Father of 3, husband, educator and lifelong learner.

#EDCI-339 Topic #3 Post

In the article titled “A guide to making open textbooks with students”, Derosa and Jhangiani talk in depth about the power of collaborating with students in an open learning environment.  They bring up the fact that Open Educational Resources (OER) are usually characterized by the 5 R’s : they can be reused, retained, redistributed, revised, and remixed.  They encourage the students to add to the content of the Open Learning course to help develop their understanding of the material.  Allowing students (and faculty) the chance to contribute to the knowledge commons and not simply to consume from it gives the sense of ownership to the people who are experiencing the learning.  This was a very powerful concept that I had not considered before.  I know in my teaching, when we first consider a project, I enjoy having the students help to co-create the rubric and the criteria for the assignment.  I believe it enables them to feel connected to the project and to develop an appreciation for its demands.  Another concept they brought up was the fact that Open Pedagogy sees access as being central to the learning of the students.  Without access, one simply cannot gather enough knowledge to be successful.

Desousa and Jhangiani speak to the importance of contributing to the knowledge commons.  Since the premise of Open Pedagogy is to share the information “openly”, it is important that each member of the group is able to share their understanding.  Having the opportunity to share your ideas and to be able to see others’, is a great way of developing a deeper and meaningful understanding of the content.  Conversely, the Learning Management System model (Course Spaces, Moodle etc…) is a closed environment where only the people registered for the course have access to its information.  Students and faculty are able to share their thoughts with the other members of the group but there is no knowledge commons per say.

Although there are many positive attributes to the Open  Learning model, I think it would be extremely difficult to use it as the sole method of instruction in a regular classroom.  I can see a blend of Open Pedagogy and face to face instruction where the benefits of both systems would be maximized.

What struck me the most about the digital redlining, access and privacy article was how differently access to information is when considering community colleges and higher academic schools is.  Gilliard and Culik touched on this several times stating the digital redlining and filtering greatly restricts the access to information in the community college schools.  I found this to be very interesting.  The authors also referred to the growing sense that digital justice isn’t only about who has access but also what information they have access to.  My question is do the digital redlining and filtering of access to information hinder the educational experiences of its users?  If one cannot have access to the appropriate information, is it possible to gain a comprehensive understating of the material?

Next Post

Previous Post


  1. tessgreenlay July 20, 2020

    Hi Todd,

    Once again I really enjoyed hearing your thoughts and perspective on this week’s readings. I appreciate getting to understand these texts through a different lens.

    I feel that we both had some “ah HA” moments with both of these texts, especially the first one about having students contribute to the Open Learning environment. I’ve always appreciated it when teachers involve students in the rubric forming process, since as you said it helps us to feel “more connected to the project and its demands”. I couldn’t agree more! In high school, I did feel like I had a better understanding of what was expected of me when it was my peers and I helping create this list of criteria. It’s really great to hear your perspective on this concept since I never thought about it from a teacher’s point of view.

    From the second reading, I think your questions at the end raise some important points. If thousands of people have gone through their degree without being hindered by this redlining, it makes me wonder if the redlining really prohibited much learning. My only concern with thinking about this question is that even if it doesn’t hinder the learning experience, did it take away an opportunity of growth, development, or interest from these students? I think the questions you’ve raised are ones I would love to hear answers about from researchers in this field.

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts about these topics, I’m looking forward to hearing your ideas on future topics!


  2. musiclady July 21, 2020

    Hi Todd,

    I enjoyed reading your reflection. You hit on the topic of student created criteria and rubrics. I agree that giving students ownership over their learning is a great way to engage students. One thing that Mays (2017) mentions is students being able to adapt their learning outcomes to be relevant to their future paths. I found that to be a very compelling idea. As a specialist teacher, I find that most courses I take are with a classroom focus in mind, which means that a lot of the predetermined learning outcomes will not be relevant for me. I think that it would be great if there were more opportunities for students to have a choice in what learning outcomes they demonstrate rather than ones that are predetermined. However, there are also situations where students do need the leadership and expertise of an effective teacher, which is why I agree with you that it would be challenging to have an open model as the sole method of instruction. However, I am admittedly far more familiar with in-person and distributed learning models, so that might just be my personal bias. My understanding is that one of the biggest hangups of open learning is the fact that many programs are unaccredited. I feel that we may just be at the beginning of an open learning revolution where open learning will rival that of other distributed models of learning.

    The examples of digital redlining were an interesting read and made me consider aspects of my learning that I have not considered. However, in terms of whether or not digital redlining hinders one’s education, I too found it difficult to imagine that a smaller search result in scholarly articles relates to an inferior education. Perhaps the search results may guide students towards particular topics, but as long as the learning outcomes are being met, the sources cited (as long as they are reputable) should not impact learning. After all, when learning to research or write a paper, it is often the process that holds more weight than the actual topic. For most students working towards a bachelor’s degree, diploma, or certificate, digital redlining is likely to have little or no effect. I could see fewer search results limiting higher learning like masters or doctoral candidates, but those students seeking that level of higher learning are probably not at a community college where digital redlining is considered an issue. I think the idea of inequity in education is a far bigger issue than digital redlining. For many, the cost of tuition, textbooks, and technology are all cost prohibitive in obtaining higher learning. Despite the drawbacks of open learning, it is a great opportunity for those that would otherwise not be able to access an education.


Leave a Reply

© 2022 TBergeron

Theme by Anders Norén