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Journal Article

Bringing Open Educational Practice to a Research‑Intensive University: Prospects and Challenges  pp31-42

Elizabeth Masterman

© Apr 2016 Volume 14 Issue 1, ECEL 2015, Editor: Amanda Jefferies and Marija Cubric, pp1 - 80

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Abstract: This article describes a small‑scale study that explored the relationship between the pedagogical practices characterised as openŽ and the existing model of undergraduate teaching and learning at a large research‑intensive university (RIU). T he aim was to determine the factors that might enable (conversely impede) the greater uptake of open educational resources (OER) in universities of this type. The research was informed by two theoretical frameworks. The first was derived from the lite rature on open educational practice and served as the basis for an interview schedule. The second was derived from the literature on RIUs and provided a structure for reflecting on the data in three areas of activity: pedagogy, outreach and governance. Th e researchers conducted semi‑structured interviews with 14 academics, selected either for their involvement in open practices or for the recognition they had received for excellence in their teaching. The interview schedule was derived from a literature s urvey focusing on open pedagogic models. Topics discussed with interviewees included the flatteningŽ of the teacher‑student relationship, students assumption of responsibility for their own learning, learning as (or in) a community and the possible in fluence of open practices in research on teaching. Findings suggest that open educational approaches can be accommodated in a universitys prevailing pedagogic model without compromising its integrity. However, openness can enhance the specifics of that p edagogy; for example, through aligning research‑informed teaching with emergent open practices in research and equipping students with the skills necessary for living and working in an open world. There is a closer alignment between releasing OER and an R IUs strategic mission for outreach. Nevertheless, the spread of open practices in both pedagogy and outreach hinges on issues of governance, which in RIUs is characterised by considerable emphasis on the autonomy of individual academics.


Keywords: Keywords: open education, OER, research-informed teaching, higher education, pedagogy, digital scholarship


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