Openness and Praxis: Exploring the Use of Open Educational Practices in Higher Education

Author : Catherine Cronin

Open educational practices (OEP) is a broad descriptor of practices that include the creation, use, and reuse of open educational resources (OER) as well as open pedagogies and open sharing of teaching practices.

As compared with OER, there has been little empirical research on individual educators’ use of OEP for teaching in higher education. This research study addresses that gap, exploring the digital and pedagogical strategies of a diverse group of university educators, focusing on whether, why, and how they use OEP for teaching.

The study was conducted at one Irish university; semi-structured interviews were carried out with educators across multiple disciplines. Only a minority of educators used OEP. Using constructivist grounded theory, a model of the concept « Using OEP for teaching » was constructed showing four dimensions shared by open educators: balancing privacy and openness, developing digital literacies, valuing social learning, and challenging traditional teaching role expectations.

The use of OEP by educators is complex, personal, and contextual; it is also continually negotiated. These findings suggest that research-informed policies and collaborative and critical approaches to openness are required to support staff, students, and learning in an increasingly complex higher education environment.

URL : http://www.irrodl.org/index.php/irrodl/article/view/3096/4301

Open Access and OER in Latin America: A survey of the policy landscape in Chile, Colombia and Uruguay

Author : Amalia Toledo

This chapter presents an overview of the mechanisms (funding, policy, legislative and procedural) adopted by Latin American governments with respect to Open Access and Open Educational Resources (OER) initiatives in the higher education sector.

It addresses three questions: How do the higher education systems of Chile, Colombia and Uruguay operate and fund their activities in general? How do existing policies and processes incorporating Open Access and/or OER influence student access to learning and research materials in these countries? What policy, advocacy and community-building interventions might be useful for promoting Open Education activities in these contexts?

This study employed a descriptive, case study approach to examine whether and how Open Access and OER policies have been applied at national and institutional levels. It first engaged in an Open Education policy country-mapping exercise, then conducted a comparative analysis, and concluded the research process with a workshop conducted with 10 regional education experts and activists to validate findings.

Findings indicate that while each country has its own approach to funding higher education, there are few or no specific national and/or institutional policies aimed at promoting Open Education in the higher education sectors.

Low OER awareness and a commercialised model of higher education appear to account for the lack of any OER policies in Chile, while in Colombia various national and institutional strategies reveal a country at a nascent stage of Open Education policy development.

By contrast, the nature of OER management and extent of policy implementation in Uruguay suggests that it is an enabling environment for current and future open policy development.

URL : Open Access and OER in Latin America: A survey of the policy landscape in Chile, Colombia and Uruguay

DOI : https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.602781

Data-informed Open Education Advocacy: A New Approach to Saving Students Money and Backaches

Authors : Sydney Thompson, Lillian S. Rigling, Will Cross, John Vickery

The North Carolina State University Libraries has long recognized the financial burden textbook costs place on students.

By crosswalking information on use of our textbook collection with textbook cost and course enrollment data, we have begun to map the environment for textbook use at the university and identified opportunities for faculty outreach in promoting alternatives to traditional textbooks, including our Alt-Textbook program.

This article describes our programs, our investigation of textbook use patterns, and how we are using these data to inform our practice.

URL : http://ir.lib.uwo.ca/wlpub/62/

 

A Preliminary Exploration of the Relationships Between Student-Created OER, Sustainability, and Students Success

Authors : David Wiley, Ashley Webb, Sarah Weston, DeLaina Tonks

This article explores the relationship between open educational resources (OER) created by students for use by other students, the long-term sustainability of the movement toward OER, and the success of students who use OER created by other students as part of their core curricular materials.

We begin by providing definitions and a broader context for thinking about the possibility of student-created OER. We then describe a course context in which student-created OER have been slowly integrated into an online class over several years and examine the impact on student learning associated with their introduction.

URL : http://www.irrodl.org/index.php/irrodl/article/view/3022/4222

Open Educational Resources and Rhetorical Paradox in the Neoliberal Univers(ity)

Author : Nora Almeida

As a phenomenon and a quandary, openness has provoked conversations about inequities within higher education systems, particularly in regards to information access, social inclusion, and pedagogical practice.

But whether or not open education can address these inequities, and to what effect, depends on what we mean by “open” and specifically, whether openness reflexively acknowledges the fraught political, economic, and ethical dimensions of higher education and of knowledge production processes.

This essay explores the ideological and rhetorical underpinnings of the open educational resource (OER) movement in the context of the neoliberal university.

This essay also addresses the conflation of value and values in higher education—particularly how OER production processes and scholarship labor are valued. Lastly, this essay explores whether OER initiatives provide an opportunity to reimagine pedagogical practices, to reconsider authority paradigms, and potentially, to dismantle and redress exclusionary educational practices in and outside of the classroom.

Through a critique of neoliberalism as critically limiting, an exploration of autonomy, and a refutation of the precept that OER can magically solve social inequalities in higher education, the author ultimately advocates for a reconsideration of OER in context and argues that educators should prioritize conversations about what openness means within their local educational communities.

URL : Open Educational Resources and Rhetorical Paradox in the Neoliberal Univers(ity)

Alternative location : http://libraryjuicepress.com/journals/index.php/jclis/article/view/16

Open Pathways to Student Success: Academic Library Partnerships for Open Educational Resource and Affordable Course Content Creation and Adoption

Author : Joseph A. Salem Jr

This paper explores the current state of open educational resources (OER) including notable library-lead and multi-institutional programs. The potential for OER and affordable course material creation and adoption programs to impact student retention and persistence is examined. Potential additional partnerships and future directions for library-lead programs are discussed as well as the framework necessary for assessing the impact of library-lead OER initiatives.

URL : Open Pathways to Student Success: Academic Library Partnerships for Open Educational Resource and Affordable Course Content Creation and Adoption

DOI : http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.acalib.2016.10.003

The Open Flip – a digital economic model for education

Author : Martin Weller

The advent of the internet and digital technologies has given rise to a number of new economic models. These have often been applied to education, but either through faults in the initial models or differences in the characteristics of the education sector, they have not proven to be widely applicable.

The use of digital, network technologies combined with open licences is one area that has seen particular success in educational application. This field offers an economic model that has particular application to education, through the reallocation of finances to the production of openly licensed resources instead of the purchase of copyrighted ones.

This has potential significant impact across a range of educational practices and beyond.

URL : The Open Flip – a digital economic model for education

Alternative location : http://www.jl4d.org/index.php/ejl4d/article/view/152