Open Education Intro
October 9, 2019
Hi, I’m here to talk to you about open education which includes three parts to it. OER or open educational resources, open pedagogy and open access. OER is really all about the open license, so while copyright is important and protects authors the open license or the Creative Commons license allows us to retain our copyright but also to enable and actually encourage the sharing of materials. This becomes important when we think about educational materials like textbooks. Where right now students are paying exorbitant amounts of money each semester in order to pay for books when we can use these open licenses not only to reduce textbook costs actually effectively to zero, but also to allow professors and students to engage in the revision of their educational materials. By using the five R’s that are enabled by OER we are we can actually have a new relationship between learners and their texts, and this is pretty exciting not just because it saves students money which is hugely important for access issues, but also because it opens up a whole new world which we are now beginning to call open pedagogy. So what exactly is open pedagogy? Open pedagogy is a way of thinking about learners as contributors to knowledge not just consumers of knowledge. So it’s really about opening the academy to the public which allows our students to interact with real world communities, communities of scholars but also in terms of service learning and other engaged projects. It also allows the community to benefit more easily from the knowledge that the academy is producing. So we can think about this in many ways for example we can think about students moving from the locked-down LMS like Canvas or Moodle and instead starting to work in more public arenas, by building networks through Twitter, or by developing ePortfolios and websites where they can post their work and engage with collaborators. They can use Twitter to build networks, and to ask questions, and to get assistance for more established scholars, or to share their work. And they can do more experiential learning out in the community through some of these networks that they create. The final piece of the open education puzzle is open access, this is really about scholarship and research. The idea here is that we want to increase the impact of our research and one of the things that happens now of course is that sometimes we have research that’s publicly funded particularly in the sciences, but that research ends up behind paywalls in journals that libraries have to pay exorbitant amounts to access, which can often leave people who are not affiliated with universities, or people who are in areas where universities and libraries can’t afford the fees unable to access that research that they may very well have funded with their public dollars. My small institution pays almost a half a million dollars a year to access paywalled journals. So the move to open access publishing is a move to call on scholars to share their work in journals that don’t have paywalls. This does not mean they don’t have peer review we can still have very robust peer review. We can actually improve peer review by making it more transparent and collaborative, but the idea here is that we’re going to redefine impact so it’s not just about elitism and exclusivity for some kind of promotion and tenure process, but it’s really about allowing our work to shape the world to its maximum potential. In my opinion open education is a movement. It’s about reducing barriers to education, empowering learners and connecting the academy to the world that it serves. I hope that you’ll join in because the movement is growing and it’s new and there’s lots of challenges and problems still to be worked out. But it’s exciting and I hope you’ll come on board and offer your ideas. Thanks.