Society for Research into Higher Education: Critical Perspectives on ‘Openness’ in Higher Education (Digital University)
The notion of ‘openness’ is becoming increasingly important in higher education, particularly in contexts of digital education. The move towards openness in terms of educational access and process has challenges for established structures and assumptions about teaching, learning, understanding and knowing. However, it could be argued that these claims have been made at times uncritically. This session will feature three researchers who are looking at openness and social networking, featuring with critical and nuanced analyses of the open educational resources movement, the notion of open practices, and academic participation and belonging in social networks. The session will be interactive and will focus on implications for practice and future research.
Openness and praxis: Exploring the use of open educational practices for teaching in higher education Catherine Cronin (National University of Ireland, Galway)
Abstract: Openness in education attracts considerable attention and debate. Much recent research has focused on MOOCs, open educational resources (OER), the use of social media in education, and concomitant issues related to privacy, data ownership, ethics, and equality. There has been little empirical research, however, on educators’ use of open educational practices (OEP). OEP is a broad descriptor that includes not only the creation, use and reuse of OER, but also open pedagogies and open sharing of teaching practices. This talk presents findings from my ongoing PhD research study exploring the digital and pedagogical strategies of a diverse group of university educators, focusing on whether, why and how they use OEP for teaching. Using a constructivist grounded theory approach, four co-related dimensions were found to be shared by open educators in the study: balancing privacy and openness, developing digital literacies, valuing social learning and challenging traditional teaching role expectations. The use of OEP by educators is complex, personal, and contextual; it is also continuously negotiated. These findings suggest that research-informed policies and collaborative and critical approaches to openness are required to support staff, students, and learning in an increasingly complex higher education environment.
73 Collier Street
|Start Date - End Date||2016-11-18 – 2016-11-18|