Harnessing the power of open in teaching and learning practices
Why is this important?
Over the last decade, much of the focus of the open education movement has been around the creation and adoption of open educational resources. Some of the most exciting frontiers in open education are in open pedagogy, widely understood to consist of teaching and learning practices enabled by the ability to retain, reuse, revise, remix and redistribute educational materials. The open environment empowers educators to step away from the confines of static textbooks and traditional assignments, and opens the door to imaginative, collaborative, engaging educational experiences that can help transform teaching and learning for the better.
What is the opportunity?
Both individual faculty members and entire organizations are leading the way on open pedagogy, often by taking advantage of Wikipedia—the world’s largest OER repository. For example, a group of science professors have started assigning editing Wikipedia as part of their course requirements, giving tens of thousands of students a chance to engage in authentic learning experiences by creating—not just consuming—knowledge.
Other frontiers in open pedagogy include reimagining primary and secondary education so that students learn core subjects in the context of solving holistic, real-world problems such as the Global Grand Challenges or the Sustainable Development Goals. What if we could harness the collective hours students spend writing papers or doing assignments to crowdsource solutions to these problems? This kind of open pedagogy not only engages students by demonstrating the immediate applicability of their education, but also sparks a yearning among the next generation to produce real solutions. These examples only begin to demonstrate the possibilities when OER is coupled with open pedagogy.
How can you get involved?
- Educators can explore incorporating open pedagogy in their classes. This can be as small as one assignment for students to edit Wikipedia, or as large as redesigning curriculum to focus on the Global Grand Challenges. Learners also can seek out these kinds of learning opportunities.
- Governments can encourage and provide funding for more effective use of OER in the classroom, at all levels of education.
- Educators can join the growing number of their colleagues already engaged in teaching with Wikipedia. Wiki Education (in North America) and The Wikimedia Foundation (globally) provide support to professors interested in this approach.
- Review the Year of Open Open Perspective contributions to explore various views of open pedagogy.