‘Open’ Pedagogy

First, the interview with Pomerantz led me to read “50 Shades of Open” and I am utterly perplexed – not about the content just as to what I thought ‘open’ was as of last week. I find my understanding has deepened but also changed … yet again (yay, learning!). Pomerantz and Peek depict many aspects of what it means to be ‘open’ and I find that ‘openness’ is defined by the context of use – as in what, how, where, what purpose, which makes the term ‘open’ much more fluid and even more difficult to pin down. It actually reminds me of my own area of study currently. Instructional Design and Technology has struggled to define itself and still does today – are we educational technology, technological instruction, educational design, instructional technology? (and so on…) Academics find that the terminology shifts and changes depending on the context much like ‘open.’ This confusion is not a bad thing, it just gets you thinking more and more and around in circles about specificity or the impacts of this ambiguity (both positive and negative).

Second, I thoroughly enjoyed the interview with Dr. Rob Blair. His Democracy Erosion course was a great example of open-style collaborative learning. I am a huge fan of constructivist learning approaches and I can see great potential in the collaborative techniques used in this course design – recommended it to my husband for use! More so, I was intrigued by the design aspect of this course as an instructional designer. I would love to look deeper into the design choices, philosophical underpinnings of design, and design strategies that are used to develop cMOOCs. Instructional designers argue that the design mechanisms and not the delivery system itself is the key to optimal achievement of learning outcomes … would be interesting to see how this stands in these new connectivist scenarios.

Last, open pedagogy is interesting from an instructional designer’s (ID) perspective as it is, from what I gathered, experiential learning. Much literature argues that experiential learning/discovery learning is the key to contextualizing real-world problem solving. Learners develop a better sense of their ability to solve real-world problems or learn new information when it is contextualized and the learning is directly experienced – we can better understand and connect to prior knowledge that we have when our learning is situated. So why not situate it within a crowd of various-minded learners who directly construct and experience the learning together – a crowd whereby the ‘professor’ is the facilitator or does not exist in the traditional sense. Instead, learner guidance is provided by our peers. It also brings people together to discuss and collaboratively work on real issues (education with more purpose!) There are just so many interesting angles to look at as an ID.

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