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Open Educational Resources (OER)

An introduction to finding, evaluating, and using Open Educational Resources

Using Open Pedagogy to create OER

Open Pedagogy

Open Pedagogy (OP) is pedagogy that moves past the disposable assignment, emphasizing projects that are immediately applicable and relevant to students. OP projects result in the creation of Open Educational Resources (OER) that are freely shared so that other instructors and students can utilize them. OP projects hold that students are contributors to, not just consumers of, knowledge.

In order to ensure successful implementation, there are important key considerations to review before pursuing an OP project. Contact iusw@indiana.edu to discuss these best practices in more detail. 

Implementing OP into your classroom has many benefits, including the creation of an OER. However, it is important to keep in mind that OP projects fundamentally differ from traditional research assignments, and instructors should be prepared to adjust their pedagogy accordingly. Suggestions include:

  • Be sure to incorporate time for reflection and assessment.
  • OP projects are, in part, a digital literacy experiment. While it is easy to focus on the final product, be sure that students are also considering and critiquing how it came to fruition. What new skills did they learn? How do they want to share and use their work?

Since OP projects are collaborative and interactive, the role of the instructor will vary depending on class size, skill, demographic, etc. Be sure to consider the level of your class before implementing an OP in order to determine quality expectations and instructor-editing responsibilities. Examples of design ideas to facilitate quality control include:

  • Reserve OP re-designs for upper-level undergraduate and graduate level classes.
  • Dedicate class time to openly editing the project, including peer review sessions and collective content decisions.
  • Editing an OP project can be time-consuming. If instructors are unable to dedicate class time for quality-control, they should expect to spend more time editing the project themselves.

When creating OER, creators must consider not only how they want their project to be licensed, but also how to incorporate copyrighted material into their project. For licensing, consider that:

  • OP projects are most commonly licensed under a Creative Commons License (CC), a public copyright license that legally lets other retrieve, adapt, and disseminate a work.
  • A CC license allows creators flexibility in deciding how others can use their work.
  • The material students want to include in their project may not have a CC license, and instructors should be prepared to help find appropriate open alternatives.

As OP projects are shared under a CC license, they are open for the public to view, use, and modify. Students may be uncomfortable sharing their work this way, so be sure to familiarize yourself with the different options and accommodate student needs and accordingly. Suggestions for including student agency are:

  • Have several different consent options, including an opt-in and/or opt-out model, where students can choose whether or not they want to include their work in the project. Emphasize that this is the student’s decision, and that there will be no penalties for choosing to opt-out.
  • Reiterate the collaborative nature of OP. Their work matters and can be used by subsequent educators and students. OP provides unique possibilities for students to see their work as worth sharing and decide how they want to create and disseminate it accordingly.

In addition to student agency, instructors should consider student privacy, especially the variegated levels thereof. Key consideration include:

  • Students may want to adopt a pseudonym when contributing to the project.
  • If students are to be asked to make that work openly licensed, that fact should be stated in the syllabus, and the license presented to them, with the option of opting out at any time in the course of the class, at the start of the class.
  • Students retain their copyright in Traditional Works of Scholarship, as defined IU’s Intellectual Property policy. That would include open pedagogy resources created in the course of a class.
  • Contact copyright librarian Naz Pantaloni at nazapant@indiana.edu with any further questions.