Open Pedagogy: create and collaborate

Open Pedagogy: create and collaborate

Figure 1 Image by Pixabay from Pexels

Open Pedagogy is a concept in teaching that overlaps with other schools of pedagogical thought, especially as we now work, create, and learn in a digital environment and engage more with collaborative work, such as:

  • Constructivist Pedagogy – learning based on the idea that we construct our own knowledge through direct experience (Hands-on learning).
  • Critical Digital Pedagogy – focuses not just on the tools we use in teaching, but how we are connecting as human beings.
  • Connected Learning – active participation in learning, collaboration with peers, mentors, etc.

The term Open Pedagogy was first cited in 1979 by a Canadian named Claude Paquette and he “outlines three sets of foundational values of Open Pedagogy: autonomy and interdependence; freedom and responsibility; democracy and participation” (DeRosa and Jhangiani, para. 3, 2020). As researchers began creating and encountering Open Educational Resources (OER), this term re-emerged. All these teaching pedagogies have aspects in common, and together form the foundations of not only OER, but other open initiatives that can be just as helpful in providing students access to affordable course content.

An OER textbook does not need to be a first or only option. Instead of focusing on teaching materials, faculty can approach Open Educational Resources in terms of teaching style and ways of engagement with students. Think of pedagogical practices and types of assignments. Simple, small actions to move more towards OER or other open materials could be adjusting an assignment or assigning an open access (OA) journal article in place of a textbook chapter reading. Open Pedagogy has a spectrum of open resources available, some completely free for creative and sharing purposes (OER) and some a bit more restricted (OA). However, all are important and play a part in providing students with the materials they need.

To explore more about Open Pedagogy, here are a few resources to get started.

Open Pedagogy

DeRosa, R. and Jhangiani, R. (2021). Open pedagogy. A Guide to Making Open Textbooks with Students. Rebus Community.

This book is published by the Rebus Community, an initiative of the Rebus Foundation (a registered Canadian charity) which supports open and collaborative publishing models, such as OER textbooks.  The chapter “Open Pedagogy” by DeRosa and Jhangiani discuss ways to approach the topic of Open Pedagogy and how open pedagogy relates to equity and access.   

Open Pedagogy Notebook

Open Pedagogy Notebook: Sharing Practices, Building Community. (2020).

This website is designed to serve as a resource for educators interested in learning more about Open Pedagogy. It also provides examples, which include both classroom-tested practices and budding ideas, and it invites faculty to consider contributing examples of their own experiments with open pedagogy. This Notebook builds on the work of a great open colleague Terry Greene and The Open Faculty Patchbook, which exists in both website and book form.

Embracing Open Pedagogy

Embracing Open Pedagogy. (n.d.) Understanding OER: SUNY OER Community Course. Lumen Learning.

This course page from the OER courseware Understanding OER from SUNY OER and Lumen Learning provides an easy introduction to Open Pedagogy, including a recording of a talk co-hosted by the SUNY Center for Professional Development and the Open Education Consortium of Robin DeRosa and Rajiv Jhangiani, two prominent OER and Open Pedagogy advocates.

Teaching with OER: Open Pedagogy

Elder, A.K. (2019). The OER Starter Kit. Ames, IA: Iowa State University Digital Press.

This chapter from The OER Starter Kit by Abby Elder provides a definition for open pedagogy, the components behind renewable assignments and tools commonly used for the creation of renewable assignments. This starter kit is essential reading for those new to OERs and this chapter is a great place to start on how Open Pedagogy can fit into OER. It’s brief reading, but it provides a useful list of tools.

Open Pedagogy Approaches: Faculty, Library, and Student Collaborations

Clifton, A. and Davies Hoffman, K. (2021). Open Pedagogy Approaches: Faculty, Library, and Student Collaborations. Geneseo, New York: Milne Publishing.

This OER e-text is a great overview of all the interpretations of the term “open” (open access, open source, open pedagogy, open textbook, etc.) and they are applied in a variety of learning and teaching experiences. This book provides case studies on a variety of collaborations among faculty, librarians, and students.

Hybrid Pedagogy: The Journal of Critical Digital Pedagogy

This open-source journal is a great place to learn and read more about the various pedagogies discussed here. Hybrid Pedagogy (ISSN: 2332-2098) is a community, a conversation, a collaboration, a school, and a journal. It is a place to discuss critical digital pedagogy by advocating for students and fostering awareness of academic hierarchies. We work together to enact an understanding of co-teaching within a community of mutual respect. Hybrid Pedagogy is centered on praxis — the blend of theory and practice that develops with experience and reflection.

For questions about open pedagogy, open educational resources (OER), or related topics, contact Assistant Librarian of Access & Technical Services Beth South at See a recent library blog for basics about Open educational resources.


DeRosa, R. and Jhangiani, R. (2021). Open Pedagogy. Open Pedagogy Notebook: Sharing Practices, Building Community.

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