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Open Pedagogy

“Pedagogy is not about training, it is about critically educating people to be self-reflective, capable of critically addressing their relationship with others and with the larger world. Pedagogy in this sense provides not only important critical and intellectual competencies; it also enables people to intervene critically in the world.”Henry Giroux

What is Open Pedagogy?

“To define open pedagogy, we need to break it down into its two components, open and pedagogy: Open, in this instance, refers to open educational resources (OER) – defined by UNESCO as “any type of educational materials that are in the public domain or introduced with an open license.”  Pedagogy is the practice and method of teaching; how we teach, rather than what we teach. Open pedagogy, also known as open educational practices (OEP), is the use of open educational resources (OER) to support learning, or the open sharing of teaching practices with a goal of improving education and training at the institutional, professional, and individual levels. When you use open pedagogy in your classroom, you are inviting your students to be part of the teaching process, participating in the co-creation of knowledge.” – BCcampus OpenEd

Open Educational Practices, “OEP are defined as “collaborative practices that include the creation, use, and reuse of OER, as well as pedagogical practices employing participatory technologies and social networks for interaction, peer-learning, knowledge creation, and empowerment of learners” (Cronin, 2017, p. 18). Through OEP, students engage in participatory pedagogies to create OER with emphasis on open licenses (Ehlers, 2011). Open pedagogy emerged as the demonstration of OEP within the context of teaching and learning.  – “Affordances, challenges, and impact of open pedagogy: examining students’ voices,” Distance Education, 2020, VOL. 41, NO. 2, pg.230-244, by Evrim Baran and Dana AlZoubi. 

Why is it beneficial?

To Students:

  1. Students view it as positive and meaningful, they take greater pride in their work when they know it will be of benefit to others, and students report better critical thinking skills as a result. – Open Pedagogy: A Systematic Review of Empirical Findings
  2. Students find self-reflection beneficial to the learning experience. They find scaffolding projects make it easier to understand and accomplish.  Students believe workshops on OER and licensing are critical to their success in creating their own OER. All students felt they had developed a higher sense of agency by constructively contributing to their own learning while curating content, engaging in a community, and designing OER materials. – “Affordances, challenges, and impact of open pedagogy: examining students’ voices,” Distance Education, 2020, VOL. 41, NO. 2, pg.230-244, by Evrim Baran and Dana AlZoubi. 

To Faculty: 

  1. It increases student retention and performance.
  2. It promotes academic freedom to modify or add content to courses.
  3. It can support a scholarship of teaching and learning portfolio. – Iowa State University

What are the challenges/disadvantages?

  1. Instructors will need to take time to train students about what OERs and Open Pedagogy are, how licensing relates to the Creative Commons and how to contribute resources to it, how to identify credible sources, as well as how to effectively peer review their classmates.
  2. Instructors will need to create renewable assignments which may take additional time to research, plan, and create; this might also include additional planning to establish groups, rubrics, peer-review structure, and being cognizant of equity issues for students around technology access, skill, and knowledge.
  3. Not all students want to share their OER with the world and should be given a choice in that. – “Affordances, challenges, and impact of open pedagogy: examining students’ voices,” Distance Education, 2020, VOL. 41, NO. 2, pg.230-244, by Evrim Baran and Dana AlZoubi. 

How can this be implemented?

You can start learning more about open pedagogy by reviewing additional resources such as:

You can also:

  1. Check the Faculty Development Calendar for training and workshop opportunities.
  2. Contact the library for curation of resources.
  3. Speak to colleagues who are already using Open Pedagogy in their own courses.
  4. Research the leaders in the field of OER and Open Pedagogy to learn from them.