Authors: Jennifer Van Allen, Stacy Katz
Institution: Lehman College, City University of New York
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: Poster
AbstractAs Open Educational Resources (OER) become more prevalent in higher education contexts, some instructors are exploring ways to involve students in creating, adapting, and remixing OER. This practice, known as open pedagogy, empowers students to become creators of knowledge and contribute to a global community. In teacher education and primary and secondary education, OER is often underutilized because educators are not familiar with these freely available resources and fewer resources exist in these areas than other disciplines; yet, OER has been shown to increase students’ equitable access to learning materials and improve learning experiences through the potential for personalization, individualization, and contextualization of content (de los Arcos et al., 2016). Given these findings, it is clear that more work needs to be done to increase awareness of OER in education at all levels and increase the breadth of materials available.
This study explored the decisions and perspectives of nine graduate-level teacher education candidates enrolled in a Language, Literacy, and Educational Technology course. Based on an open pedagogy approach, a renewable assignment was integrated into the course. A renewable assignment is one in which the artifact produced has value to others beyond the course, leverages the permissions of OER, and is made available publicly. In this renewable assignment, the candidates produced an open resource for teaching and learning by creating, adapting, or remixing existing OER and were invited to submit their finished artifact to OER Commons (http://oercommons.org).
Utilizing a convergent mixed methods research design (Creswell & Creswell, 2018), the researchers collected quantitative and qualitative data through a survey, follow-up interviews, collection of artifacts, and instructor reflective notes. Quantitative data was analyzed through univariate descriptive methods to describe the artifacts created by the teacher candidates and understand initial perspectives regarding their work. Qualitative data was analyzed through inductive thematic analysis to understand the teacher candidates’ perceptions of the assignment and effects of the assignment on their beliefs and practices.
Results showed that of the nine participants, six (67%) created a new resource, two (22%) remixed existing resources, and one (11%) adapted an existing resource. Three participants (33%) shared their work with an open license in a public class folder, with only one (11%) participant sharing her artifact publicly on OER Commons. The renewable assignment supported the teacher candidates’ understanding of OER overall, with candidates demonstrating positive beliefs about the value and effectiveness of OER. However, the teacher candidates’ self-efficacy stymied their willingness to share their artifact openly in a highly public forum. These results have important implications for future course development involving OER and renewable assignments in teacher education. Renewable assignments are an important way to support teacher candidates in using and developing OER, while also building and sustaining a global OER teacher community and public repository of resources. However, open education practices need to be more widely modeled in teacher education coursework to better support teacher candidates’ self-efficacy with OER.
Teacher education, Primary and secondary education, Open pedagogy, Renewable assignments, Developing quality OER