October 3

Open Pedagogy ≠ OER

Context: Open Pedagogy does not require the use/creation of open educational resources.

In a 2013 blog post David Wiley defined open pedagogy as being directly connected to the 4R permissions of Open Educational Resources (OER). He said, “Open pedagogy is that set of teaching and learning practices only possible in the context of the free access and 4R permissions characteristic of open educational resources.”

In 2014 Tom Woodward in a Campus Technology interview with Mary Grush defined open pedagogy as a broad and holistic set of values and approaches. “Looking at open pedagogy as a general philosophy of openness (and connection) in all elements of the pedagogical process, while messy, provides some interesting possibilities. Open is a purposeful path towards connection and community. Open pedagogy could be considered as a blend of strategies, technologies, and networked communities that make the process and products of education more transparent, understandable, and available to all the people involved.”

Tannis Morgan in 2016 blogged about the history of the term open pedagogy tracing it to a Canadian educator in 1979 named Claude Paquette who “…outlines 3 sets of foundational values of open pedagogy, namely:  autonomy and interdependence; freedom and responsibility; democracy and participation.” Morgan observed that “open pedagogy is currently a sort of proxy for the use and creation of open educational resources, as opposed to being tied to a broader pedagogical objective.”

In 2018, to address this problem of conflating open pedagogical practices with the use and creation of open educational resources, David Wiley has updated his thoughts on this and proposed the term “OER-enabled pedagogy” defined as “the set of teaching and learning practices that are only possible or practical in the context of the 5R permissions which are characteristic of OER.”

This context is important because for decades before the advent of OER, the term “open pedagogy” has been associated with learner-centered pedagogical practices. Online teaching and learning, and the advent of the social web and web 2.0 technologies, have inspired innovations in the use of freely available web tools for instructional purposes allowing educators and learners to rethink the role of content in instruction; to expand the concept of teaching presence beyond the role of the instructor to include the learners in the classroom; to focus on interaction and collaboration between learners in the social construction of knowledge; and to devise more effective/efficient ways to provide feedback and to assess learning. The power and public nature of the social web present endless opportunities, options, AND choices for how learners can make their thinking and learning visible in the online class environment.


Wiley, D. (2013, October 21), “What is Open Pedagogy.” iterating toward openness. Retrieved from https://opencontent.org/blog/archives/2975

Grush, M. (2014, November 12), “Open Pedagogy: Connection, Community, and Transparency Q&A with Tom Woodward.” Campus Technology. Retrieved from https://campustechnology.com/Articles/2014/11/12/Open-Pedagogy-Connection-Community-and-Transparency.aspx?Page=1

Morgan, T. (2016, December 21), “Open pedagogy and a very brief history of the concept.” Explorations in the Ed Tech World. Retrieved from https://homonym.ca/uncategorized/open-pedagogy-and-a-very-brief-history-of-the-concept/

Wiley, D., Hilton, III, J. (2018). Defining OER-Enabled Pedagogy. International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning, 19(4), 133-147. Retrieved from http://www.irrodl.org/index.php/irrodl/article/view/3601/4769

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Posted October 3, 2018 by alexandrapickett in category Uncategorized

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Alexandra M. Pickett

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