Higher education promises to be a vehicle for economic and social mobility; however, this promise increasingly goes begging as our institutions are subtly structured to reinforce existing inequalities, with engagement, persistence, and achievement still closely tied to affordability. The oft-heard institutional claim to be student-centered is similarly hypocritical, as it is usually faculty, accreditation requirements, and budgetary constraints that dictate both the structure and content of the learning experience. It is against the backdrop of these paradoxes that open education practices have emerged as a transformational force in higher education.
Open educational practices (OEP) encompass the creation, adaptation, and adoption of open educational resources, open course development, and even the design of renewable assignments where students are empowered as co-creators of knowledge. OEP represents a truly learner-centered approach to education that radically enhances both agency and access. This presentation will draw on a diverse set of examples to make a case for why the shift away from traditional (closed) practices is not only desirable but also inevitable, and how OEP support the modern university’s mission by serving both social justice and pedagogical innovation.
Dr. Rajiv Jhangiani is a Special Advisor to the Provost on Open Education and a Psychology Professor at Kwantlen Polytechnic University in British Columbia, where he conducts research in open education and the scholarship of teaching and learning. A recipient of the Robert E. Knox Master Teacher Award from the University of British Columbia and the Dean of Arts Teaching Excellence award at KPU, Dr. Jhangiani also serves as an Associate Editor of Psychology Learning and Teaching, an Ambassador for the Center for Open Science, and co-director of the Open Pedagogy Notebook. Formerly an Open Education Advisor at BCcampus and a Faculty Workshop Facilitator with the Open Textbook Network, Dr. Jhangiani’s books include A Compendium of Scales for Use in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (2015) and Open: The Philosophy and Practices that are Revolutionizing Education and Science (2017). You can find him online at @thatpsychprof or thatpsychprof.com
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