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

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.