Notes on Open Pedagogy

Mary and Amanda wrote a great post yesterday about BCCampus’ upcoming plans around open pedagogy. It reminded me that I meant to post the notes I developed for my workshop on open pedagogy at the Maricopa Community Colleges last week. Here’s my outline for the conversation we had there. (Yes, I know it’s outline-y and not completely fleshed out, but hopefully there’s enough here to be valuable.) I’m thinking quite hard about this topic these days.

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Students LEARN as a result of the things they DO.

We ask students to DO many things – read, watch, listen, answer, solve, etc.

Broadly speaking, our PEDAGOGY is how we decide what we ask students to DO.

Asking students to DO some things leads to better learning than asking them to DO other things. We should have a bias towards asking students to DO things that are more effective than less. Hattie is a good first source for this info (but certainly not the last word).

Pedagogy and educational materials intersect because we frequently ask students to DO things with RESOURCES – *read* articles, *watch* videos, *listen* to lectures, *answer* questions, *solve* problems, etc.

Open means “free plus 5R permissions.”

Open impacts pedagogy in two ways:

  • By increasing student access to RESOURCES, open increases the number of students who can DO things with RESOURCES
    • (INCREASE the number of students with access to effective pedagogy)
  • By enabling students to DO things with RESOURCES that weren’t previously possible or practical
    • (ENABLE new pedagogies)

The primary questions of open pedagogy, then, are:

  • What kinds of things would we ask students to DO with RESOURCES if we knew that all of them had access to the RESOURCES?
  • What can we ask students to DO with RESOURCES they can retain, reuse, revise, remix, and redistribute that wasn’t practical or possible to ask them to do before?

A Simple INCREASE Example (from Hattie)

Strategy: Reviewing Records
Definition: Efforts to re-read notes, tests, or textbooks to prepare for class or further testing
Example: Reviewing textbook before going to lecture
Effect Size: 0.49

(Use something like my Summary Slides strategy – so students are teaching students)

For things that weren’t practical or possible before, start from things we know were effective pre-open and make them more powerful post-open.

A Simple ENABLE Example (pre-open)
Strategy: Organizing and Transforming
Definition: Overt or covert rearrangement of instructional materials to improve learning
Example: Making an outline before writing a paper
Effect size: 0.85

There’s one degree of separation because you can’t rearrange the materials, just the ideas within them

A Simple ENABLE Example (post-open)
New Strategy: Revise and Remix
Definition: Editing and rearranging of instructional materials to improve learning
Example: Rewriting examples in a textbook chapter

An early example: Students’ additions of new characters to A Conversation about Learning Objects back in 2005

There are clearly opportunities here to tie into other pedagogical frameworks with high impacts on learning, like Service Learning (0.58).

A Disposable Assignment is any assignment about which students and faculty understand the following:

  • Students will do the work
  • Faculty will grade the work
  • Students will throw away the work

A reasonable estimate has US undergrads spending about 40 million hours a year on these kinds of assignments.

A Renewable Assignment is any assignment where:

  • Students will do the work
  • Faculty will grade the work
  • The work is inherently valuable to someone beyond the class
  • The work is openly published so those other people can find and use (5R) it

Examples of Renewable Assignments

See also BCcampus’ crowdsourced list of open pedagogy examples:

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