Author Archives: Christina Hendricks

Open in the Life of a College Student–initial questions

I’m participating in a remote do-a-thon with Open Con 2017: Open in the life of a college student.

The description for this project:

This project is intended to bring collaborators together to create a new infographic that presents the intersections of various Open movements and applies them to the daily lives of college students. The project supports the “connecting with other open movements” and “empowering the next generation” priorities discussed in Cape Town Open Education Declaration +10: http://www.capetowndeclaration.org/cpt10/

This resource is inspired by the Association of Research Libraries’ “Fair Use in a Day in the Life of a College Student” infographic: http://www.arl.org/focus-areas/copyright-ip/fair-use/3831-fair-use-in-a-day-in-the-life-of-a-college-student-infographic

The resulting resource will be shared with a CC-BY license, and the participation of all contributors will be acknowledged.

 

We are getting started by answering a series of questions, which you can see on the link to the project above. My answers were getting long there on the github page, so I decided to write them here on my blog and put a link to this post there!

Here they are…


 

1. Which of the Open movements (Open Access, Open Data, Open Education, Open Science, Open Source, other…) does your work connect most fully to?

Open education I think is the one my work connects most fully to. I am a faculty member at a university, and I am also the Deputy Academic Director of a Teaching & Learning Centre. Still, I know a fair bit about open access and am very interested in open data too.

 

2. What inspired you to begin working in Open? Where were you in your education/career?

When I was on sabbatical I took a connectivist MOOC called ETMOOC (educational technology and media mooc), and that’s where I learned about open education. Then I took a MOOC from the Open University called “Open Education” and learned a lot more! This was about four years ago.

Why did I start working in open? It’s hard to say…it just made sense to me that I would share what I’m doing in terms of teaching and learning in case it was useful to others. I am a teacher, and sharing things with others for the sake of education just made sense. And I am being paid in large part from public funds at my university; this indicates to me that the benefits of what I’m doing should be more widely available (besides just the fact that I think they should generally).

 

3. What values do you consider to be foundational for the Open movement you identified in question 1 (that which most embodies your work)? Why are these values important for the community?

This is a big question and hard to answer in a short span of time (which is all I have at the moment). Quickly, though:

  • equity: of access to educational materials and activities, of meaningful participation, of contributions to knowledge
    • so things like Open Educational Resources, plus open pedagogy, and accessibility to people with disabilities, etc., are relevant here
  • autonomy: students being able to guide their own learning (to the extent feasible), to choose their educational paths, to show their knowledge
    • this is a value in open pedagogy
  • diversity and inclusion: emphasizing the value of participating in teaching and learning activities with others who have different experiences, backgrounds, views
  • improving knowledge: by making it more accessible and by supporting contributions from many

Those are a few off the top of my head…

 

4. Which of these values are shared with other Open movements? What else do you have in common?

I think the idea of improving knowledge, or a product, or code, by including more and diverse contributors may be shared by other open movements (e.g., open source, open science). Equity and access are shared by open access movements I believe.

 

5. In what ways are you impacted by Open in your day-to-day activities? What open tools do you use? Where do you share your work? How do you discover/consume/engage with the work of others? What are some of the indirect benefits of Open in your daily life?

This is also a big question! I’ll just say a few things.

  • I share my educational and other materials with a CC license: slides from classes, assignments, syllabus, slides for presentations, etc. My course websites are public, on WordPress.
  • I also share reflections on teaching and learning here on my blog!
  • I discover and engage with the work of others mainly through social media: I mostly use Twitter but also Mastodon. I also read others’ blog posts and sometimes comment on them (I should do more commenting!). I work with others on projects partly through communication tools like Slack, partly through shared documents on Google Docs or etherpad, and also through video chat tools.
  • Indirect benefits: I know a lot of people from multiple parts of the world that I connect with daily and consider friends, even though I’ve never met many of them! But also, because of my work in open education I have gotten some professional benefits: I have been able to participate in conferences, be invited to give talks, publish papers, etc.

 

6. What concerns/risks limit or prevent you from engaging in open practices? How do these concerns intersect with the values identified in questions 3 & 4?

I am very careful about asking students to participate in open projects/to release their work into the open, because it is their work and they have the right to decide what happens to it. If they choose to make their work open, that’s great; if not, that’s great too. And when they do I try to ensure they always have an option to remove it from public view later if they wish, either by their own actions (i.e., they have control over it rather than me), or by contacting me if it’s a page I control–the former is preferable.

I am also paying more attention lately to when open is risky/problematic, such as noted in Tara Robertson’s post about a recent talk, “Not All Information Wants to be Free”. I also attended an Open Access Week session in Vancouver called “Tensions and Risk in Open Scholarship”; you can see a collaborative notes document from that session. One of the participants in that session was Dave Gaertner from the University of British Columbia, and he wrote a thought-provoking post called “Towards a Pedagogy of Closure”. This, and some of the notes from the “Tensions and risk” event are about the risks for Indigenous communities of openness.

I recently learned about Traditional Knowledge labels and licenses, which is a way to start more deeply engaging with the risks of open for Indigenous communities.

 

7. Which of these tools/activities/practices/values/beliefs also extend to students? Does Open offer benefits that are unique to students? How are concerns/risk similar? How are they different?

I think the benefits can include: ability to contribute to wider knowledge so that one’s work as a student doesn’t just disappear into the void after it receives a grade but does some good in the world. Open pedagogy often involves students having more autonomy, more choice over what they are learning and how, and how they show their learning through projects. Students can also benefit from being connected to wider communities, beyond the confines of their particular class, depending on what kinds of activities they’re engaged in and what the audiences for those are. They could connect with people who are experts in their field, with community groups from whom they can learn day-to-day realities of life that may not be obvious in a class, and more.

I think the risks include things like online bullying or harassment or even threats (if they are on social media or release their work onto sites like blogs or youtube). They may wish later that they hadn’t released their early educational work so publicly because later they may completely disagree with what they had thought earlier, and yet now the work is impossible to delete from the web completely. Those are just a couple of risks that come to mind.

 

8. What changes about the experience with Open tools etc. as students progress from high school to undergrad to grad school and beyond? What values/practices remain consistent regardless of age and expertise?

I think one has to be more careful with younger students and privacy; as students go beyond k-12 and into university and grad school, more autonomy with choices around their privacy makes sense (though some autonomy in high school makes sense too). In any and all cases, learning about the benefits and dangers of openness, including in terms of privacy, is critical. And being sure students and teachers know what data is collected about them through which platforms they choose to use, and for what purposes, and who has access to the data, is also crucial. That goes not only for “open” platforms but others as well!

Presentation: What’s open about open pedagogy?

On Oct. 26, 2017, I gave a talk at Douglas College in the Vancouver, BC, Canada area. This was for Open Access Week 2017. I have a number of blog posts with reflections on my thinking about this talk:

Here I’m posting the slides from the talk I gave!

You can see the slides on speakerdeck, and you can download them as power point here: WhatsOpenAboutOpenPedagogy-DouglasCollege-Oct2017

Here they are embedded from Speaker Deck…

Perceptions of Open Pedagogy

I am doing a presentation at the eCampus Ontario Technology Enhanced Seminar and Showcase in a couple of weeks, and one thing I’ll be talking about is student and faculty perceptions of the benefits and challenges/barriers to open pedagogy. I’m focused on college and university education, but am also interested in responses from those who teach and learn at other educational institutions.

I have some information along those lines, but I’m writing this post for people to comment on to provide more if they wish.

So, if you are willing, please answer one or more of the following in the comments below. If you want to be anonymous you can use a pseudonym and also a false email address when signing in to provide your comment.

Thanks!

Questions:

  1. Are you a student who has engaged in an open pedagogy project, or a faculty member who has asked students to do so? Or maybe a staff member who has helped design one?
  2. What kind of open pedagogy activity were you involved with?
    1. If you want, you can say what kind of course it was (topic, year level)–though note that this might identify you if you don’t want to be identified.
  3. What were the benefits of this activity?
    1. If you were a student, what did you get out of it?
    2. If you engaged in open pedagogy as a teacher or staff member, what did you hope students got out of it? Why did you ask them to do this? Do you have any evidence, formal or informal, of the benefits of the activity?
  4. What were some challenges or barriers you faced?
    1. What could have or did go wrong?
    2. What potential problems with this kind of activity should others be aware of?
    3. Any advice?

 

Remember that you can remain anonymous by not giving your real name or email address, if you want.

Note that quotes from these answers may be used in my presentation at the event linked above, and may be on slides that are publicly viewable. If you want to provide comments without them being seen here, but you wouldn’t mind me paraphrasing from them, please email me: christina.hendricks@ubc.ca

 

Update Nov. 11 2017

I got a fantastic set of comments from a student via email. She gave me permission to post them here, which I really am happy to do because they are so helpful. Here they are as a PDF: StudentComments-OpenPedagogy-Nov2017

Open Pedagogy, shared aspects

This post is part of my reflection on an upcoming talk I’m giving at Douglas College about open pedagogy: “What’s Open about Open Pedagogy?” I an earlier post I started collecting some examples of activities that people have put under the umbrella of open pedagogy. Then I did some reflecting on possible differences between open pedagogy and open educational practices . In my last post I looked at open education in the 60s and 70s.

Here I’m trying to summarize what I’ve got so far around open pedagogy. This is an extension of work I did in a series of posts on open pedagogy earlier this year, all of which are linked in the last one: Navigating Open Pedagogy Part 2. In that post I did a good deal of pulling together of various threads of how people define open pedagogy, and here I’m going to try to refine it even more.

So reading that post might be a useful precursor to this post, because I’m going to do some shorthand here, based on what was discussed there. I’ll also be adding some things based on what else I’ve read since then.

Continue reading

Open Education in the 60s and 70s

icon of footprints with three arrows at the top, pointing in different direction, indicating the concept of choice

Learner choice and autonomy as important to open education in the 60s and 70s. Icon purchased from The Noun Project.

As I’ve been thinking lately about open pedagogy (see all posts on this blog with that tag), I’ve been looking back over some of what others have said about it, and was reminded that a couple of people in the last year have talked about how “open education” has been used/defined in the past and how some of that appears similar to how “open pedagogy” is used today. In this post I dig into some of the earlier work that other people have pointed to, in order to try to understand at least a little bit about some of the history of these concepts, while fully recognizing this is only a tiny taste of what is likely out there.

The things I’ve seen lately from others are from Tannis Morgan (Open Pedagogy and a Very Brief History of the Concept) and Vivien Rolfe (slides for “Open. But not for criticism?” ). Looking at these led me down a bit of a rabbit hole about the open education movement in England & North America in the 60s and 70s. I start here with a bit of general background on the movement, and then look at some of the things Morgan & Rolfe point to.

Continue reading

Open pedagogy, Open Educational Practices

Venn diagram with open learning and teaching practices in one cirlce and qualities of open learning content in another. Where they cross is called open educational resources (OER)

From Open Practices Briefing Paper (Beetham et al., 2012). Licensed CC BY-NC 3.0

 

This post is part of my reflection on an upcoming talk I’m giving at Douglas College about open pedagogy: “What’s Open about Open Pedagogy?” In my previous post I started collecting some examples of activities that people have put under the umbrella of open pedagogy. In an earlier post I collated a number of definitions of open pedagogy, and in my next post I plan to dig more deeply into what I think open pedagogy is and what might be “open” about it.

Here I’m going to do a short reflection on possible differences between “open pedagogy” and “open educational practices” (OEP). I have used open pedagogy and OEP interchangeably in the past, and I’m now thinking it might be helpful to consider where they might differ.

Continue reading

Open pedagogy: examples of class activities

An upcoming talk I’m giving

On October 26 I’m giving a talk at Douglas College in the Vancouver, BC (Canada) area, with the title: “What’s Open about Open Pedagogy?” It’s part of Douglas College’s Open Access Week events.

I brainstorm by writing, and I figured I might as well share my rough thoughts with others in case they find any of it useful. I’ll also share the slides from the talk here on my blog when they’re finished. I expect things will change significantly once my thoughts get from the rough brainstorm form to the slides!

I’m thinking at the moment of an outline for the talk along these lines (with an intro as yet unspecified, talking about why it’s useful to discuss this at all):

  1. What are some examples of things that people have called “open pedagogy”?
  2. How have others defined open pedagogy? What do I think?
    • I’ve already had a lot to say about this in a series of blog posts earlier this year. You can see links to all of them in the last post, called “Navigating Open Pedagogy part 2.”
    • What are the relationships between open pedagogy, open educational practices, students as producers, and students as partners?
  3. What’s open about open pedagogy?
    • What does “open” seem to mean, such that it can cover open access, open data, open science, open government, open pedagogy… (this is a gigantic topic in and of itself; I won’t be able to do it justice but I’ll make a start)
    • Does that fit the views of open pedagogy from (1) and (2)?
    • does any of this change our views of “open pedagogy”?

Oh my…now that I write that out, I think: this is going to be too much for a one-hour talk plus Q&A afterwards. This could probably be a book. Oh well…let’s see what comes out of my brainstorming and whether it’s feasible.

In this post I am just collating a few examples of what people have called “open pedagogy” activities in classes.

Continue reading

Join us virtually at our session at #OpenEd17

laptop on knees of a person with a dog sitting next to them on a couch

Laptop & dog image licensed CC0 from pixabay.com

 

I am working with a fantastic group of people on a session at the upcoming Open Education Conference (Oct. 11-13, Anaheim, California), and we are looking for people who want to join us virtually.

Our session info:

Friday, Oct. 13, 3:30-4:25 pm Pacific time (California)

How can we destroy the open education movement? Conversations about ethics.

Openness is a process that requires and benefits from critical reflection. We believe that facilitating and stimulating critical discussion/debate about the contours and direction of the open education movement (OEM) is essential to its flourishing. In this spirit, the proposed session is intended as a space for participants to unearth and critically explore timely, perhaps uncomfortable questions that may not be at the surface of what we are doing as individuals or as collaborators within the OEM. The facilitators in this session do not have answers. Rather, we host an unconventional, interactive format designed to expose difficult topics and support innovative interventions. The session format supports both in-person and virtual (online) attendees working together on outlining and discussing pressing ethical questions in the OEM. This session allows participants to engage in a critical conversation that is liberating, paradigm challenging, constructive, and inspiring.

Session organizers/facilitators (the following list is those who have been active in planning during the last few meetings):

  • Karen Cangialosi
  • Robin DeRosa
  • Gill Green
  • Christina Hendricks
  • Rajiv Jhangiani
  • Jamison Miller
  • Tara Robertson
  • Scott Robison

Tara and I will not be onsite, but rather joining virtually.

We are looking for others who would like to join virtually as well

I volunteer with Virtually Connecting, but this isn’t quite the same thing: those conversations are usually live streamed on YouTube and also recorded; this one won’t be either live streamed or recorded. It’s just a matter of getting more voices in the room who couldn’t attend the conference in person.

There will be a bit of introduction to the session, but most of the time will be spent in small groups doing discussions, and we envision the virtual participants (including Tara and I) being one of the small groups. We will also have a discussion with the whole room, including the virtual participants, towards the end of the session.

Might you be interested in joining us? If so, please fill out this form to let me know and I’ll get in touch with you with details! We may have to limit the group to a certain number of people, so first come, first in! :)

Any questions? You could ask me on Twitter: @clhendricksbc

 

 

Use of class time in PHIL 102

I’m teaching PHIL 102, Introduction to Philosophy, Jan-April 2018. I have taught this course many times before (and have blogged about it; see here for posts about the course), and I keep revisiting it and renewing it because I’m never fully satisfied. This year I’m focusing my changes in large part on the question of how best to use class time. See the previous post for some general reflections on that.

Below are some problems I am seeing in PHIL 102 that lead me to wonder about my use of class time and whether I should change it.

Continue reading

How best to use class time? (11 years later)

photo of a classroom with empty desks and chairs

Classroom by Victor Björkund, licensed CC BY 2.0 on Flickr.

Eleven years ago, during the summer I first started this blog (2006), I wrote a couple of posts about the use of class time: What is class time for? Part 1 and Part 2.

I don’t know whether the fact that I’m still dealing with a version of the same question this many years later means I’m just failing or that it’s a hard problem. I believe the latter, though!

In those posts I wondered what is the best use of the limited time that we have to have students together in a room (if we teach face-to-face courses, that is). What I was used to from my own courses, and what I did when I first started teaching, was to use that time to: (1) do a lecture in which I explain the assigned readings, clarifying complicated points, heading off potential misunderstandings, and then also either offering a critique or inviting students to offer critiques; and also (2) often I would find ways to engage students in a discussion of some philosophical question. This latter would be either the whole class together (depending on the size of the class), or small groups.

Even in 2006, my third year at UBC (my sixth year of teaching after the PhD), I was wondering about (1). Not that I think that is a bad thing to do, but I was wondering how much time I should spend on that, because:

  • Why should students spend time reading (let’s face it, often difficult) texts when they can come to class and get it explained by the prof?
  • My conception of philosophy, especially for students who may take one or two philosophy classes but won’t be majors, is that it could go beyond reading writings by others and discussing them. I think philosophy is valuable and useful beyond the academy, and doing courses in which all students do is read what others have said and critique it can give a narrow view of what philosophy and philosophical activity are and could be. That’s what professional philosophers do, but most students in my 100 level courses won’t become professional philosophers.
  • Does it really help students learn how to understand and critique complicated arguments if the instructor usually does it for them? Some modeling is necessary, of course, but more practice than I used to give (and frankly, more than I currently give) could be pedagogically useful.

Revisiting the question

Now, here I am in 2017, still addressing a variant of the same question: what is the best use of that limited face-to-face time? What do we need to be in the same room together to do, and what can be done without being in the same room together? (The success of many online courses says there may be a great deal that can be done separately, asynchronously, online).

Continue reading