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.



  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:

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




  1. Hey, Christina,

    Great questions! I did an open pedagogy-esque project in an online health psychology class last year. It was an attempt to collect more resources for the course while the students worked on their paper. They had to use only OER to inform their research paper, which was on a topic of their choice. I asked students about their perceptions of the project, and they overall enjoyed it. I have those data and would be happy to share. I can see many areas for improvement since implementing it, but I plan to do something along those lines in the future.

    I also did a presentation on in for a state conference and would be happy to share slides from that when I am back on my computer. Please email me a reminder if you don’t hear from me in the next few days!


  2. In a first year composition course, I have students observe their communities and choose one to describe, identifying key characteristics of the community (usually as a group we determine what types of characteristics we should include in our description– characteristics students have come up with in the past are: how you become a member, how you can identify a member of the community, what the benefits are to being part of the community, what are the drawbacks to being a member of the community- there are many other variations.)

    This leads to identifying problems or concerns the community faces (an example paper) and then to a paper on causes or effects for one of those problems and then an argument for a solution. The students interview community members both about problems and soliciting feedback on their solution to improve it. To develop a solution they have to do research to see how others have solved similar problems and within the community to get feedback on the solutions. They also work with each other to brainstorm ideas and address roadblocks or create more innovative solutions.

    Challenges are for this level, this is a challenging amount of work and critical analysis– some students get overwhelmed by the open-endness of it. Students sometimes don’t feel qualified to offer solutions. Students sometimes have a hard time thinking of themselves as part of a community.

    Benefits to students included developing connections to their own community as well as with-in the classroom, the students have agency and choice over what community they want to work on (they can choose a community they are not part of). Students feel more empowered to be change makers and engaged citizens (when it goes well). Students see more connection between the course and their ultimate goals.

    1. Thanks, Samantha! I’m interested to hear an example or two of the kinds of communities students addressed, just to give me a better sense of the projects. I am guessing they don’t make their work on this project public because it would mean saying some things about the specific communities that they might not want publicized (e.g., what drawbacks are there to being part of the community, what problems are there in the community). It makes a lot of sense for that kind of information not to be released out into the open!

      I love that students are connecting the class with their communities, and this definitely fits with one of the aspects of open pedagogy I’ve seen people talk about, which is connecting courses to wider networks. Sounds like a great project!

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