‘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.

Open Access

So this week’s open learning activities ran parallel to my personal start into investigation of a potential topic for my PhD (Needless to say, I am overwhelmed but academically so it is a good thing).  My ideas are running rampant and so is my anxiety haha but they tend to fuel one another so I cannot really complain.

As for this week’s topic, I am frustrated. I have much to learn and that is more than apparent. However, my frustration is … why does higher education cling to the remnants (and they are remnants – the way we do things are changing whether we like it or not) of past traditionalist research views and publishing methods. This whole “forward-thinking” side of me has only just developed on this end! I liked my old ways and I still do but they are becoming irrelevant and one thing I hate even more than change is being left behind and consequently irrelevant – so here I am! I’m extremely uncomfortable but I am more excited despite my discomfort. Now that I have educated myself on the way the digital age works and I better understand it, I feel like the guy in the Matrix when he took the pill – oh, the possibilities! The power of crowd and connectivity is incomprehensible! So, how do we get other people on board (without forcing or bribing them LOL)?

I leave you with this, we ran out of time with Peter Suber earlier this week but I am interested in what people have to say… I wanted to ask, “How do we encourage a move of higher education from conventional methods of publishing to OA? (not to mention a complete rework of the education framework of incentives, etc.) My question comes from reading Robert A. Reiser’s (2001) A History of Instructional Design and Technology (Part I & II). https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/BF02504506. He tells of the unfortunate inability of education to adopt and allow technologies to reach their full potential. Academia never seems to use them to their full potential and they eventually fall by the wayside. How can we circumvent this?


Well, this brings new meaning to adult education! I am currently endeavoring to add myself to a cMOOC hub and … “third time is a charm” or “try, try, try again!” haha. So here I go – *fingers crossed*

A new beginning…

I’ve started into the world of blogging – late. But, better late than never! I have started a new journey as a PhD student. I ask myself, “What have I done?” constantly. However, when I take part in on-campus activities such as VT’s Open Education Symposium, I realize that I know exactly what I have done: Developed a blog and joined a cMOOC (a little crazy for me but, I “press” on!). Looking forward to engaging in the world of Open Learning 19!