Framing open educational practices from a social justice perspective

Author's Department

Center for Learning and Teaching (CLT)

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Document Type

Research Article

Publication Title

Journal of Interactive Media in Education

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© 2020 The Author(s). OEP (open educational practices), inclusive of open pedagogy, is often understood with respect to the use of OER (open educational resources) but can be conceived with more expansive conceptualisations (see Cronin & McLaren 2018; DeRosa & Jhangiani 2017; Koseoglu & Bozkurt 2018). This article attempts to build on existing OEP research and practice in two ways. First, we provide a typology of OEP, giving examples of practices across a continuum of openness and along three axes: from content-centric to process-centric, teacher-centric to learner-centric, and practices that are primarily for pedagogical purposes to primarily for social justice (Bali 2017). Second, we employ Hodgkinson-Williams and Trotter’s (2018) conceptual framework, which builds on Fraser’s model of social justice, to critically analyse the ways in which the use/impact of OEP might be considered socially just, with a particular focus on expan-sive, process-centric OEP. We analyze for whom and in which contexts OEP can (i) support social justice along economic, cultural and political dimensions, and (ii) do so in transformative, ameliorative, neutral or even negative ways. We use the typology and framework to analyse specific process-centric forms of OEP including collaborative annotation, Wikipedia editing, open networked courses, Virtually Connecting, public scholarship, and learner-created OER. Analysing specific practices highlights diversity across the axes and subtle differences among them, such as when a particular practice is considered good pedagogy and how it can be modified to be more oriented towards social justice. We discuss limitations of each practice not just from its discourse and design, but also how it works in practice.

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