OPEN PEDAGOGY: INDEPENDENCE AND INTERDEPENDENCE IN TEACHING ABOUT NEW MEDIA
Keywords:open pedagogy, new media, learning outcomes, Pressbooks, open textbook
In the quest for independence from traditional media constraints, open pedagogy — involving students in the creation of openly licensed materials — offers training in open culture practices alongside deeper learning. Our research builds upon an exploratory study by Hilton et al. (2019). We collected quantitative and qualitative data about the experiences of 85 students participating in an open pedagogy course project: creating content for the open textbook Humans R Social Media (HRSM). We asked students to compare their experiences working on HRSM with traditional learning activities (e.g., writing papers, taking quizzes). About 66% of students said the HRSM project had greater educational value than traditional learning activities. Most students (54.1%) also reported that HRSM helped them master more core academic content, and 51.8% said the project helped them become more collaborative learners. Although a small percentage preferred traditional learning activities, most students reported that open pedagogy’s focus on agency and choice enabled them to share their individuality and creativity. We also found that students valued knowing their work could be shared beyond the classroom; and that publishing, in the words of one student, “gave me more incentive to make sure my assignments were my best product.” This study tentatively reinforces the benefits of independent, hands-on learning as well as collaborative interdependence in an online environment. These findings suggest the active nature of open pedagogy holds rich possibilities for cultivating participatory learning activities, involving students in the creation of knowledge as they learn, and cultivating interdependent connection and community.