix I - BCcampus Governance Project: Discussion Paper on
    BCcampus Governance Framework ) which provides further guidance on how an
    implementation and governance model for a provincial strategy and body could be developed.

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    Attribution 4.0 International