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Emerging themes: Pedagogy

Page history last edited by Anna Gruszczynska 12 years, 11 months ago

Below you will find excerpts from conversations during project meetings and responses to reflexive tasks which touch upon issues of pedagogy.


1. Excerpt from Phil's response to reflexive task 1 (Understanding OERs), where he discusses the potential relevance of OERs to academic practice

I would suggest to my colleagues that getting involved in OER will enhance their teaching as it could provide access to materials they may be unaware of and by observing how similar topics are approached differently, their capacity for self reflection could also improve. I believe they should care about OER as it has the potential to give width to the student learning experience - a prospect that may be denied by the prescriptive nature of learning outcomes in HE’s contemporary curricula. I would therefore use the potential diversity in OER as the main hook to encourage my colleagues to get involved.


2. Excerpts from discussions at the 2 June 2011 partner meeting 


Craig : 

To me it feels like an opportunity to mention the concept that we are sort of grappling with because I believe that with the previous experience of student engagement or lack of engagement, you know, we started to think, you know, what is the issue here and I think it is too much of a leap for students who are paying a lot of money you know to receive information from experts to suddenly turn around and say, we are liberating you from the constraints of the institution so go away and get the information yourselves and see what you can come up with and I think the attitude is, it is your job, I am paying for that, this is what you are supposed to do that, but saying that, Phil and myself became interested in the sort of concept of edupunk, the sort of anti-corporate approach to education and things like learning outcomes, objectives, assessment processes measured against these criteria how they ultimately, basically exclude the possibility of new knowledge being generated by the students, students actually engaging with it, so talking about edupunk, which is quite, it’s been established for a few years so myself and Phil have come with an alternative approach which dovetails quite nicely with this notion of edupunk what we are terming an anarchogogy;  the notion of pedagogy, which translates loosely as to lead the child, to play on the word anarchy, anarcho, anarchos without rulers, but it is to lead without rulers.


So this idea of anarchogogy takes on board the fight that we are experts in our field but we don’t want to impose that knowledge onto students but really use it more as an invitation, signpost to different aspects of knowledge so in a sense to lead students in an empowered way, to take on board different ideas, different approaches to learning to so we have a role to lead them to this sort of more empowered approach of learning but not to impose percentage wise or to quantify too rigidly and just reduce student effort to a percentage, take them more to generating their own ideas and creating their ideas in a more creative kind of way, what that looks in practice is more what we are engaging with, but that links into the movement against the corporate strangulation of creativity, of student engagement and knowledge.


3. Excerpts from Mike's reflections on the 2 June 2011 partner meeting

Our meeting in Birmingham yesterday encouraged me to think again about the issues which OERs in particular subject areas have to addresss. The discussion raised a lot of issues. When we are thinking about what works best as an OER, we are invariably asking questions about our discipline and how we think about teaching and learning. This was why the discussion was so interesting and provoked so much thought.


The issues that have been around for me have been, in essence, focused around how face to face (traditional) teaching in social sciences can be transformed into what is an OER that will really engage students. This year I have been working with a very large group of students on my introductory criminology undergraduate course. Criminology, we may agree, is an evolving discipline but has its roots in sociology and a range of social sciences disciplines, involving an understanding of contested values. this can sometimes contradict what students new to criminology expect )something along the lines of representation from popular culture e.g. 'CSI').


I have a very clear idea of what works in that face to face situation, and that has been honed each year by the responses of students. There are often debates within criminology about how best to teach, conceptualise and explain the subject. It is a theoretical and empirical discipline. This raises wide ranging questions about learning and teaching in criminology, and how we might acknowledge these questions in OER design. Criminology as a discipline, I believe, is driven by theoretical debates about a variety different perspectives.

Obviously, criminology learning and teaching needs to accomplish the basic stuff (the kind of material outlined by QAA in their benchmark statements) i.e. understanding of:

    • key concepts & theoretical approaches to crime, victimisation & responses to crime (and deviance)
    • basic social research principles (particularly re. criminological topics)
    • how we evaluate the results of individual studies & what methodologies/techniques we use (also when a particular methodology/technique is appropriate)
    • ethical principles influencing (criminological) research
    • principles of human rights and civil liberties (e.g. their impact on policing, or on the different stages of the criminal justice process, or on official responses to crime)
    • scale of social divisions and social diversity in relation to criminological topics
    • construction and influence of representations of crime and victims and of responses to crime and deviance as found in official reports, the media, and public opinion
    • local, national, and international contexts of crime, victimisation, and responses to crime


These benchmarks are what criminologists work with every day, and I am familiar with the experience of teaching in what (hopefully) is a stimulating way and raises the contradictions inherent of some of these areas. However, my knowledge and experience has been borne in face to face teaching.

How are these areas best communicated in an OER? 




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