Open Pedagogy

How can open pedagogy move us from content to action?

What is open pedagogy and why should we talk about it?  

Open pedagogy  has many close relatives – community service learning, self-directed learning, 1970s open classrooms.  Open is often  associated with the open education resources (OER) movement but the risk about talking about open in the context of OERs is that you can become overly focused on the stuff, the content and less on the doing and the action.  Our approach to this topic is to look at examples of open pedagogy as doing, as enabling action.  One helpful framework we will be considering is Bronwyn Hegarty’s Attributes of Open Pedagogy: A Model for Using Open Educational Resources.

In this advanced certificate our challenge is to think more broadly about open pedagogy in relation to projects, platforms, movements that are happening globally and that could provide opportunities for you and your students to participate meaningfully in the broader sphere of open.

Why Open Pedagogy?

In many ways, the Agora adopted an open pedagogy approach.  In advance of this topic, it would be good  to think about how the Agora adopted an open pedagogy approach.  There are also several examples of professors who implemented an activity with their students that demonstrated an open pedagogy approach.  Please spend some time looking at those examples and comment and give them a taco rating.

Open Pedagogy in Action – Examples

As part of our activities, you will explore some examples of open pedagogy.
During each of the 10 weeks when there was no scheduled exam I asked my students to write multiple-choice questions. However, this assignment also served a pragmatic purpose in that the open textbook that I use for this course does not yet have a readymade question bank.  
Introduction to the Brain has been created by final year Psychology students including an introductory information pack for high school students and an activity with printable materials.
Dr. Amin Azzam, a professor of psychiatry at the UC-San Francisco School of Medicine assigns medical students the task of improving medical articles on Wikipedia.
“The Digital Storytelling Project on Library Anxiety began as a project in a service learning course offered by the Film and Media Studies Department at the University of Kansas (KU). In spring 2015, three undergraduate students enrolled in the course collaborated with KU Libraries to create an interactive, digital game addressing experiences of library anxiety among undergraduate students that could be integrated into first-year-experience courses offered by the university. The original student team created the game’s branching pathways within Twine, wrote the game text, and drafted a small number of animated GIFs that established the tone for the game. In spring 2016, after receiving funding to support production of the game’s missing elements, KU Libraries contracted one of the student team members to create the remaining illustrations and ensure their integration into the Twine file.”
As a participant of the project, you are required to collaborate with the members of the group to which you have been assigned to prepare a Wikipedia article or part of one. The aims of the project are to encourage you to internalize the material covered in the course, as well as to contribute towards producing a body of accurate information about Singapore constitutional and administrative law that is freely available on the Internet.
This site hosts the assignments that participants in the open online digital storytelling course, ds106, complete as part of their work in the course. Rather than specifying assignments everyone must do, participants can choose from an array of ones included on this site- all of them have been created by course participants.
As part of the course TI0920 of Translation and Interpretation of the Jaime I University (Castellón, Spain), students will translate (from English into Spanish) or will extend articles related to the cinema.
This book was created entirely by students in a Fall 2016 section of First-Year Seminar at Plymouth State University .. it was organized around a core set of open pedagogical practices. The theme for the course was “Whose Course Is This, Anyway?”  Students created all learning outcomes, assignments, course policies, and grading processes.
We had six dynamic students who took on this project – they worked with the LGBT Health and Wellbeing centre in Edinburgh, University of Edinburgh student societies and a range of other networks to identify LGBT volunteers willing to share recorded experiences of healthcare. So far, the students have undertaken a number of interviews with these volunteers and digital stories have been recorded and transcribed. &
This project is an open pedagogy project that has involved over a dozen undergraduate students doing the hard work of researching content, writing code in Unity, doing photogrammetry, and building 3D assets. The high level of student involvement in the creation and direction of this VR experience is a unique aspect of this project as UBC’s undergraduate game development association has played a key role in moving the project forward. This open education approach means that everything they create is an OER and that the students are building rare skills in this exciting, new medium.”
The course is called Designing Legal Expert Systems: Apps for Access to Justice. “It’s about taking legal knowledge and rules as a series of decision-making trees and translating that onto a tech platform that creates an app,” explained Sykes. Using a software the law school has licensed from US-based legal technology firm Neota Logic, the students will work with non-profit ‘client’ organizations to develop the type of app, problem it will solve and types of users.

Sociology 4000H: Social Science Business Collaboration: A Service Learning Approach
Students who complete the course should understand how to

  • collaborate with a local business or nonprofit organization on a service project;
  • use university resources to address community issues;
  • conduct hands-on data collection;
  • manage a project;
  • present research findings in both academic and applied settings; and
  • learn while improving the local community.

Other Examples
The Open Case Studies project at UBC brings together faculty and students from different disciplines to write, edit, and learn with case studies that are free and open–they are publicly available free of cost, and they are licensed to allow others to revise and reuse them. The project began with a focus on case studies related to topics in environmental sustainability, but has expanded to include case studies on other topics as well.
When it comes to scientific literacy, undergraduates are in a unique position. They’re studying advanced science and understand the jargon of their field, but they’re still connected to those who don’t, and remember what it’s like. The challenge of explaining what they’ve come to learn (not just for an exam, but to really be understood) makes them ideal candidates for bridging the gap between dense academic scholarship and a curious public.
Association for Psychological Science Wikipedia Project is a community dedicated to improving Wikipedia’s coverage of psychology, psychological theories, psychological research and psychotherapy.

Learn More about Open Pedagogy

Quality Frameworks

Each team analyses one framework (20 min)


  • Who is the framework for?  
  • What does the framework tell you about quality?
  • What types of criteria do you feel are most helpful?
  • When/at what stage of creation would you use the framework?
  1. BCCampus
    1. Faculty Guide for Evaluating Open Education Resources
    2. B.C. Open Textbook Accessibility Toolkit
  1. Online Learning Consortium
    1. Open Education Resources Evaluation Rubric
  1. Rcampus
  1. The Open University – Quality Checklist for OER (last page)

(12:30 – 2:00PM)

Step 1:  In your teams, designate a notetaker.  

Step 2:  Come up with an open pedagogy idea.

Step 3:  Identify the goals, scope and resources (questions on next slide). Use the whiteboards to note your ideas.

Step 4:  identify a few quality criteria or considerations

Step 5:  Post a completed plan in Acumulador (see Mexican Cinema Taskforce for an example)


  • What is the purpose of the open component of your design?
  • What gap/needs does this design address?


  • Does this design encourage/support participation from broader online communities? Is some element of peer review involved?
  • What are the roles of students in this design?
    • Ex: Are students asked to be co-designers of the learning outcomes asked to be content creators?
  • What do you hope could be achieved by this design?


  • What existing OER might you be able to use or adapt to help you achieve your goals?

Open Pedagogy Mural Activities

Annotating Open Pedagogy

Annotating Open Pedagogy

Exploring open pedagogy examples using web annotation framework .

Advancing UDG with Open Pedagogy

After completing the activities for this topic, in your team you wil develop, adapt, or extend an open pedagogy idea . Add these to the Accumalador.

Add Your Idea