How to Improve Faculty Training and Support for Open Pedagogy

During the Open Pedagogy Summer Adventure Launch Party @amandataintor responded to an offer to create a new topic thread for anyone that asked, so this one is for you Amanda! Take it over :wink: Note: Alan is sneaky, he wrote this post and “gave” ownership to Amanda.

So please share here your thoughts, suggestions, links related to improving faculty development that helps them take on using an Open Pedagogy Approach.

One of those might be shaping the idea of helping faculty identify something “small” or readily doable as a first step in, maybe just adjusting or recasting the activity for a single assignment.

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I recently came across this “not so small” OER by David Buck at Howard College, “Essentials for ENGL-121: Texts on Writing, Language, and Literacy”

Is it itself built upon Open English at SLCC opentext from Salt Lake Community College.

But my interest was the activities David shared that revolve the writing genres associated with the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Not only do the students listen to three key TED Talks, he has them provide commentary and contribute more information to the talks by web annotation of the transcripts. See the richness of the student annotations here

And how this public act of annotation adds value to the original talk.

I am researching the sustainability of creating and acquiring digital educational content. I am currently conducting 20 min interviews with educational content creators and instructors who use digital content in their teaching.
What I am seeing is a gap between the needs/problems of content creators and instructors. I believe that we need to find a way to incentivize these two parties to help each other. Right now they seem to be quite separated, except those small pockets of people who do both. But this does not scale!!! So as a community, who is interested in the scale, we need to find ways to bring these parties together. The interviews I am conducting range from elementary to post-secondary level. The content creators are the ones that post free educational resources on social media and other paid-for outlets. I have not yet found a way to contact instructional designers at the post-secondary level. If you know any please let me know.

The example of David Buck is interesting as it uses the activity to promote the ideas in UN Sustainable Dvelopment Goals and enriches the content so that the next course or next instructor has more valuable content. Specifically as we care for the content to be enriched with diverse points of views and experiences. I would imagine that in 10 years these comments that students shared would be even great data source for graduate students researching how our values changed in our society - like an socio-archeological trace. On the other side, we have the content creators who have their content used in a specific contntext, should be able to use the assigment by David Buck as validation/proof of the value of the content to other universities. The questions is, the content creators of the TED talks, do they have an easy way to proof or demonstrate that their content was used in the context of higher education? If so how? If not, how would we motivate instructors who use freely available content to provide such proof to support the content creators mission?

This is the crux of what I am trying to understand. In essence, what dynamics do we need between content creators and content users (curators) to ultimately benefit the end-user (student)?

Thanks for sharing your research, Iwona. This seems like the goal sought in our field for a long time. There seems to me some tension between the once idea that the answer was large repositories full of learning content with robust metadata versus the idea of a large public commons where it was shared freely but managed/sustained by the creators. That is what allows educators like David Buck to tap into TED content.

I think we are going to be somewhere in between for a while, but I am often wrong. It would take a rather complex system used widely to create that feedback from users of content to creators.

I do not know of specific means to contact instructional designers in higher ed. There are likely some emailing lists and conferences largely attended, maybe it’s a reach out on social media. I can think of a few I could maybe put you in touch with, and then maybe they have suggestions.

I can also think of @EricaHargreave who is here on OEG Connect and presented on similar concepts at the OEG 2020 conference. She is very keen on this dynamic of building connections between users and creators of content.

Please keep us posted here on your progress, ask more questions, there are more people just starting to join this space

Thank you!
@EricaHargreave is great suggestion. She has been very dedicated to sustainable content creation. I have been following vlog on this topic. I look forward to interviewing her!

Today I will be interviewing @brsmith so I am really looking forward to learning about her work in ‘tracing’ OER usage.

I can writhe a short introduction to email for you and if you can forward it to instructional designers that would be greatly appreciated.
My email:

You research sounds very interesting because there is a gap in higher education between the content creators and instructors. There are not many people who have instructional technology backgrounds and teaching combined. In the future, the new instructors will have to master both of these skills.

Thank you for your feedback. I have been interviewing primary and secondary teachers and when I ask them the questions how they show appreciation to the content creators, for the free or paid resources they all, without exception, get stumped and show regret or guilt or make comment how they should start doing it. My goal is not to make them feel guilty or to start spending time on providing feedback to content creators. Instead of understanding why they don’t do it. Why don’t they have a closer relationships? Most teachers have to modify the content, without letting the content creator know. I think that is the kind of feedback the content creators need. That is the kind of feedback other teachers would find useful. Now you have a productive loop. I get the feeling that teachers avoid feedback not only because of time. But because they don’t know what feedback the content creator is looking for. Solving this would help both content creators and teachers to be more effective. What I am trying to achieve, is how to help teachers so they can easily help content creators which intern will support the teachers. I don’t think the solution is posting social media messages. I am thinking more on the lines of predefined tokens exchange.

A free platform to share resources would be a great idea. I am finding that primary and secondary teachers share with each other in their districts. It is an informal way of doing things. However, it think it is working for most involved. Time is definitely a major factor. Many of the primary and secondary teachers are also parents.

The sharing part is easy… they have the tools that do document “sharing” well. But I did detect some issues, not so much with the tools they use, but cultural. And culture is more important than tools. If we can ply the tools to support the culture then we get scalability and productivity. I am glad you posted your comment. It is helping me to untangle my understanding of the feedback I got from the K-12 teacher interviews. Honestly, I was a bit confused a bout the data I collected so far and its making more sense now, I hope this can help conduct better interviews.

I am sharing this in confidence.
I am planning to present it at an Educational Conference in the Fall - small Lighting Talk video (not a full fledge paper):
I am happy to share this for discussion and collaboration.
With focus on how content adoption can be improved at the K-12 level and beyond.

The trends from the K-12 interviews so far:

  1. :grinning: Teachers are happy with the tools used to share content - Google Drive / Email
  2. :grinning: Teachers Share their content with other teachers that they know and work with
  3. :roll_eyes: Teachers experience hesitation to share their own original content
  4. :grimacing: Teachers spent substantial time to modify their free content - the cost of adaptation. Search can be time consuming too only if something very specific is sought after. Both, modification and search seems to be related to why Teachers like to share content with each other - who does not like to save time?!?

Attribution at K-12 is different then at higher levels of education.
Mainly the attribution value is between the teachers and not the end user. The 5th grader nor the parents care where the content came from. That is not the case for higher level education where the student is aware of the sources of their material and is taught to submit work with proper attribution.

Thus the questions is: does attribution matter at K-12 level and does it impact sharing, content adoption, efficiency?
My hypothesis is yes. But it servers a different purpose.
Further, my hypothesis is that the value for a K-12 teacher of having 1 confirmed use of their content by another teacher is as valuable as 100 Likes on social media for the same content.
First, this provides a concrete approval and thus better Emotional Reward.
Second, more important to the next teacher who might want to use this content in their classroom. This is because this content has been modified to fit the regional/cultural/value needs or standards of the community. Thus most likely, the content adaptation will be low. Who does not like to save time? This ties back to the #4 finding.

So far, I see that K-12 teachers are way under way to using free resources effectively.
I have not come across K-12 teachers using “official” OER resources yet or creating OER.

This is so interesting!! Thank you so much for sharing – and I will definitely follow your later, more public presentations as much as I can!

I’ve had a bunch of K-12 folks in sections of the Creative Commons certificate courses that I’ve facilitated, and I’ve always been interested in the cultural (as you point out, this is maybe the most important part!) aspects of their sharing practices … and also the legal, more than the technical. It seems like many teachers I met through that course were (before the course!) mostly unaware of (or at least uninterested in) the copyright issues around this kind of sharing.

E.g., there’s that whole “Teachers Pay Teachers” site/community … which seems, as far as I can tell, to be entirely based on a faulty legal model, that authors (teachers) own the copyrights on the pedagogical materials they create in their work. But it actually seems that, because of the works-made-for-hire doctrine in copyright law, they don’t own those copyrights, and so cannot monetize their work on TpT, nor can they share freely or openly license!

What do you think about the legal angle on all of this? Did you talk with your interviewees about any of these issues?

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I would agree and maybe hope to see more from your work about attitudes on attribution.

The way attribution is typically framed is as some kind of legal obligation, that an author (student or teacher) might “get into trouble” for not following the arcane rules of licenses. This ends up making it a chore, like “something I have to do.”

What if it is frame as an act of gratitude, of saying thanks?

I keep in memory (actually in my pinboard bookmarks) a 2011 research paper " Computers Can’t Give Credit: How Automatic Attribution Falls Short in an Online Remixing Community" that suggests a human expressed attribution has more impact over a formulaic or machine generated one (I believe this was based on a Scratch community).

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@cogdog Thank you for that paper! so on point to what I am working on!
TpT (Teachers pay Teachers) is super popular among K-12, especially I think in the younger grades, not so much high school.
Thanks for sharing your experience @poritzj. It aligns with the tone of my interviews.
The legality aspect is a bit touchy I think. I don’t ask directly how they share content but it seems that pay for content is shared the same way as free content. Made-for-Hire is when content creator creates something new and gives exclusive rights and actually changes ownership of content. TpT content is not Made-for-Hire (or Pay-for-Hire) because you just buy a copy - thus you don’t have exclusive right to this content. More over TpT provides to purchases multiple licenses for the same content so that you can share it with X amount of people… mostly tiny discount. I am curious how often that feature is used!

The cultural perspective is important because if you want to influence behavior you have to understand what would motivate the person to change. At first my reaction was, OMG they are breaking the law! But this like judging one culture using another culture values. That is not effective, as this is me bringing values from higher-education and trying to have K-12 conform to practices of Graduate Students and Faculty. Perhaps we need to understand that in K-12 the teacher is the end user, even though!, they provide the contented to students. In K-12 world the students are minors - thus no law is broken that they got some math worksheet and the student is not told where it came from. This really does not matter. On the other side, teachers sharing resources among themselves does. For two reasons, one is the boring legal requirement licensing etc. but the other one is building community/network that supports “the teacher”. This I think relates why the research findings are indicating personal attribution is so valuable. K-12 teachers build strong networks. These networks are highly selective. So trust and reciprocity matters!

This has another new dimension if you think about tutoring schools, which are private businesses. These teachers will post free content on Twitter for parents (who are potential buyers of their service, but not end users, I don’t’ know if kids like to use twitter to find math worksheets). So we have free educational content as marketing material. I wonder what the reaction would be if a competitor tutoring company reposted the free content.

I had a conversation with someone in higher education who worked on a online course, non OER, branded and closed to only students enrolled in the course, non of the materials available after you finish the course! The course had all custom content, but based on very few resources. Course had no book requirement. Still the instructor had to provide the references of the course material and especially the book. Apparently, the university reports back to the publisher, even though it was not a required textbook - students did not have to purchase the book, the university book store did not have to stock its shelfs with it… and yet still, the information flows back to the publisher. This really got me thinking. The big publisher have relationships with large organizations such as universities that spend money/resources to benefit the publisher. This is not confirmed yet. But I doubt that publishers pay university money to collect this data. This indicates how valuable acknowledgment really is especially if it comes with extra bits of information like which university what kind of department, what kind of course. Why? So that the publisher can be more strategic about new projects/books. This line of sight is not available by just by looking at their sales data of specific book. They want to know how the book is being used. Back to K-12 culture, I think this is what is missing here. People like when other people use their work (even it is not monetized) but to motivate them to share they also would like to know at a high level how their work is being used. So that they find what really works and they can be better at “marketing” their work. That kind of feedback is motivating for individuals. Because even Free Content needs promotion and support and refinement by the people who use it and adapt it. Right now this is done informally with small groups of teachers. To scale, more trust is required, and I think that the feedback/acknowledgment is big part of trust.