Cambrian College Teaching & Learning Innovation Hub

  /  9x9x25   /  OER-Enabled Pedagogy: Inviting Students to the Party
Pineapple with sunglasses, balloons, party hats

OER-Enabled Pedagogy: Inviting Students to the Party

Pineapple with sunglasses, balloons, party hats

Photo by Pineapple Supply Co. on Unsplash


There’s something about Open Education that seriously lights me up. The first time this happened to me, I was invited to attend eCampus Ontario’s first Open Education Ontario Summit. Robin de Rosa and Rajiv Jhangiani delivered an inspiring, articulate, research-based keynote that at once introduced me to Open Education, and pulled me right in.


Jump ahead a year and a half, and I’m seeing significant changes in the way that I envision the learning experience. I found David Wiley’s description of disposable and renewable assignments of particular interest, and starting focussing my research on Open Educational Practices (OEP) and Open Pedagogy.


Open. It’s about creating, sharing, empowering. It’s access, equity, choice. Open speaks to me, and many others, on a philosophical and emotional level. While this is helpful in terms of motivation, I need to check myself and ensure that I’m viewing my open practise with the same critical eye that I apply to all of my teaching and scholarly work. While I’ve read extensively about OEP and Open Pedagogy, the terms are muddy, overlapping, ill-defined. It makes it difficult to know where to start and how to move forward. Frankly, I’ve been feeling a bit stuck. So, when experts in the field offered up some clarity, I was grateful for the read and even more so for the direction and ideas.


OER-Enabled Pedagogy

David Wiley and John Levi Hilton III recently published an article in the International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning (IRRODL) titled “Defining OER-Enabled Pedagogy”. They present a continuum of criteria that can be used to evaluate whether a particular approach meets their definition of OER-enabled pedagogy, that is, “the set of teaching and learning practices that are only possible or practical in the context of the 5R permissions that are characteristic of OER” (2018, p. 135). Here’s an overview of their continuum:

continuum of critiera toward open

Wiley & Hilton, 2018, p. 137

In the article, they evaluate a few examples of OER-enabled pedagogy using a four part-test that essentially reiterates the column headings. I saw potential for these questions to help me both plan course activities that align with the definition of OER-enabled pedagogy, and invite students to participate in those activities, to the extent that they are willing and comfortable.


Inviting Students In

Open activities can look dramatically different from the type of coursework that students are typically asked to complete in formal learning environments. While students must never be forced to share their work publicly or openly license the artifacts of their learning, educators can “espouse the benefits of openness and appropriately advocate for students to license their work under a Creative Commons license” (Wiley & Hilton, 2018, p. 144). I thought it might be helpful to reimagine Wiley and Hilton’s four-part test from the perspective of my future students, learners who I’m inviting to engage in OER-enabled pedagogy:

How does creating something new, or revising / remixing an existing OER support my learning?

How might the artifacts of my learning benefit others?

Why would I make my work available publicly?

Why would I openly license my work?


What’s Your Answer?

I’d like to invite Open Educators, new, emerging, and veteran, to populate a Google Doc with their answers to the four questions posed above. I think this could be a powerful collaborative exercise for a few reasons:

  • the responses we share will help clarify our own motivations for implementing OER-enabled pedagogy in our particular contexts
  • we can refine our messaging to students, incorporating our responses into course introductions, assignment descriptions and the like
  • we can produce an OER that new Open Educators might find extremely valuable and orienting
  • we can remix the responses into media-rich learning objects for and with our students, essentially using the list as a starting point for enacting OER-enabled pedagogy



This is me asking for help, me calling you to action. Please help me by adding your wisdom to this Google Doc. Please share it widely and ask your colleagues to contribute.

Let’s see where this can go.

Jessica O'Reilly
Instructional Developer

(705) 566-8101 x 6395

Post a Comment