:sync: Cracking The Disciplines Open: How I’m Bringing Open into Political Science, and Why You Should Consider Cracking Your Field Open, Too

Author: Shawna Brandle
Institution: Kingsborough Community College
Country: United States

Topic: Applications of Open Education Practices/Open Pedagogy/Open Education Research
Sector: Higher Education
UNESCO Area of Focus: Building capacity
Session Format: Lightning Talk


I have found adopting open educational practices (OEP) into my own teaching to be incredibly rewarding for myself and for my students, yet I have struggled with the disconnect between what I get so excited about in my own classroom and in open education circles versus what I find happening in the wider discipline of political science. This lightning talk analyzes the current lack of OEP in political science, identifies several of the barriers keeping OEP from wider adoption, highlights the benefits of adopting OEP in political science, and describes the steps I have taken to begin to open up my discipline. These steps will be described specifically, so participants walk away with adaptable, actionable goals of their own that are appropriate for cracking open their own disciplines.


Political Science, OER, Open Educational Practices, Higher Education, Open in the Disciplines

Hi everyone! Here are the slides from my presentation if you are interested: https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1ou37oLi8kwJvPVESE98v9PLjucuNztiYoDdh84n6320/edit?usp=sharing

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I was so afraid of going over time that I forgot to mention the potential of open pedagogy for my discipline, so I’m adding the lines I missed here:
Unlike their traditionally published counterparts, OER textbooks are licensed for revision and reissue- if we want to change them, we are legally permitted to do so. Openstax, a leading publisher of open textbooks, and the publisher of the US government textbook I use in my own classes is stepping up its commitment to encouraging revision, by releasing easily editable Google docs versions of their textbooks any day now. If faculty can edit their textbooks easily and legally, they can revise them with specific intention to improve representation. Or they could also work with students to edit their textbooks, or have students write and openly publish their own work. What would an introduction to US government or comparative politics or political theory textbook look like if it was written by today’s students? How much more effective at increasing student learning and engagement would such assignments be instead of just more term papers? Open pedagogy is the free gift with no purchase of open educational resources, and it has tremendous potential to revolutionize teaching in political science and every other discipline.

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Recording of the session: