Open Education Resources & Pedagogies

OPEN – 9200

I am now in Week 4 of the second course of KPU’s Professional Program in Open Education. If you haven’t checked it out yet, I highly recommend it.

In this second course, we have been exploring concepts around OER & associated pedagogies. I have been involved in OER work since about 2018. Although many of the open practices have been part of my personal teaching pedagogy for many years. I did not think about them as OPEN. Still, definitions that are challenging for me to describe to others are the differences between Open Educational Practices and Open Educational Pedagogy.

Cronin (2019) posits that Open depends on the context and is continually negotiated. DeRosa and Jhangiani (2018) describe open pedagogy as a point where multiple educational, technology, and social justice theories come together to inform praxis and are negotiated and constantly in revision. In a simple definition with layers of complexity, I am leaning towards describing Open Educational Pedagogies as a group of pedagogies that combine to underpin the principles of Open Educational Practices. This is congruent with my experience of unknowingly using Open Educational Practices in my teaching pedagogy before I came to think about OPEN as its own discipline.

The assignment that I am sharing today is the accumulation of two projects. I like how it was scaffolded with the first project asking us to think about future aspirations for a future OER project, an annotated bibliography, and a connection to social justice, racial equity or cultural relevance. The annotated bibliography was helpful and, moving forward, something I will do for all my writing projects. Describing the license for each reference solidified my understanding of the creative commons licenses and how I could utilize them in Assignment 4.3: Assessment: Open Pedagogy Plan.

Assignment 4.3 Assessment: Open Pedagogy Plan

This assignment is a plan for a renewable assignment specifically for: Voices from the Community: Enhancing Therapeutic Communication for Health Care Administrators OER project in development. However, the instructions could be repurposed and utilized for other disciplines beyond Therapeutic Communication for Health Care Administrators. Please see below the renewable assignment opportunity. I welcome your comments and feedback.

Renewable Assignment Opportunity: Voices from the Community: Enhancing Therapeutic Communication for Health Care Administrators.

Introduction

In February 2022, Therapeutic Communication for Health Care Administrators Digital Textbook and companion Game Simulations were published. The projects were made possible with funding from the Government of Ontario and through eCampus Ontario’s support of the Virtual Learning Strategy. A new companion resource project is in development, and you may be interested in contributing.

This project is an opportunity to expand upon the Therapeutic Communication for Health Care Administrators collection by inviting educators and learners to share what they would find helpful (when communicating with Health Care Administrators) based on their experiences, cultural expectations, and differing abilities. Health Care Administrators are often the first person that people seeking health care communicate with. That initial communication can influence the success of people seeking health care will have their needs met (Carter, Rutherford, Stevens, 2020).

The Invitation

We invite educators preparing learners for roles as Health Care Administrators to incorporate this project opportunity as a renewable assignment in their classes. A renewable assignment is an assignment, activity, or task where learners are invited to license and share their work in the open (Katz & Van Allen, n.d.). This differs from disposable assignments, where an assignment is submitted, graded, and rarely shared (Wiley, 2013).

Learners must understand Creative Commons’ licensing options and have the choice to not share publicly or openly license their assignment without peer pressure and with no fear of it impacting their grades. Cronin (2019) posits that open is complex; by providing choices when people will share their work, we nurture digital literacy as people consider the implications of sharing their work for themselves. Katz & Van Allen (n.d.) suggests a class discussion with learners about open sharing with options for sharing or not. We recommend inviting your institution’s copy-right and creative commons library specialist(s) to discuss licensing options and answer questions.

The Goals of the Project:

  • Create opportunities for learners to have their lived experiences validated, learn from other learners, and then apply what they have learned in the context of their role as Health Care Administrators.
  • Provide opportunities to hear from more voices with greater representation than was possible in the first publishing of Therapeutic Communication for Health Care Administrators.
  • Maintain a dynamic resource utilizing the Pressbooks Publishing platform where contributions are updated regularly, and that resource becomes part of the Therapeutic Communication for Health Care Administrators collection.  

The Value Proposition:

This renewable assessment opportunity is one example of integrating open educational practices with social justice principles. Utilizing Lambert’s (2018) comparison chart, we propose that this project is a form of redistributive justice providing a free resource to those that need one, recognitive justice because it will include diverse experiences, and representational justice as the project will facilitate equal opportunities for sharing and validating experiences for those that may not otherwise have opportunities to do so. These principles align with the importance of enhancing therapeutic communication for health care administrators because people seeking health care are from the same diverse populations as learners and educators.

Project Resources:

Project Instruction Template Example

Contact:

To learn more about the project and how you and your learners can participate, please reach out to Kim Carter through email: kcarter@conestogac.on.ca

References

Carter, K., Rutherford, M., & Stevens, C. (2022) Welcome. Therapeutic Communication for Health Care Administrators https://ecampusontario.pressbooks.pub/therapeuticcommunicationforhealthofficeadministrators/front-matter/introduction/

Cronin. C. (2019). Open education: Walking a critical path. In D. Conrad, & P. Prinsloo (Eds.), Open(ing) Education: Theory and Practice. Leiden: Brill.

DeRosa, R., & Jhangiani, R. (2018). Open pedagogy. In Open pedagogy notebook (CC BY 4.0). http://openpedagogy.org/open-pedagogy/

Katz, S., & Van Allen, J. (n.d.) Evolving into the Open: A Framework for Collaborative Design of Renewable Assignments. Open Pedagogy Approaches. Retrieved from Evolving Into the Open: A Framework for Collaborative Design of Renewable Assignments – Open Pedagogy Approaches (geneseo.edu)

Lambert, S. R. (2018). Lambert, S. R. (2018). Changing our (Dis)Course: A Distinctive Social Justice Aligned Definition of Open Education. Journal of Learning for Development5(3), 225-244.https://jl4d.org/index.php/ejl4d/article/view/290/334

Wiley, D (2013) What is Open Pedagogy? Improving Learning. https://opencontent.org/blog/archives/2975

6.3 Assignment Two: Applying A Critical Approach

Theory and Philosophy of Open Education (OPEN9100) Final Assignment Summary of Instructions:

Produce a list of design principles or key considerations (by drawing on course readings) that could support the adoption of Open Educational Practices (OEP) for more equitable approaches to teaching and learning.

Situating Myself

My set of key considerations is situated as a new administrator leading OER development, creating ongoing processes and resources to grow and guide OER creation at a higher-ed institution.  For me, this includes Open Educational Practices (OEP) and, in the context of this assignment, focuses on open practices that can provide equitable approaches to learning and teaching.

Why Learning Before Teaching?

I use learning before teaching intentionally because long before I knew about constructivism and this approach to teaching, I always thought that the teacher is not the only person that can contribute to knowledge-making. For me, transformative learning occurs when the person named teacher/professor/instructor actively engages with the people named learners to co-construct meaning, learn from, and teach each other. Bali M. et al. (2020, para 6) propose that a constructivist approach ensures relevancy while fostering learning communities.

Key Considerations and Related Questions

Representation

My first two key considerations focus on Representation. For me, this means diverse perspectives are included by inviting the participants to OER work. Representation also applies to the content of OER material that goes beyond images and includes the representation of voices as active participants in OER development and processes. Veletsianos, G. (2020) argues that we can not assume that Open is inherently equitable and that we must scrutinize our practices, or we risk missing out on the equity benefits espoused by open advocates and, worse, may perpetuate inequities. Diversifying the content of OER to include representation of a mix of people supports equity in education, and it can be one example of Recognitive Justice (marginalized and underrepresented people are seen and legitimized) and Representational Justice (marginalized and underrepresented people speak for themselves) (Lambert S. & Czerniewicz, L., 2020).

  1. Representation in participation in open initiatives
    • What opportunities and resources are available to invite participants from under-represented and marginalized groups into OER/OEP initiatives?
    • How do we identify and support the people who have been under-represented and marginalized so they can participate in a way that is meaningful to them?
  2. Representation in OER adoption, adaptation, and creation
    • When supporting the adoption of OER into courses, how do we support the labour of resource review to ensure multiple perspectives are represented in the course materials?
    • When supporting the adaptation and creation of OER for course material, how do we embed (in our workflow) the inclusion of marginalized and underrepresented people?

Open Educational Practices: Open Sharing

My next key considerations focus on asking people to share openly. Cronin (2017) posits that it is important to support learners and faculty in navigating the tensions that open sharing has with privacy concerns. Singh (2015) suggests that we miss people’s perspectives when we do not have safe and inclusive spaces. It has been my own experience that it depends on the context when I decide when and how much I will share. I have witnessed the hesitancy of others to share what I perceive as fear of judgment. Still, I must continually scrutinize that perception because it is an assumption and is not the only reason people hesitate or do not share.

  1. Assess the risk of open sharing
    • What processes are in place or need to be put in place to address risks that open sharing may cause for people
  2. Open is not fully open or fully closed.
    • Have we created options for people to participate safely, and how will they and we know?
  3. Has training been provided for people to make an informed decision about open sharing?
    • Licensing training
    • Social media training
    • Time to evaluate what it means to share openly

The Digital Divide

Open Educational Resources (OER) are largely digital and often require internet access to utilize interactive components and a device to download or read online. When those options are not available, then access to a printer or printing company to make hard copies is needed. A large part of my work around OER has been ensuring learners have access to their learning material at the beginning of a course. Lambert’s (2018) example of OER being a form of Redistributive Justice ( providing learners with free educational resources when they may not have been able to afford them) aligns with my OER work. However, understanding that socio-economic conditions may preclude learners from accessing digital resources, even free ones, is another barrier for my consideration list.

  1. How do we ensure offline options are available when people cannot access the internet and/or devices?
    • Are print copies made available?
    • Are downloads on devices made available?
    • Are these alternative formats accessible?

References

Bali, M., Cronin, C., & Jhangiani, R. S. (2020). Framing Open Educational Practices from a Social Justice Perspective. Journal of Interactive Media in Education2020(1), 10. DOI: http://doi.org/10.5334/jime.565

Cronin, C. (2017) Open Education, Open Questions. Open at The Margins. https://press.rebus.community/openatthemargins/chapter/open-education-open-questions/

Lambert, S. and Czerniewicz, L., 2020. Approaches to Open Education and Social Justice Research. Journal of Interactive Media in Education, 2020(1), p.1. DOI: http://doi.org/10.5334/jime.584

Lambert, S. R. (2018). Changing our (Dis)Course : A Distinctive Social Justice Aligned Definition of Open Education. Journal of Learning for Development https://jl4d.org/index.php/ejl4d/article/view/290/334

singh, s. (2015) The Fallacy of Open. Open at The Margins. https://press.rebus.community/openatthemargins/chapter/the-fallacy-of-open/

Veletsianos, G, (2020). Open educational resources: expanding equity or reflecting and furthering inequities?. Education Tech Research Dev 69, 407–410 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11423-020-09840-y

Licensed CC-BY-NC-SA unless otherwise indicated

Epilogue

This first course in the KPU Professional OPEN program has me looking forward to Open Educational Resources and Pedagogies (OPEN-9200) starting Monday. I wish to thank Irwin Devries for his thoughtful audio reflections, which solidified my learning. For my co-learners, thoughtful posts and prodding questions made me dig deeper in critically evaluating my assumptions about my work in OPEN.

Forward for the Blog

I am currently enrolled in the inaugural cohort at Kwantlen Polytechnic University’s Professional Program in Open Education. I plan to publish my assignments in the OPEN as part of my own reflective practice but also for critical and respectful reflection from the OPEN community that I value. So thank you in advance. The following reflection is related to the first-course Theory and Philosophy of Open Education (OPEN 9100)

2.4 Assignment 1: Defining OPEN

Open Education is at its foundation a social justice movement with a shared goal to re-examine educational practices by engaging collaboratively with others. That engagement seeks to understand the contexts and lived experiences of others so that together meaningful changes to accepted educational practices can be made to improve people’s daily lives.

Kim Carter, October 2022

My definition of Open Education is based on my fundamental belief that quality education should be available to all people. This aligns with UNESCO’s Sustainability Development Goals (SDGs) and specifically #4 Quality Education for all (UNESCO, 2022). The challenge to my definition is to determine what specifically are the shared goals of such a complex topic. Suppose a proponent of Open Education wants to engage collaboratively with others to make meaningful change. In that case, a critical examination of what is shared experiences combined with the assumptions that the proponent is bringing to the collaboration is necessary.

Cronin (2019) challenges open advocates to critically examine the underpinnings of idealistic and utopian beliefs of Open Education or run the risk of exacerbating inequalities. With this thought in mind, I find it helpful to think about co-construction as a tool for meaningful collaboration. Co-construction engages people in a way in which we can begin to understand the contexts in which each other lives. For example, if I am at a collaboration meeting and people share their goals, I may have a surface understanding of what they may need. Only through critical self-reflection of the assumptions I bring and building trust through activities such as co-construction of knowledge may I truly begin to understand the contexts in which other people live and how their worldviews may differ from my own. Cronin (2019) supports this thought by indicating that OPEN is personal, and people re-examine and negotiate with themselves when they will share in the open and when they will not. Cronin (2019) also refers to the work of Jesse Stommel in co-constructing OER with learners in ways that are different than traditionally accepted practices and suggests that this is an opportunity for collaborators to think differently and challenge accepted norms.

A helpful reference from my co-learners was that of Lambert (2018 – para 10), who proposes that social justice successes are measured by their ability to provide resources to those that need them, recognize gender and cultural differences, and ensure that their voices are represented. I found that these three descriptions of justice helpful as a framework for discussion and co-construction for finding shared goals within the context of those that I am collaborating with. While the SDGs and Open Education remind us that Open Education is a Global social justice movement. I think that my definition also applies to my local context and within my own institution. It has been my experience that all people wish to be valued and understood, and engaging collaboratively to seek to understand what educational changes others need to improve their daily lives is important.

References

Cronin. C. (2019). Open education: Walking a critical path. In D. Conrad, & P. Prinsloo (Eds.), Open(ing) Education: Theory and Practice. Leiden: Brill.

Lambert, S. R. (2018). Changing our (Dis)Course : A Distinctive Social Justice Aligned Definition of Open Education. Journal of Learning for Development https://jl4d.org/index.php/ejl4d/article/view/290/334

UNESCO (2022). Leading SDG 4 – Education 2030. UNESCO Education transforms lives. https://www.unesco.org/en/education/education2030-sdg4 

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