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The Open Pedagogy Portal is an open repository created by the Open Education Network (OEN) as an online source for open pedagogy case studies, student work, and teaching/learning resources in higher education. The site officially went live August 15, 2023, and welcomes submissions. You do not need to be affiliated with an OEN institution to participate.
Sharing Open Ped
The nascent Portal currently offers 17 open pedagogy publications, most submitted by practitioners from the U.S. and one from the Netherlands. Examples include:
- “Library Research for United Nations Sustainable Development Goals”published by Richelle Charles and Mary E. Robinson, a library research slide deck/presentation for Montgomery College.
- “History of Science” published by Lauren Woolsey, a renewable assignment created for Grand Rapids Community College.
- “Biopsychology Signature Project,” an open educational resource published by Chris May and spring 2021 semester students at University College Groningen.
The OEN anticipates the Portal will grow into a robust directory with submissions from higher ed faculty, librarians, staff, and students. We encourage submitters to share renewable assignments and support materials, student work, case studies and resources including infographics, blog posts, slide decks, and training materials for colleagues and students.
To be considered for the Portal, open pedagogy projects must meet two main criteria:
- Content must be openly licensed.
- Content must be affiliated with a higher education institution.
Submissions can be made via the Open Pedagogy Portal Submission Form.
Inspiration for the Portal began a few years ago as Tanya Grosz, OEN Director of Educational Programs, considered incorporating open pedagogy into literature courses she teaches at University of Northwestern – St. Paul. Grappling with uncertainty, she asked herself, “How do I do this? Am I doing this right?”
Grosz began searching for discipline-specific examples of open pedagogy, pouring over the work of Rajiv Jhangiani and Robin DeRosa including the Open Pedagogy Notebook and The Open Anthology of Earlier American Literature. “I first understood open pedagogy because of Rajiv and Robin’s work,” she reflects. “The Open Pedagogy Notebook was an inspiration and one of the seeds that took root to create the Open Pedagogy Portal. The Portal wouldn’t be in existence without the work that Rajiv and Robin have done.”
Grosz was also motivated by participants in the 2023 OEN Certificate in Open Educational Practices and Open Pedagogy Learning Circle. She felt compelled to showcase and share their innovative work, making it searchable by academic discipline. This functionality, she thought, could enable others to build on open ped in areas of shared expertise.
Today Grosz gratefully acknowledges these program participants, as well as open pedagogy trailblazers Jhangiani and DeRosa, who laid substantial groundwork for the Portal. “It was kind of all of that,” Grosz recalls. “My self-doubt and my wondering, ‘How do you do open pedagogy as a faculty member?’ It made me think, ‘Wow, it would be great if the OEN could offer something that would be case studies, tools, resources, and of course, be discipline-specific searchable.’”
Diving into Disciplines
To create the Portal, in November 2022 Grosz began collaborating with Jamie Witman, OEN Open Educational Practices Specialist. Together, they designed the site to serve faculty looking to convert traditional assignments into renewable ones. Witman built the site using PubPub, an open-source content management system, for its technical ease, design aesthetics, and customization features.
Throughout the process, the two continued to focus on enabling visitors to dive into disciplines. The result is a user-friendly Portal searchable by 11 disciplines that align with the Open Textbook Library:
- Computer Science
- Journalism, Media Studies & Communication
- Natural Sciences
- Social Sciences
Witman and Grosz are pleased with the outcome as well as the site’s ability to connect individual resources as needed. “I felt it was important,” said Witman. “If we were going to be accepting student work, we should be able to tie that work to the assignment that it’s coming from. Here you can jump right from the assignment to an authentic example of what a student submitted to complete it. That’s really cool.”
The Breadth and Depth
Submissions to the Portal have been steady, centering largely on Humanities and Communications Studies. Grosz and Witman are encouraged by positive feedback, and they like to envision how far the Portal could grow given the spirit of sharing that characterizes the open education community.
“When I say ‘robust,’ I’m not just thinking of having examples from every discipline,” said Grosz. “I’m thinking of everything from a release form to an entirely redesigned book, or redesigned unit, or whatever it is. I would love to see the breadth and depth of open pedagogy represented someday on this site.”
If you have questions about the Open Pedagogy Portal or project submissions, please contact Jamie Witman.
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