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Thursday, April 26 • 11:20 - 11:45
Beyond practices: Values, challenges, and tensions associated with using OEP

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This study explored whether, why, how, and to what extent academic staff used OEP in one higher education institution. The study aimed to clarify factors that both encourage and inhibit the use of OEP, as well as to identify and illuminate the dimensions shared by those using OEP (‘open educators’). Data was gathered from a broad range of educators at one university in Ireland through the use of semi-structured interviews (n=19) and a survey (n=132). Using constructivist grounded theory, a model of the concept “Using OEP” was constructed showing (i) the foundational digital practices of open educators, (ii) open educators’ use of digital tools and open content, and (iii) the dimensions shared by open educators, i.e.  balancing privacy and openness, developing digital literacies, valuing social learning, and challenging traditional teaching role expectations. Despite experiencing challenges and tensions, the benefits of using OEP cited by open educators in the study included improved learning design; connecting with current issues; expanding the scope of learning beyond the classroom/university; and enhancement of students’ learning. Overall, the use of OEP was found to be complex, personal, contextual, and continually negotiated. The findings suggest that research-informed, collaborative, and critical approaches to openness are required in order to support staff and students, and in particular, to ameliorate the challenges and tensions associated with enacting open educational practices in higher education.

avatar for Catherine Cronin

Catherine Cronin

open educator; educational developer, National University of Ireland, Galway
Hi, I'm Catherine Cronin - open educator, open researcher, and educational developer at NUI Galway (now settled in Ireland, but originally from New York City). My work focuses on open education, digital identity, and digital & network literacies. I recently completed my PhD in the... Read More →

Thursday April 26, 2018 11:20 - 11:45 CEST