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Open Pedagogy: What is Open Pedagogy?

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

What is Open Pedagogy?

Many librarians and scholars have defined open pedagogy in different ways. Here are some of the common definitions, which were collected by Amanda Larson and Lindsey Gumb in their presentation during the OTN Summit 2020.


"Use/reuse/creation of OER and collaborative, pedagogical practices employing social and participatory technologies for interaction, peer-learning, knowledge creation and sharing, and empowerment of learners."

Cronin, C. (2017). Openness and Praxis: Exploring the Use of Open Educational Practices in Higher Education. The International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning, 18(5). https://doi.org/10.19173/irrodl.v18i5.3096


"A site of praxis, a place where theories about learning, teaching, technology, and social justice enter into a conversation with each other and inform the development of educational tools and structures...an access-oriented commitment to learner-driven education AND as a process of designing architectures and using tools for learning that enable students to shape the public knowledge commons of which they are a part. We might insist on the centrality of the 5 Rs to this work"

"Open Pedagogy" by Robin DeRosa and Rajiv Jhangiani is licensed under CC BY 4.0


  • "Leverages the 'open' nature of OER to facilitate learning
  • Emphasis on community and collaboration, sharing resources, ideas and power
  • Renewable vs disposable assignments
  • Connection to the wider public
  • Ex: students create, annotate, curate, update, adapt, assess openly licensed work"

"What is Open Pedagogy?" [link forthcoming] by Lauren Ray is licensed under CC BY 4.0


"Open pedagogy is that set of teaching and learning practices only possible in the context of free access and 4R permissions characteristic of open educational resources."

"What is Open Pedagogy?" by David Wiley is licensed under CC BY 4.0


For Larson and Gumb [link forthcoming], open pedagogy is...

  • Leveraging the affordances of OER in teaching
  • OER providing agency to both the instructor and the student over course content
  • Collaborative engagement to create content
  • An opportunity to try out other complementary pedagogies
  • Witnessing "Aha" moments with faculty as they embrace new pedagogical practices
  • Librarian Hat On - an opportunity to engage students in different kinds of literacies (ex: info, digital, privacy)
  • Helping students value themselves as knowledge creators and "real" authors for an audience beyond the classroom walls
  • Helping students understand the rights and responsibilities associated with authorship
  • Leveraging open licenses to teach students essential information literacy concepts
  • Witnessing "aha!" moments surface between students as they collaborate on projects
  • Centering Jhangiani's 5Rs for Open Pedagogy

What are these "CC" licenses?

You might have noticed that the quotes above have "CC BY..." next to the attribution. What does this mean?

This is one of the many Creative Commons licenses, which allow for the reuse, remix, and redistribute of materials with these licenses. CC licensing is a friend of copyright and is not a workaround for copyright infringement or stealing intellectual property. Instead, these licenses encourage the free exchange of ideas and work and they make open pedagogy possible.

For more information, please see our Creative Commons guide:

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