James Glapa Grossklag

James Glapa Grossklag.jpg


James Glapa-Grossklag is Dean, Educational Technology, Learning Resources, and Distance Learning at College of the Canyons, an open access community college in the US.

He has expertise in Open Education, Distance Education, and Accessibility, and has a history of successful leadership of professional associations. In 2018, he was named a “Top 10 Global Influencer in Open Education” for the past decade.

James has been elected President of a state association (Directors of Educational Technology in California Higher Education); a national organization (Community College Consortium for Open Educational Resources); and a global consortium (Open Education Consortium, where he also served as Treasurer).

Other leadership includes Vice Chair of the Board of Directors of Intelecom and Board Member of the Instructional Technology Council. He has significant experience in accreditation and quality assurance of distance learning. James is an expert in accessibility of online learning.

He directs a grant program that supports 114 California Community Colleges in making online courses accessible through captioning and transcription. He teaches a course for faculty on creating accessible online courses and speaks regularly at conferences on this topic. He coordinates the California Zero Textbook Cost grant program, supporting 23 California Community Colleges developing pathways that students can complete using only OER (Z-degrees).

Under his leadership, his college has developed 6 Z-degrees, leading to greater student success and completion. He has served as a trainer on OER for the US government in Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and Tunisia. He has been an invited keynote on OER in the US, Poland, Japan, and Taiwan. This October, he will be Innovation Scholar in Residence at RMIT University (Melbourne).

Regarding ICDE activities, James was co-host of the 2015 High Level Policy Forum (Pretoria). Since 2017, he has been a member of the OER Global Advocacy Committee. In 2018, he was a featured speaker at the Open Education Leadership Summit (Paris). In 2019 he was a featured speaker for the ICDE webinar on the UNESCO OER Recommendation. He delivered presentations at ICDE World Conferences in 2015 (Sun City) and 2017 (Toronto), and is scheduled for 2 sessions in 2019 (Dublin). Before joining College of the Canyons, he was a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Cologne (Germany) and taught at Adam Mickiewicz University (Poland). He earned a BA in history from Illinois Wesleyan University (US), an MA in Humanities from the University of Chicago (US), a Certificate in Culture from Jagiellonian University (Poland), and a Certificate in Change Leadership from Cornell University (US). He earned the rank of Professor of History, and has taught online, hybrid, and face-to-face for 20 years. His languages are English, German, and Polish.

Vision for ICDE:

As a global network, ICDE can explicitly promote equity, diversity, and inclusion amongst all peoples and regions. This can range from a commitment to featuring and supporting diverse speakers at ICDE events to promoting inclusive practices in teaching and learning. These practices must also recognize our many learners who are disabled and who benefit from universal design for learning and accessible instructional materials. 

In the near future, learning organizations will need to implement responses to the alliance of educational technology vendors and surveillance products. The recent ICDE report “Global Guidelines: Ethics in Learning Analytics” is an excellent example of the leadership role that the ICDE can play. I will support continued research and action around emergent topics. 

We witness great successes of Open Education in many regions of the world, including via the UNESCO OER Recommendation. However, the great majority of Open Educational Resources (OER) are produced in English. The great majority of OERs shared outside one region are produced in the Global North. As Open Education continues to grow, I encourage ICDE to lead discussions around how to share knowledge without reproducing colonial structures.

Another emerging topic will be the role of artificial intelligence and automation. In some learning organizations, algorithms and analytics are replacing human interaction. How do educators respond to the promises of scale made by the educational technology industry? At what point do we educators prioritize human beings over machines? I believe that ICDE’s history of independent research will permit ICDE to lead the global discussion on this topic.

Colleagues in state, national, and global education associations have elected me to lead these organizations. I have served as Treasurer and Board Member of other education associations. I have carefully managed the budgets of non-profit associations, successfully raised funds to expand operations, written winning grant proposals to support new projects, and repeatedly organized and hosted conferences with record-breaking attendance and sponsorship. With this experience, I possess the experience and knowledge to support responsible governance of ICDE.