Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Part One: Open Pedagogy - A model for Open Education Practice

Attributes of Open Pedagogy by Bronwyn Hegarty
based on Conole (2013).
This is the first part in a series about Open Education Practices. I welcome your comments.

Open Pedagogy - A model for Open Education Practice
Models that are developed to describe Open Education Practice must include the concept of openness in learning and teaching, as this needs to be understood before practitioners can engage with open education. Five principles for openness informing the adoption of open education practices are described by Conole (2013). The approach:
1. facilitates a broader approach to being ‘open’;
2. enables dialogue around learning and teaching ideas and strategies;
3. uses social media to facilitate “collective aggregation”, potentially benefiting learners and teachers over time;
4. supports digital scholarship through sharing good practice and peer critiquing; and
5. encourages spontaneous innovation, creativity and different viewpoints.

Open pedagogy as a theoretical basis for open education also needs to be considered. From my perspective, and according to Conole’s (2013) work on openness, an open pedagogy has eight interconnected and dynamic attributes. These include:
  • technology that is participatory (Web 2.0 and mobile) - includes social media and applications  used by mobile devices;
  • people who have trust in others’ work, are confident and demonstrate openness;
  • innovation and creativity – involves spontaneity and a willingness to adopt another view and different approaches;
  • sharing of ideas and resources freely so that knowledge and materials can be disseminated;
  • connected community so that practitioners can network and become part of a community of practice;
  • learner-generatedness – facilitating learners’ contributions by enabling and encouraging them to create and share information, resources and ideas;
  • opportunities for reflective practice –  initiated by participation in critical analysis of practices, professional learning and connection with others’ perspectives; and
  • peer review – the open critique of others’ work and scholarship.
These attributes are shown in the diagram. The ability to freely access resources and Reuse, Revise, Remix and Redistribute them (known as David Wiley’s four Rs, 2013) is essential for these attributes to be enacted and is an integral component of an open pedagogy.  Wiley (personal communication, IT Forum, 2014) is not in favor of using the term ‘open’ to describe something unless it is clear how it differs from the norm. Each of the attributes for open pedagogy, as shown, can arguably occur separately and without being linked to open pedagogy but in this model, they are interconnected and contributing holistically to open practices. This model assumes that the conditions, as described by Wiley (2013), for open pedagogy are met.

Pedagogy 2.0
Another pedagogy that integrates well with Open pedagogy, relates to the use of social software tools for learning, and is claimed to be part of implementing what McCloughlin and Lee (2008) label as Pedagogy 2.0. They consider that this pedagogy includes the following:
  • Content - learner-generated;
  • Curriculum - dynamic with formal and informal learning;
  • Communication - open, peer-to-peer, and multifaceted;
  • Process - situated, reflective, and inquiry based;
  • Resources - multiple informal and formal global media sources;
  • Scaffolds - support for students from a wide ranging network;
  • Learning tasks - authentic, personalized, learner-driven, and experiential (adapted from McCloughlin and Lee (2008, p. 2).
As you can see, Open pedagogy and Pedagogy 2.0 are very similar. They both rely on a dynamic, and innovative learner-generated curriculum design. Content is generated and shared by learners who participate actively in learning that is relevant to them, creative and able to be personalised. Open methods of communication and interaction are used within a global community of learners who provide peer support and review. However, Open pedagogy places more emphasis on the concept of open practices such as openness, sharing,  connectedness and reflective practice.

Conole, G. (2013). Designing for learning in an open world. Springer: New York.

McLoughlin, C. & Lee, M. J. W. (2007). Social software and participatory learning:
Pedagogical choices with technology affordances in the Web 2.0 era. In ICT: Providing choices for
learners and learning
. Proceedings ascilite Singapore 2007.

Wiley, D. (2013). What is Open Pedagogy? Iterating toward openness. Retrieved from http://opencontent.org/blog/archives/2975

Other topics in the series include:
  • Part Two: What is web-based Open Education Practice, really? Includes a discussion of the history and how history has changed Open Education Practices.
  • Part Three: Why should we share and be open? 
  • Part Four: What are the characteristics of an Open Education practitioner?


Leigh Blackall said...

I've been wondering if openness is a sign or driver of quality? Most teachers I have discussed openness with, discover that their inhibitions were at first a kind of performance anxiety. And then, jobs like ours means we get to see a heck of a lot of online teaching practices and media production. How would you compare what we see behind closed access sites to open access? I don't know how we would, but what I see in closed sites would not last long in the open.

Leo Grassi said...

Aside from the hardware/tools perspective of technology, I would add that the remaining seven attributes collectively suggest a generative, shared, accepted, scholarly setting where design approaches can be discussed, rejected, or improved in efforts to address the problems of our interdisciplinary community of educators.

Bronwyn hegarty said...

Leigh I would agree that teachers tend to up their game when they know the world is watching. For example, the tendency to use other peoples' work without permission or acknowledgement immediately dies a death when teachers go open. Teachers got away with it for many years in traditional classrooms and for a short while in closed online systems, but emerging into the open has set down a whole new set of rules. Would you agree?

So in answer to your question about openness as a driver of quality, I would say a big fat yes on one hand. But on the other, you could argue that highly efficacious teachers might also feel more comfortable producing quick and dirty resources for open sharing systems such as Youtube. Thus eliminating the need for high cost big fuss productions using video experts.

Also, student-generated content is not always going to be high quality so....maybe quality is dictated by the attributes of the open practitioner, producing and using them, rather than by the openness or not of the materials. That is, perhaps open practitioners are more willing, through their ability to share, to accept what is on offer since in return they may expect leniency for the quality of our work. What do you think?

Michael said...

Like Leigh I've found over the years that most teachers suffer from this performance anxiety thing - they simply are not confident enough about what they do to share it with the world. Yet some courses were good and worth sharing.

Some years ago I tried for several months to get Moodlers to share good practice sites and it was like extracting teeth. You can see the results for what they're worth on a very plain wiki at http://moodlegoodpractice.wikispaces.com/home

(Leigh will love the fact that 1) this is a wikispaces site and 2) it's about Moodle :)

But I'd argue that openness is a sign of quality - at least in as much that the teacher who is willing to go open has a quality attitude to their trade.

I've also tried over the years to run professional development courses openly, but when asked if it they agreed to them being open participants were very reluctant.

Scott J said...

Bronwyn, Openness has come upon many instructors in the form of orders from the top. In a time when words are often used as power objects the term "openness" sounds suspect--especially when it comes in a string of orders that suddenly intrude directly into the very personal realm of a person's professional teaching practice.

Having worked in a college where the term was abused to mean "surrender your skills so we can automate them" I'd say that nice concepts will perish without trust firmly in place. Asking people to change without some shelter is going to go nowhere.

What would need to be in place to allow openness to seem desirable?

Bronwyn hegarty said...

Great comments everyone. Leo you make a good point about the seven attributes leading to scholarship, and I am hoping that the technology can facilitate that situation.

Michael I took a look at the collection of resources on the wiki - great job. I tried for years to get people to share resources using delicious.com - especially when doing project. They got excited about it in the PD workshops but I think the lack of 'buy-in' from colleagues meant the concept of sharing bookmarks wafted away.

Personally, from my observations and conversations, I think it is a time thing. The majority of colleagues I work with don't have the digital information skills nor do they want to enter what they regard as risky territory. Maybe this is why uptake was slow when 'open PD' was offered.

After all, aren't humans genetically programmed to be suspicious as a protective mechanism? What do you think?

Bronwyn hegarty said...

Scott your question is superb "What would need to be in place to allow openness to seem desirable?" as opposed to top-down initiatives, I think we need to do some work with practitioners to help them understand what is important to them professionally. What I mean is that they could be guided to explore their professional values.

Practitioners might then realise that sharing and collaborating with colleagues and other professionals is important. They might also gain insight into their need to be connected to others or to be creative.

I mention some of the attributes shown in the diagram because I believe that they are important for the practice of openness. Perhaps if people can see the benefits of open practices and the richness it can bring to their professional lives, they might be more willing to engage?

Is this something to consider further - professional values - do you think?

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