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Unpicking Binaries

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Presentation at #dlRN15 - Exploring how educators conceptualize and make decisions about openness

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Unpicking Binaries

  1. 1. Unpicking Binaries or, how educators conceptualise & make decisions about openness Catherine Cronin  @catherinecronin  #dlRN15  16/10/15 Stanford Memorial Church (Flickr)
  2. 2. @catherinecronin slideshare.net/cicronin
  3. 3. #marref Twitter photo: @HelenORahilly
  4. 4. #HOMETOVOTE
  5. 5. openness & open education Much published about benefits of and barriers to openness, as well as interpretations of openness. Relatively few studies provide empirical results. Theoretical context for this study: openness and open educational practices as sociocultural phenomenon. This perspective rejects the notion that such practices are deterministic and holds that, with adequate information and evidence, learners, instructors, and researchers have the agency to accept or reject any particular technology or practice or to find alternative uses for it that will better serve their needs. - George Veletsianos (2015)
  6. 6. my PhD research: open educational practices (OEP) in higher education
  7. 7. research questions 1. Why and how do faculty/academic staff in higher education use online tools and spaces for research, learning, and teaching? 2. Why and how do students and faculty/staff interact in open online spaces in higher education, and how do they negotiate their digital identities in these spaces? research questions
  8. 8. research questions 1. Why and how do faculty/academic staff in higher education use online tools and spaces for research, learning, and teaching? 2. Why and how do students and faculty/staff interact in open online spaces in higher education, and how do they negotiate their digital identities in these spaces? research questions
  9. 9. research methodology Descriptive case study Empirical setting: one university Broad definition of ‘faculty/academic staff’ – includes full-time & part-time, permanent & temporary, contract & no contract Phase 1. semi-structured interviews with 15-20 faculty/academic staff (constructivist grounded theory) Phase 2. questionnaire for all members of faculty/academic staff (1000+)
  10. 10. digital engagement digital literacies digital identity emerging themes openness anxiety
  11. 11. “traditional” use of LMS, post lecture notes & readings use of LMS invite student engagement in LMS, and/or beyond LMS no social media; no SNS profiles use of SNS, social media use social media & SNS for research and/or for teaching Digital Visitor engagement, “pull” information on request network presence/activity Digital Resident engagement, “push” notifications & active networking digital engagement
  12. 12. use Digital Natives discourse to describe students’ knowledge/ behaviour awareness of digital literacies encourage development of digital literacies for students/staff; teach/embed digital literacies lament loss of analogue scholarly practices “I'm afraid of the future of digital scholarly practices value digital scholarly practices, design into courses & assessment “ digital literacies
  13. 13. single online institutional hub “ online hub multiple online hubs, institutional as well as chosen/external (e.g. Academia.edu) and/or created (e.g. blog) “ strict boundary keeping professional/pers onal boundary blended & flexible, accepts context collapse digital identity
  14. 14. little concern for copyright restrictions; little/no awareness of Creative Commons copyright & open licensing use OER, create OER, identify as open practitioner privacy is important, focus on risks privacy privacy is important, focus on management; or accepts lack of privacy openness
  15. 15. • institutional position, i.e. precarity • anxiety at all levels of engagement with social media/SNS (irrespective of level of use), e.g. “Another Thing” to do • unsure of institutional policy or position re: social media, communication with students, openness, etc. • unmanageable workload anxiety
  16. 16. This University as anxiety machine. This University as means for the production of anxiety. This University that forces us to internalise the creation of value and the extraction of value and the accumulation of value. This University that is recalibrated for value as we seek to resist in the name of teaching and learning and becoming and emancipation and us. - Richard Hall (2015)
  17. 17. unpicking binaries…
  18. 18. ‘Open’ is a continuous, not binary, construct. A door can be wide open, completely shut, or open part way. So can a window. So can a faucet. So can your eyes. Our common- sense, every day experience teaches us that ‘open’ is continuous. - David Wiley (2009) Openness is not the opposite of closed-ness, nor is there simply a continuum… not simply whether education is more or less open, but what forms of openness are worthwhile and for whom; openness alone is not an educational virtue. - Richard Edwards (2015) open vs. closed
  19. 19. observations to be explored further • Use of OEP is relatively low, and uneven. • Strong preference for Professional/Personal divide (individually defined & managed). • ‘Digital Natives’ assumptions are persistent. • Anxiety re: use of social media & maintaining a digital identity/presence exists widely: usage does not innoculate. • Greater use of open tools & spaces by academic staff with less institutional security. • Apparent lack of institutional understanding, recognition, policy/position, support re: OEP.
  20. 20. Thank you! Catherine Cronin @catherinecronin slideshare.net/cicronin catherinecronin.wordpress.com Image: CC BY 2.0 visualpanic
  21. 21. References Edwards, Richard (2015). Knowledge infrastructures and the inscrutability of openness in education. Learning, Media and Technology, 40(3), 251-264. Esposito, Antonella (2015, September 25). PhD researchers using social media: Exploring the emergent trajectories of academic identities. SRHE presentation. Hall, Richard (2014, March 19). On the University as anxiety machine. Richard Hall’s space. [blog] Stewart, Bonnie (2015). In abundance: Networked participatory practices as scholarship. The International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning, 16(3). Veletsianos, George (2015). A case study of scholars’ open and sharing practices. Open Praxis, 7(3), 199-209. Wiley, David. (2009, November 16). Defining “Open”. iterating toward openness. [blog]

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