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


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?


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


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.

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