Using OpenPedagogy

I’m pretty new to OER and OpenPedagogy; I’m a customizer whose moving into creating my own content. This past semester, I spent a lot of time reconsidering how I teach rhetoric in Freshman Composition. There are about 30 years between me and the students. I like to think about it as a jump in the alphabet from X to Z in which I spent a lot of time thinking “why:”

Why don’t students read? Why don’t they like the assignments? Why don’t they value writing when all they do is write?

Open Pedagogy seems like a natural fit to freshman comp because how can I set a curriculum that requires close interaction when I don’t even know the people who are going to be doing the interaction. And I really don’t know much about Gen Z except that they are not like me.

So this semester, I developed handouts that help students do a variety of rhetorical analysis on the things that matter to them: youtube videos, songs, tv/film/streamed series, comedy, ads, even game commentary. (Seriously, have you ever listened to Troy Aikman commentate on an Eagles game? So biased.)

I got better writing when students are emotionally invested in what they are investigating. At week four, I gave the class a bundle of handouts all looking at the different pieces of pop culture that someone might interact with. I asked them to rank which type of “text” they work with the most to the one they work with the least. Then I asked them which paper they think would be the easiest, the most interesting, the hardest, and the most rewarding to do.

From there, students considered their data and then created the order in which they would do these papers. Since they were all rhetorical analyses, I could fold in the concepts no matter who was doing what paper. Students also worked in groups with people who were and were not using the same kind of text. We used students’ texts as examples in class.

I also had a backup list of texts in case someone didn’t know what to do. I think I will ask the class to help me create the backup list. We spent a lot of time doing metacognitive activities to check students’ understanding and progress. Next semester, I will see if I can get some of these questions and writing prompts from students.

I’m just beginning Open Pedagogy, so I’m scaling up slowly and I will adjust as necessary. But OpenPed has made teaching a lot more fun.

Potential Plan toward Open Pedagogy

An obviously sheepish, non-committal type of title should not conceal the fact that I like what I’m studying. A lot.

For my capstone project in the Pedagogy Master Class, I am creating a blue print toward making my course open. The final blue print will have four modules; I’m posting two of them here.

The plan for module 3 is going to be how I figured out how to compile a class catalog of examples of how to do a rhetorical analysis, complete with annotation techniques, open sources of information, student essays and commentary.

My original plan was to try to implement this in Fall  18, because I am either crazy or super enthusiastic or both. But the grading structure I have in place makes paper 3 a higher stake paper, so I want to stick with my original plan for now. Spring 19 will be a different story.

There’s a lot to think about. Especially if students decide they want to make their stuff open, which is something I would love! That would be peer review on an eight shot espresso. For now, I’m still in the formative thinking stages, but here’s my first two modules’ plan. Note: this was supposed to be a visual map. Ooops. Also, the course description and the related learning outcomes are not my own. They are the sandbox I play in.

English 103 Blueprint (in process – 2/4 modules complete)

 

Course Description: Emphasizing the recursive nature of writing and the process of revision, this course teaches students the skills and processes necessary for writing and revising college-level academic prose. Various aspects of writing, including invention/pre-writing, composing, revision, and editing/proofreading will be taught. Critical readings of various non-fiction texts may be used to develop understanding of rhetorical conventions and genres. Composing in and for electronic environments, as well as their conventions, will also be taught.

Module 1: Using Rhetoric – Introduction & Essay 1 (Rhetorical Analysis)

My Goal 1: Demonstrate understanding of the Rhetorical Triangle (RT)

Goal 1 Learning Experience: After introducing the RT in class, students use their personal technology to apply logos, pathos, and ethos (kairos if applicable, but not required) to an ad that pops up on their social media accounts and produce a short, informal written or visual description of how they used logos, pathos, & ethos.

  • Related to Course Learning Outcome: Use writing and reading for inquiry, learning, thinking, and communicating, integrating student’s ideas with those of others (Critical Thinking, Reading, and Writing).

Goal 1 Learning Experience: In small groups, or large class, discuss each element of the RT and how they are used together.

  •  Related to Course Learning Outcome: Use writing and reading for inquiry, learning, thinking, and communicating, integrating student’s ideas with those of others (Critical Thinking, Reading, and Writing).

My Goal 2: Assess the needs of different audiences using the Rhetorical Triangle.

Goal 2 Learning Experience: In small groups, discuss various writing assignments students have for classes in other disciplines. What’s the difference between writing for an English prof and writing for a Bio prof? Aside from word choice and content, what else is different? How can you use the rhetoric triangle to help you figure it out?

  • Related to Course Learning Outcome: Demonstrate an awareness of and respond to the needs of different audiences and rhetorical situations (Rhetorical Knowledge)

Goal 2 Learning Experience: Using the article provided as practice, apply logos, pathos, and ethos to the work to consider if the author’s opinion is appropriate for academic work. Students use preferred annotation strategies to create notes, maps, visuals, and other annotative products to help them understand logos, pathos, and ethos in the article. Students will produce essay 1 from this experience.

  • Related to Course Learning Outcome: Demonstrate an awareness of and respond to the needs of different audiences and rhetorical situations (Rhetorical Knowledge)
  • Related to Course Learning Outcome: Use writing and reading for inquiry, learning, thinking, and communicating, integrating student’s ideas with those of others (Critical Thinking, Reading, and Writing).

My Goal 3: Apply the Rhetorical Triangle in a student created written work.

Goal 3 Learning Experience: Using student created annotations and the article, students begin to consider the author’s rhetoric. In small groups, students consider all of their notes and create questions about the author’s use of logos, pathos, and ethos. (This corresponds to the brainstorming portion of the writing process.) 

  • Related to Course Learning Outcome: Use writing and reading for inquiry, learning, thinking, and communicating, integrating student’s ideas with those of others (Critical Thinking, Reading, and Writing)
  • Related to Course Learning Outcome: Produce coherent texts through a multiple draft process (Processes)

Goal 3 Learning Experience: This activity occurs shortly after the previous learning experience, preferably in the same class. Students consider several potential ideas that could serve as their focus or their thesis. Students volunteer their potential thesis/focused ideas for help. (Help could come from sharpening the focus, for helping the writer gain solid evidence from the article, to have potential issues raised with a weak focus, etc.)[1]

  • Related to Learning Outcome: Use writing and reading for inquiry, learning, thinking, and communicating, integrating student’s ideas with those of others (Critical Thinking, Reading, and Writing)

Goal 3 Learning Experience: In the computer lab, students begin drafting their essays. Students work with each other, by themselves, or with the professor. In the last five minutes of the lab, direct students to the Purdue OWL for MLA & APA formats. (Have hard copies of sample pages for those who want them.)

Related to Course Learning Outcome: Use writing and reading for inquiry, learning, thinking, and communicating, integrating student’s ideas with those of others (Critical Thinking, Reading, and Writing)

  • Related to Course Learning Outcome: Produce coherent texts through a multiple draft process (Processes) 
  • Related to Course Learning Outcome: Compose in an electronic environment such as a word processing program (Composing in Electronic Environments).

Module 2: Assessing sources using the RT & Essay 2 (Rhetorical Analysis)

My Goal 1: Introduce open sources/creative commons & plagiarism/citation/format

Goal 1 Learning Experience: Hold a preview discussion of plagiarism and “common knowledge” to find out how students define these terms. List key terms in a place where everyone can see them. In small groups or alone, students search on www.p.org (Understanding plagiarism) to gain more insight. (Many videos are 14+ minutes; allot time for students who want to watch a video.) Hold a follow up discussion to integrate the new information into what they already know about plagiarism. (Sneak five minutes in to review the use of MLA & APA formats.)

  • Related to Course Learning Outcome: Use writing and reading for inquiry, learning, thinking, and communicating, integrating student’s ideas with those of others (Critical Thinking, Reading, and Writing).
  • Related to Course Learning Outcome: Successfully make use of the conventions of college level writing and Standard Written English within that writing (Knowledge of Conventions).

Goal 1 Learning Experience: Introduce Creative Commons in basic terms. Students search in these places for a deeper understanding of Creative Commons:

  1. Article: https://designshack.net/articles/business-articles/the-simple-guide-to-creative-commons-resources/
  2. Image: http://unl.libguides.com/cc-unl
  3. Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HKfqoPYJdVc&feature=youtu.be

In small groups or as a large class, discuss the benefits of using Creative Commons material. Also, canvass for questions or concerns students have for using Creative Commons. (Or if they want to license something themselves.)

  • Related to Course Learning Outcome: Use writing and reading for inquiry, learning, thinking, and communicating, integrating student’s ideas with those of others (Critical Thinking, Reading, and Writing).
  • Related to Course Learning Outcome: Successfully make use of the conventions of college level writing and Standard Written English within that writing (Knowledge of Conventions).

My Goal 2: Find an object (article, video, piece of music, image, podcast, posting, etc) on CC Search using the RT as a guide. (The goal here is that students easily relate to the creator’s use of rhetoric so they can write about it. The RT focuses their viewing.)

Goal 2 Learning Experience: Computer lab for finding objects. Give the students 1/4 of the class for this activity. Then stop and assess progress. Have they found potential objects? Consider what they have found? Can they glean any usable material from it or should they refine their search? This may lead to a short class discussion and then students can resume their searches.

  • Related to Course Learning Outcome: Demonstrate an awareness of and respond to the needs of different audiences and rhetorical situations (Rhetorical Knowledge)
  • Related to Course Learning Outcome: Use writing and reading for inquiry, learning, thinking, and communicating, integrating student’s ideas with those of others (Critical Thinking, Reading, and Writing).

Goal 2 Learning Experience: Brainstorming and Drafting Essay 2: Students use preferred annotation strategies to create notes, maps, visuals, and other annotative products to help them understand logos, pathos, and ethos in the objects. From these annotative products, students will create a short summary of their object. Students will produce essay 2 from this experience.

  • Related to Course Learning Outcome: Demonstrate an awareness of and respond to the needs of different audiences and rhetorical situations (Rhetorical Knowledge)
  • Related to Course Learning Outcome: Use writing and reading for inquiry, learning, thinking, and communicating, integrating student’s ideas with those of others (Critical Thinking, Reading, and Writing).

My Goal 3: Apply the Rhetorical Triangle in a student created written work: Essay 2

Goal 3 Learning Experience: Using student created annotations and a summary of their object, students begin to consider the creator’s use of rhetoric. In small groups, students show their objects and offer their summaries, along with questions they have created about the creator’s use of rhetoric. The group discusses all questions. Use group roles, such as a time keeper or someone to keep the conversation on task. Students take their own notes from the discussion of their objects. (This corresponds to the brainstorming part of the writing process.)

  • Related to Course Learning Outcome: Use writing and reading for inquiry, learning, thinking, and communicating, integrating student’s ideas with those of others (Critical Thinking, Reading, and Writing)
  • Related to Course Learning Outcome: Produce coherent texts through a multiple draft process (Processes)

Goal 3 Learning Experience: This activity occurs shortly after the previous learning experience, preferably in the same class. Students consider several potential ideas that could serve as their focus or their thesis. Students volunteer their potential thesis/focused ideas for help. (Help could come from sharpening the focus, for helping the writer gain solid evidence from the article, to have potential issues raised with a weak focus, etc.)

  • Related to Learning Outcome: Use writing and reading for inquiry, learning, thinking, and communicating, integrating student’s ideas with those of others (Critical Thinking, Reading, and Writing)

Goal 3 Learning Experience: In the computer lab, students begin drafting their essays. Students work with each other, by themselves, or with the professor.

  • Related to Course Learning Outcome: Use writing and reading for inquiry, learning, thinking, and communicating, integrating student’s ideas with those of others (Critical Thinking, Reading, and Writing)
  • Related to Course Learning Outcome: Produce coherent texts through a multiple draft process (Processes) 
  • Related to Course Learning Outcome: Compose in an electronic environment such as a word processing program (Composing in Electronic Environments).

 

[1] At the end of this class, or any class just prior to going into the computer lab, have the class draft ground rules for the lab. Students are the ones who have to concentrate, so let them choose what they need: music, the ability to come and go, rules for talking with each other, dealing with a slow printer and a big queue, etc.

 

 

I swear, I did not do this on purpose

For my last reflection activity in the Pedagogy Master class, I’m supposed to reflect on a disposable assignment. A disposable assignment is one that has no value outside of the classroom it was generated for.

To be fair, I haven’t had a lot of those, but one that sticks out is a process-analysis essay I had to do in Freshman comp. This is terrible because I’m actually going to assign a process-analysis essay, but I don’t think mine will be disposable.

For my process-analysis essay, I had to write a “how to” on an activity that I had done recently. (This was close, but not quite, an essay on what I did that summer.) The prof’s ideas amounted to “what do you do while working at McDonald’s” or, in my case, “how to audition for a show.”

I outlined the steps that I followed, wrote the essay according the handout he gave us and then forgot about the assignment once I had handed it in.

The process analysis essay, the poor thing, is so abused. I’ve managed to make it work for me. At an Ag & Tech school, I had Auto Tech students do a Process-Analysis on a car repair, taking care to make sure the language they used would imitate the language they used to explain to a customer why a repair might be so costly. I got great results, as well as a catalog of repair instructions for my 2002 Focus. (No, they didn’t get extra points. I happened to have a Ford, the program they were in happened to be Ford based. 🙂

The process analysis I would like students to do is more of a meta-analysis in that students have to think about and document how they came to understand how to do a rhetorical analysis. Even as I write this, the concept is a little scary since so many of my students are ALP students and have writing phobias. I have to be very careful in how I introduce this. It will be called the “how to do a rhetorical analysis” essay and nothing else because words matter.

This is big for me since it could conceivably take up the next to papers. Paper 3 may fail. But I have a plan B. I always have a plan B and I’m good at adapting.

My first attempt at Open Pedagogy. Of course, I’m going to do this now.

For the Open Pedagogy Master Class, I had to “[c]hoose an activity that would work in your course. Explain how the activity exemplifies Open Pedagogy and describe how the activity would look in your course (what needs to be adapted, what will students be asked to do/create/contribute?)”

Here’s mine:

 The relationship between academic reading and academic writing is sometimes difficult for students to grasp, especially considering they came up in an academic setting that divides disciplines with stark boundaries. Approaching academic work means understanding that the lines between disciplines are often blurred, which is why students read in a writing class (and in almost every other class) and may write in biology, psychology, or PE.

The enthymeme here is that academic reading and academic writing require some skills that aren’t normally used in other reading situations. That’s why this assignment exists in the first place; students have to use a framework, in this case Aristotle’s Rhetorical Triangle, to analyze for meaning. Doing this helps students see beyond the superficial and dig into the ideas of a work, especially when considering if an argument offered in writing is reasonable or not.

Rhetorical analysis is one of the most difficult concepts to grasp because there is a tendency to summarize. So, I’ve decided to try to use Open Pedagogy to help my current students and, hopefully, my future students. Writing is best done in a community; writing a rhetorical analysis the first time can be frustrating and lonely. For this unit, students will create a collection of annotations, essays, and commentaries for themselves and for future students to read and use.

I’m adapting this example from the list.ly provided below the explanation:

Student Created Examples

Students could create examples of course concepts. A common example is video of a speech, great examples of essays, illustrations of a concept that work well. The goal of this type of assignment is to take a work that the students might do anyway, and prompt them to use openly licensed works in the background so that the student’s work can be used again.

List.ly link: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1KWy_Dx8k0cIVa2bNM_Ma0v0JGiBpaGSQFC5mmciEfe8/edit

This activity exemplifies Open Pedagogy for several reasons. First, this is a community created resource that could provide examples of student writing to students in the coming semesters. It’s also something that can continue to grow.

All writing will undergo the writing process, including group generativity activities, in-class writing sessions, and peer review. The activity is also learner driven in that students get to pick the object of their analysis. Students will be using CC search, which provides them with an opportunity to search for and work with open source materials.

I plan on doing this activity this semester, so I’ve provided a rough outline of what the lesson looks like.

Create a “how to” manual of rhetoric analysis

  1. Have students create visuals of their interpretation of the rhetorical triangle
    1. This will help them see what they understand and I will be able to work with them on their terms. I’m not looking to see if they remember the terms logos, pathos, and ethos; rather, I’m looking to see if students can recognize emotional arguments, a credentialed writer, and the reasonable use of facts.
  2. Find source using CC search only
    1. I’ve done some searches using this. I think students will be able to find something to use.
  3. Have students apply the rhetorical triangle to whatever they found on CC Search
    1. They may use the visual they created as a framework for looking at the object of analysis.
  4. Take the source and using the rhetorical triangle, annotate it in some way that helps the next person.
    1. Together brainstorm how to annotate a video, image, song, song + video, vine, snapchat story, Instagram post, post on any other social media, provided they found the object of CC search. (Finding the object will have to be done in class.)
    2. Together create some kind of visual annotation that can go into a book
  5. Brainstorm or generate ideas for rhetoric analysis by talking about the objects in class.
    1. Depending on the class, this could be small groups or pairs.
  6. Computer lab for writing essay 2
    1. This is the second rhetorical analysis they’ve done, so I don’t know we will need two classes in the lab. Maybe. I’ll ask.
  7. Proceed with revision activities as normal.

Essay 3 – Process analysis essay detailing the writing of essay 2.

  1. Explain process analysis
    1. Provide multimodal examples
    2. Break up into groups based on the type of mode students want to view process analysis
  2. Discuss process analysis as a large group.
    1. Prompt for questions (refer to beginning of the semester’s handout on this)
    2. Gauge for understanding, let those students with a strong understanding explain it.
  3. Brainstorm the sections of the paper
    1. Format is non-negotiable (MLA or APA)
    2. Remind them to focus on HoCs in the rough draft; let that inform the brainstorming session – how to get a meta-analysis on paper in a reasonable order. Don’t call it meta-analysis.
  4. Computer lab for writing paper 3 – definitely two classes.

Proceed with paper 4 as an argument.

 

Reflection 2: What is Open Pedagogy?

 

What is Open Pedagogy?

For my visual, I put Open Pedagogy in a box, which is where most of my work takes place. That box is the public institution, the one that receives Federal, State, and County funding, the box that bears the name so many politicians throw around: accountability.

Accountability looks like learning outcomes, retention expectations, student learning, and my service to the college. All components of accountability must be folded into my definition of Open Pedagogy, which may seem antithetical, but is reality. Luckily, I believe that to change a system, a person has to be part of it, to work with and within the system.

Open Pedagogy is one created collaboratively with students using the learning outcomes; this means that students work to understand the current learning outcomes, add their own learning outcomes, help create assignments to tweak existing assignments to make them relate to the students who have to complete them. According to Devon Ritter, open pedagogy also means providing models of plans I’ve used before, so students have a example to start with, instead of the overwhelming empty slate. In addition to models, providing my rationale or adding my thoughts on what I want students to get out of my class, especially the part of my rationale that connects writing to the world outside of the classroom, will give “an individual learner…a better sense of how a teacher may have designed their course to support students…” (Ritter).

Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine I would teach. Then I read Freire. Paulo Freire’s “Pedagogy of the Oppressed” provided me with the terms I needed to explain my hatred of the educational system I came from. Public education in the 70s in New Jersey looked and felt oppressive; in my mind, it exemplified the Banking Concept. Once I knew there was an alternative, I bounced into teaching like a beach ball at a Phish concert.

When I first encountered Open Pedagogy, problem posing seemed like a perfect fit. Organizing a class is like putting together a jigsaw puzzle. Working on a jigsaw puzzle solo is long, tedious, and sometimes not as peaceful as advertised. Once more people get involved, the process may be messier, a little more confused, but as progress is made and the puzzle comes together, there’s satisfaction and the appreciation of a job well done. This, to me, is open pedagogy. My class is a puzzle. We know the outcomes; just like the picture on the box of a jigsaw puzzle, we have a guide in the learning outcomes. But how we get there is an open process. Open Pedagogy shares that process instead of putting it all in my hands, thus creating a participatory learning environment.

According to Bronwyn Hegarty, participatory technology helps the participatory learning environment. Michelle Pruett, author of “Gen Z’s Favorite Social Networks: YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat,” notes that “Gen Z has unparalleled access to smart phones,” but Gen Z is mostly interested with “platforms driven by visual content like photos and videos” (Pruett). If Open Pedagogy is something that fosters student engagement because it utilizes the concept of social learning and the notion of community, then, as Composition faculty, I have to meet Gen Zers where they are, which is more visual than verbal (Kleinschmidt). This means using electronic means and multimedia platforms to create and share work; using electronic platforms means students can participate in something they do very well, create networks and communities that are safe spaces in which they can experiment with the curriculum. As a community, classes can create ground rules and learning outcomes that matter to them. Although we have to use the institutional, departmental, and course outcomes, there is nothing to stop a class from interpreting or adding to the outcomes in a way that works for them.

Related to the composition classroom Open Pedagogy requires reflective practice. This has been ingrained in composition classes for a long time. I remember doing reflective practice in my first college freshman year in 1984. It’s not hard to get students to come up with reflection prompts that relate to what they are doing in any given context.

I would be remiss if I didn’t add Wiley’s 5Rs: reuses, revises, remixes, redistributes, and retains (Wiley). Open Pedagogy shares, which means opening up to peer review and working with others to collaborate on the best assignments. Although to some, this might be tantamount to appearing in public naked, it’s necessary because more perspectives can make cohesion. Myopia is mostly unintentional. Sharing mitigates myopia.

Why is Open Pedagogy important?

Michelle Pruett’s Four Minute article was enlightening. As a solid Gen X, I don’t understand the need for digital connection. It’s nice; it keeps me in touch with my “all over the country” family, but so does a telephone. For Gen Z and late Millennials, it’s their natural habitat, an information stream they were born into, so they are primed for sharing. They are primed for choosing their own content; more than I ever was.

At the same time, context for them is everything. This group also needs more direction and more instruction when they are doing tasks outside their natural habitat. They are a paradox and this paradoxical way of being may have consequences after they finish school. Giving students models to work with, providing examples of lessons with rationales, familiarizing and breaking down learning outcomes that we all have to work with and connecting them to resources I use to create coursework will give them loose parameters to start from.

Providing this loose framework may give them the raw ingredients to cook a class. This is a skill set they can take out of the classroom and into the wider community of employment. Knowing how to work with the resources at hand and realizing the personal ability to use a system to make it work for them are important for life work, not just schoolwork.

For me, schoolwork is life work. If I’m not constantly developing my own skills sets, I’m stagnating and I don’t believe I can effectively work with or retain students if I’m stuck in a teaching rut. As a community college prof, I may not be in an ivory tower, but I am in a brick one. This is how students see us sometimes, a wall to be scaled on their way to something else. This is not how it has to be. Open Pedagogy offers opportunities for buy-in because the creation of their learning process is an extension of their learning process.

What is the potential impact of Open Pedagogy?

There are teachers in my educational past who would drop more than a few surprised curse words if they knew I am a Composition Professor. Paulo Freire was the catalyst for my teaching. There is only one other foundational belief I have that keeps me growing as a teacher: an educated populace can keep a nation safe from tyranny. If Open Pedagogy can empower just one or two people like Freire empowered me, then we have some movement toward changing the current culture. Especially since Gen Z is the most inclusive generation of the three or four generations existing now.

I think Open Pedagogy can do more than empower one or two people in a class. This is really about self-determination and working with constraints. There will always be constraints, but they don’t need to stop anything. There is empowerment in working successfully within a system not of your own making and Open Pedagogy has the potential to be the key.

What are the future directions for Open Pedagogy?

As long as social media continues to grow, I think Open Pedagogy will grow as well. Right now, the fight over cell phones in the classroom, in my view, is ridiculous. To outright ban cell phones shows a fundamental lack of understanding of the students we work with. In order to reach them, we have to meet them halfway and this means including the habitat where they work best. The internet has valuable resources and our students are walking around with a world full of information in their pockets. Open Pedagogy capitalizes on that.

Works Cited

Freire, Paulo, et al. Pedagogy of the Oppressed 50th Anniversary Edition. Bloomsbury USA Academic, 2018.

Hegarty, Bronwyn. “Attributes of Open Pedagogy: A Model for Using Open Educational Resources.” Educational Technology (2015): 3-13.

Kleinschmit, Matt. Generation Z characteristics: 5 infographics on the Gen Z lifestyle. 2018. Webpage. 1 October 2018. <https://www.visioncritical.com/generation-z-infographics/&gt;.

Pruett, Michelle. “Gen Z’s Favorite Social Networks: YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat.” Criteo, 17 July 2018, http://www.criteo.com/insights/gen-z-social-media/.

Ritter, David. “April Open Perspective: What Is Open Pedagogy?” Year of Open, Open Education Consortium, www.yearofopen.org/april-open-perspective-what-is-open-pedagogy/.

Wiley, David. “Open Educational Resources Awareness Course – OER.” Universal Design for Learning – OER : Three Brain Networks, moodle.gprc.ab.ca/mod/book/view.php?id=33543&chapterid=2493.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Defining Open Pedagogy

My definition of open pedagogy:

  1. One created collaboratively with students using the learning outcomes; this means that students add their own learning outcomes, help create assignments to tweak existing assignments to make them relatable to the students who have to complete them.
  2. One that fosters student engagement because it utilizes the concept of social learning and the notion of community. This means using electronic means and multimedia platforms to share work.
  3. One that students can see has a practical use outside of classes.
  4. One that reuses, revises, remixes, redistribute (Hegarty)
  5. One that is more “problem posing” (Freire) and offers open questions.

 

I’m conflicted on the idea of a completely open pedagogy. One the one hand, I see its use, I see its benefits, but on the other hand, we just got through Middle States Reaccreditation. Assessment is no joke and adherence to the learning outcomes was part of that assessment. I have to work within the confines of a structure, but that doesn’t mean the structure needs to be confining.

I could show the students the LOs and ask them for their interpretation. Then we could add to the required LOs. This, I hope, is one way to create student buy-in. The other elephant in the room is my 0 level students who need direction. To completely decenter the curriculum and place the creation of it on them may cause cognitive dissonance. These are not strong students to start with; they have a horrible retention rate. So, while I want to create buy-in, I don’t want them to come into a class where they start from the ground and build up.

Access is also an issue. Even today, I had a student tell me that his essay was handwritten because he doesn’t have a computer at home. I’m not an advocate of forcing students to write on their phones, especially older students who don’t have an enmeshed relationship with technology.

I need to put a spin on this that will work for this community, these classrooms and these students. I also need to read more, preferably from authors in the US who have managed to work with proscribed LOs.

For now, I’m putting my reading notes here. There’s a link to the article for anyone who wants context.

 

Robin DeRosa: Extreme Makeover Pedagogy Edition

http://robinderosa.net/higher-ed/extreme-makeover-pedagogy-edition/

 

  1. Her OpenPed had some problems, although on paper, they looked good: putting the onus on students to help create OpenPed meant chaos because he used “open” online platforms for communication and coursework. Telling students to “play around in there” meant different things to different people
    1. My thoughts:
      1. Vague instructions require defining
      2. Access to technology is varied outside of the institution – using the LMS platform “equalizes” the experience because there is easy access and support on campus.
    2. Implications for teaching:
      1. Some structure needs to be in place so students can build on it.
      2. Never assume everyone has equal access to the internet and to technology
    3. Quote:
      1. “Basic lesson– and you already know this– the “digital native” thing remains a garbage idea, and if you care about access issues, you will need to meet each student where she is in terms of comfort with tech. That takes time, and labor, and it may not be practical or feasible for you given your salary or circumstances.”
        1. I have to ask myself about the labor involved, especially when half of my class lacks even basic knowledge of computers. Many of my students work on their phones or use phones to access technology. This makes sharing the experience difficult. Do I want to spend time working on the differences between apps and software? How much time will it take away from writing instruction? But at the end of the day, students will need software knowledge to be good employees. Maybe this won’t work for 0 level students; it might work for tech writing.
  2. Collaborative learning outcomes – she has that flexibility. I don’t.
    1. My thoughts:
      1. I have to use what I have.
      2. I can build on that.
      3. The LOs are vague enough that I can help students interpret them so they can add student driven LOs that will help them reach the goals set out by the college’s LOs.
      4. Just like before, I can use the learning outcomes as a place to start and a place to add to so students can get what they need out of the course.
      5. During the first week, then, I need to make space to set ground rules for the class and to discuss what other learning outcomes students want.
      6. This may help create investment in the class.
  3. Student generated assignments, et al.
    1. I get what he’s trying to do. I also get that I work at a community college with learners who are not in the top 30% of their class and are inexperienced. So I think I could work with this if I meet them halfway – provide some basic structural elements that can be added to so I can meet their needs, assuming they know what they need.