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Open Pedagogy: Resources and Assignment Ideas

A guide to open pedagogy, renewable assignment ideas, and more!

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Kirk Snyder

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What are Renewable Assignments?

Renewable assignments are meaningful alternatives to the disposable assignments that are commonplace in classrooms at all levels.

As Bob Casper, an Instructional Design Consultant with the Center for Teaching and Learning at Boise State University, asks (and answers), "What happens to student assignments after they are completed and graded? If the answer is 'nothing,' students (and the world) may be missing out on the benefits of their work."

Renewable assignments provide something to the course and the world, and they can be used, reused, remixed, and shared by classmates and instructors all over. These kinds of assignments teach students about their roles in the creation of knowledge and the responsibilities they have as creators.

Examples of renewable assignments are listed below.

Open Pedagogy Assignment Ideas

  • Community problem solving project -- their communities, a problem they define, etc. (from Jesseka Zeleike)
  • Open syllabi – students become responsible for filling out the syllabus and doing the work to find the resources (from Krys Ziska Strange)
  • Real-world case studies – tying student assignments to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals to solve problems around poverty, hunger, education, health care, clean water, gender equality, clean energy, etc.
  • Student-created test question banks (Jennifer Ravia is doing this in D2L for Nutritional Sciences)
  • Wikipedia editing projects – improving the diversity of Wikipedia entries (e.g., creating entries for Black female scientists), currency of resources, and factual accuracy
  • Translations – taking an existing OER and translating it into another language
  • How-to videos – students create videos to demonstrate how to do something step-by-step
  • Anthologies – collections of student-selected and annotated readings

These ideas were compiled by Cheryl Cuillier and shared on the LibOER email group.

Open Pedagogy Resources

These resources were compiled from those suggested by Cheryl Cuillier, Phil Barker, and Bebe Chang on the LibOER email group, and Amanda Larson and Lindsey Gumb during their presentation in the OTN Summit 2020.

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