Last month’s webinar showcased the work of three awesome new GO-GN members: Mara, Kathryn and Melissa. It was a fantastic session and we’re delighted to now be able to share the recording. Missed the webinar? Want to rewatch any of the excellent presentations? Don’t worry! We’ve got you covered.

Interrogating Open Education Policy Discourse through a Critical Research Lens (Mara Bordignon, Western University, Ontario)

Whether academia should be ‘opened’ is a contentious and evolving issue globally. Open education (OE) – as the sharing, use, and reuse of resources, pedagogies, and teaching practices – has gained momentum by challenging, transforming, and even displacing systems which exclude, disenfranchise, and marginalize members of both the public and academic communities. Traditional, dominant systems rooted in the corporatization and monetization of educational processes are problematic because they create barriers that restrict access, agency, ownership, participation, and experience. OE approaches represent a wide range of solutions from free open educational resources to open access of scholarly research. A complex open and closed ecosystem, coupled with flaws and weaknesses in OE practices and approaches themselves, create issues and tensions needing closer interrogation. My study identifies a research gap in how OE is conceptualized within Canadian higher education policy discourse and aims to provide critical insight into power relations, equity, and social justice. 

Download Mara’s bibliography.

IRRODL Overview & Comparative Openness of Eight Universities in Canada and the United States (Kathryn Johnson, Athabasca University)

Part 1 of this presentation will share a brief history of The International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning (IRRODL) and suggest ways that members of the GO-GN network might benefit from scholarly activities with IRRODL. Part 2 of this presentation will share preliminary finds of a dissertation using historical methodology comparing the open educational characteristics of eight distance universities in Canada and the United States. Six of the universities were established during the early 1970s, at the height of the mass expansion of higher education and the early years of the global proliferation of open universities. Two were established during the 1990s, when virtual universities were emerging.

From perceptions of open pedagogy to the intersection with social justice (Melissa Ashman, Athabasca University)

There seems to be a transformation in teaching and learning that happens when students and faculty engage in open pedagogy. While there is a growing body of research available on the costs, outcomes, uses, and perceptions of open education resources by faculty and students, there is considerably less available with respect to open pedagogy. In the spring and summer of 2021, I conducted surveys of faculty and students in classes using open pedagogy at Kwantlen Polytechnic University in BC, Canada to explore their perceptions towards this practice. In this presentation, I will share some of my research results and how I hope to build on this work for my doctoral dissertation, which will explore the intersection of open pedagogy with social justice in online courses.