• Pedagogy

    5Rs for Open Pedagogy

    I have been thinking about the values and ideals that underpin open pedagogy for me. I say for me because these are personal, subjective, and contextual. This is similar to the concept of open pedagogy itself, which most of us are quite happy to have multiple definitions and understandings of (here’s one take from Robin and me, along with many others curated by the wonderful Maha Bali). In this iteration I am choosing to impose a constraint on my thinking by repurposing David Wiley’s structure of the 5R permissions of open educational resources to form a parallel construction. In doing…

  • OER - Pedagogy

    Openness, Gateways, and Agency

    Consider the following personas: First, picture a faculty member who has just learned about the existence of open educational resources. Imagine that this faculty member then also learns about how many students (including by extension their own) are unable to afford required course materials. Assuming they are able to locate a relevant, good-enough quality, and openly-licensed resource, they may adopt OER in order to dampen the relationship between affordability and performance, motivated by concerns for student access and success. They may learn lessons from this first foray that—if not overly negative—may lead them to make incremental changes to their practice in all of…

  • OER - Pedagogy

    Definitions vs. Foundational Values

    At #OER17 (where the theme was the “Politics of Open”) there were several excellent, vigorous, and thoughtful discussions about borders, boundaries, and the future of the open movement. Between racist legislation that inhibits that free movement of people and xenophobic attempts to withdraw from the global community I can fully understand how definitions are often written or co-opted as instruments of exclusion. After David Wiley first wrote about open pedagogy and I began dabbling with it, I immediately began to notice examples of practice that reflected what I saw as the spirit of openness (if I may use that phrase) but…

  • OER - Open textbooks

    Pragmatism vs. Idealism and the Identity Crisis of OER Advocacy

    In a couple of weeks I will be in Cape Town, presenting at the 2017 OE Global Conference. This blog post is a preview of some of the ideas I will discuss during my talk (which shares the title of this blog post). A longer version of this post is currently under review in Open Praxis. The open education movement has made and continues to make great strides, with the creation, adaptation, and adoption of OER slowly but surely becoming mainstream practice. However, as the adolescent OE movement enters a growth spurt that may see its use as primary courseware triple within five…

  • Pedagogy - Students

    Why have students answer questions when they can write them?

    I recently trialled a new assignment in my Social Psychology class: During each of the 10 weeks when there was no scheduled exam I asked my students to write multiple-choice questions. That’s right, they wrote questions instead of merely answering them. From a pedagogical perspective, I really wanted my students to achieve a deeper level of understanding (e.g., the level it takes in order to craft three plausible distractors). However, this assignment also served a pragmatic purpose in that the open textbook that I use for this course (and that I helped revise) does not yet have a readymade question bank.  By asking my students to craft…