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Students and Open Education: From the What to the How and Why (and When Not)


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A keynote given at the eCampus Ontario Technology-Enhanced Seminar and Showcase 2017.

Slides are available in an editable (PPTX) format at the Open Science Framework:

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Students and Open Education: From the What to the How and Why (and When Not)

  1. 1. Students & Open Education: From the What to the How & Why (& When Not) Christina Hendricks Deputy Academic Director, Centre for Teaching, Learning & Technology, UBC eCampus Ontario TESS, Nov. 20, 2017 Door image licensed CC0 from
  2. 2. Slides available on my blog -- note underscore!
  3. 3. From the what to the how … WHAT HOW Open pedagogy, Open educational practices (OEP)
  4. 4. … and why From cost savings … To other benefits as well … Physics course headline from this article; student savings from BCcampus
  5. 5. OER as content: cost savings “What” is taught
  6. 6. #textbookbrokeBC Photo by Cristina Ilnitchi, UBC student. Used with permission.
  7. 7. Student panel at Open Ed 2017 Santa Ana College students talking about the impact of cost on education; screenshot from a video licensed CC BY 4.0
  8. 8. Danger of only cost focus: “inclusive access” Thread on Twitter “When you think the problem to be solved is the high cost of textbooks, inclusive access programs and OER adoption are just two competing approaches to solving the problem.” -- David Wiley, “The Cost Trap and Inclusive Access”
  9. 9. Remember that the true power of open comes not from a resource being free of cost but rather from the freedoms to reuse, retain, redistribute, revise, and remix content. These freedoms empower both students and faculty while widening access and supporting the democratization of education. -- Rajiv Jhangiani, “Just how inclusive are ‘inclusive-access’ e-textbook programs?” Sky image licensed CC0 on
  10. 10. Open pedagogy, student contributions to OER & OEP The “How” of teaching and learning
  11. 11. Much talk of Open Pedagogy in 2017 Year of Open logo licensed CC BY 4.0
  12. 12. A few quotes about open pedagogy • “we shift the student emphasis to contribution to knowledge as opposed to simple consumption of knowledge” (Heather Ross) • “the ability for learners to shape and take ownership of their own education” (Devon Ritter) • “Open as a means to connect with a broader, global community” (Tannis Morgan) • “Teacher as ‘the’ authority vs. students being able to bring other sources of authority” (Jim Luke)
  13. 13. Reducing “Disposable” Assignments “…trying to create assignments that are sustainable or not disposable, assignments that would have benefit to others beyond the limited course time and space” (Maha Bali) David Wiley on “disposable assignments” E.g., eCampus Ontario student experience design lab, “exponential learning” project Images licensed CC0 on trash can and symbol for no
  14. 14. OER-enabled pedagogy “What teaching and learning practices are possible (or practical) in the context of OER that aren’t possible when you don’t have permission to engage in the 5R activities?” -- D. Wiley, “OER-enabled pedagogy” Reuse Revise Remix Retain Redistribute
  15. 15. Some themes in open pedagogy Students producing OER, public knowledge; non- disposable assignments Student choice, agency, autonomy; e.g., as co-creators of curricula Connecting to wider networks Increasing access: financial & other Open-ended problems; valuing creativity & change Transparency in teaching & learning, fostering trust From two blog posts: May 2017, Oct 2017
  16. 16. Examples of open pedagogy
  17. 17. Students & Open Textbooks Cover licensed CC BY 4.0; see book here Jacobs 1 house by Frank Lloyd Wright; image by James Steakley on Wikimedia Commons, licensed CC BY-SA 4.0
  18. 18. Students Contributing to Other OER Game and explanation, from Uni of Kansas Open Case Studies from Uni of British Columbia
  19. 19. Students Contributing to Curriculum DS106 UDG Agora Social Psych textbook licensed CC BY Blog post by Rajiv JhangianiRobin DeRosa’s post on a First Year Seminar
  20. 20. Benefits & challenges of open pedagogy The “why” and “when not”
  21. 21. “open pedagogy is an ethos that has two … components: • A belief in the potential of openness and sharing to improve learning • A social justice orientation – caring about equity, with openness as one way to achieve this” -- Maha Bali, “What is Open Pedagogy?” (2017) Photo licensed CC0 on
  22. 22. “Embedded in the social justice commitment to making college affordable for all students is a related belief that knowledge should not be an elite domain. … This is, fundamentally, about the dream of a public learning commons, where learners are empowered to shape the world as they encounter it.” -- DeRosa & Jhangiani, “Open Pedagogy” (2017) Photo by Lysander Yuen on Unsplash
  23. 23. Student perceptions: Benefits “You’re able to be part of community conversations that are happening right now.” -- What Students Have to Say about Open ED “Knowing that our contributions to the open source anthology would be read, understood, and interpreted by future readers from all avenues of life is a mesmerizing thought.” -- student contributor to an open textbook “I became a better writer when I had to write all those blog posts. I knew they could potentially be seen by people outside of Keene State so I wanted to make sure my information was accurate and written well.” -- student at Keene State College
  24. 24. Student perceptions: challenges Students didn’t see why they should be working on Wikipedia instead of writing traditional papers. They also got worried about their marks when their edits were deleted by other editors. -- faculty member at UBC “Some of the challenges I faced was uncertainty. As a student who has never used this kind of learning before I was scared honestly.” -- Keene State College student Wikipedia logo licensed CC BY-SA 3.0 How can we be sure we’re not exploiting students to create resources for courses without pay? -- UBC student
  25. 25. Other challenges • Steep learning curve for tech • Student access to computers, internet • Time, time, time • Relinquishing control
  26. 26. Risks Privacy and student data Bullying and harassment Digital tattoo
  27. 27. Open is not good for everyone “… open is not good for everyone ... The hype around open, while well-intentioned, is also unintentionally putting many people in harm’s way and they in turn end up having to endure so much. The people calling for open are often in positions of privilege, or have reaped the benefits of being open early on …” -- Sava Singh, “The Fallacy of Open” (2015) Photo licensed CC0 on
  28. 28. Open and Closed OPEN is not the opposite of PRIVATE DeRosa and Jhangiani, “Open Pedagogy” (2017)
  29. 29. A “pedagogy of closure” “I suggest that closure can be not as an end to the conversation, but as a beginning. What if we were to think non-access as a productive pathway to knowledge? What if we were to think closure as openness?” --David Gaertner, “Towards a Pedagogy of Closure” (2017) See also Tara Robertson, “Not all Information Wants to be Free” (2016)
  30. 30. Autonomy and Agency Still open in open pedagogy open open private Checklist licensed CC0 on
  31. 31. Acknowledgements & licenses All icons not attributed on the slides were purchased through a subscription to The Noun Project. This presentation, except for items in it that are attributed as having other licenses, is licensed CC BY 4.0
  32. 32. Thank you! Christina Hendricks Professor of Teaching, Philosophy Deputy Academic Director, Centre for Teaching, Learning & Technology, UBC-Vancouver • Blog: • Website: • Twitter: @clhendricksbc Slides on my blog: