Open Education Global 2022

Engaging Youth in OER Animation Co-creation to Accelerate Vaccine Confidence
05-23, 15:00–15:20 (Europe/Paris), Auditorium 450


The importance of high vaccine confidence for societal health has been amplified through the COVID-19 pandemic. Through a Canadian joint agency (NSERC, SSHRC, CIHR) Promoscience grant Canadian researchers from Athabasca University addressed aspects of encouraging youth vaccination confidence. As parents of the future, youth will be influential in vaccination choice for themselves, their peers, their eventual children, and extended families. Pairing science literacy skills (First Draft, 2022) with a focus on youth audiences, this Promoscience project created easily sharable open educational resources via natural digital (i.e., ubiquitous and social media) and communal spaces (i.e., school and community groups). Through the use of participatory, collaborative, and digital workspaces, an inter-generational design team co-created animated, educational media and instructor resources by applying the imagination alongside digital and science literacy skills(Johnson, 2019) as part of building vaccine confidence.
Currently, information about vaccines and vaccination is focused on adults, yet teens are also building their beliefs about vaccines and vaccination. To address this need our project embarked upon an ambitious application of open pedagogy (Hegarty, 2015) attributes and involved youth directly as curriculum co-designers. Online collaborations took place for seven months among students and teachers from an online high school, new immigrant youth and organizers from Sikunia, a not-for-profit organization, professional animators, an Athabasca University librarian, and three professors representing science, health, and education. Through a series of trust-building steps and collaborative, online meetings, the youth and adult team members co-created the animation script that applied vaccine experts’ scholarly contributions into a narrative of an imaginary, contemporary Canadian family. The protagonist of the animation explores various aspects of vaccine hesitancy (Rossen et al., 2019) and cognitive biases (Azarpanah et al., 2021) derived from youth examples, with the final script representing major and minor contributions from all co-designers and the collaborative review processes.
From this project, in addition to experiential learning, several benefits have been identified. Youth and their mentors witnessed and participated with integrating art and creative approaches to a health science topic (i.e. Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics, STEAM). They learned the stages of animation from ideation to storyboarding to final product, including the role of review and feedback. The translatable animation, available in both English and French, offer youth accurate (i.e., scientifically rather than opinion based) information presented in a relatable, accessible, and sharable way. For teachers, the OER created may be used: within a subject area such as Biology; a course such as Career and Life Management with its interdisciplinary approach; or across several subjects working toward a transdisciplinary curricular orientation. In addition to free-form digital distributions, these learning resources fill an important curriculum gap and will be available for no cost to high school teachers and counsellors, and community youth groups via an open educational digital repository (i.e., OER Commons). For non-profit youth-oriented organizations, these flexibly designed OER contribute to informal learning contexts about current youth topics and concerns.
This presentation describes the project from inception to its current implementation within the formal secondary/high school classroom and informal, fluid contexts. Challenges and positive highlights inform our retrospective view of co-creating youth-oriented OER that wrestled with scientific and health topics and concerns during the socially charged global pandemic.

Azarpanah, H., Farhadloo, M., Vahidov, R., & Pilote, L. (2021). Vaccine hesitancy: Evidence from an adverse events following immunization database, and the role of cognitive biases. BMC Public Health, 21(1), 1–13.
First Draft. (2022, February 28). Understanding Information disorder [First Draft News]. Understanding Misinformation Disorder.
Hegarty, Bronwyn. (2015). Attributes of open pedagogy: A model for using open educational resources. Educational Technology, 3(13), 3–13.
Johnson, M. (2019, March 21). Reality Check: Getting the Goods on Science and Health [MediaSmarts]. MediaSmarts.
Rossen, I., Hurlstone, M. J., Dunlop, P. D., & Lawrence, C. (2019). Accepters, fence sitters, or rejecters: Moral profiles of vaccination attitudes. Social Science & Medicine, 224, 23–27. APA PsycInfo.

Constance Blomgren is an Associate Professor of Education at Athabasca University, Canada’s Open University. Her background as a K-12 teacher in rural, remote, and northern Canadian locations informs her research and interest in open educational resources and open pedagogy for K-12 teachers and learners. She curates the Blended and Online Learning and Teaching (BOLT) multi-authored website that houses videos and podcasts regarding open pedagogy and Open Educational Resources (OER) for primary and secondary teachers. Her research regarding strengthening K-12 teacher awareness and use of OER and open practices has been published in various journals and book chapters. She also contributes to open scholarship in her role as associate journal editor with the International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning an open access journal that publishes international peer-reviewed research, theory, and practice in open and distributed learning. In addition to researching OER, she studies visual and multi-literacies, participatory technologies, teacher professional learning, and open pedagogy. Contributing to the development of a culturally responsive OER teacher network, from local to global, informs her long-term commitment to high quality and equitable learning opportunities for learners of all ages.