Attributes of Open Pedagogy

There are eight attributes that allow for successful contribution to Open Pedagogy and to the evolution of a participatory culture in the learning environment.

graphical representation of the Hagerty model

Hegarty’s Model for Using OER,
Attributes of Open Pedagogy: A Model for Using Open Educational Resources (p.4), 2015,
Educational Technology 55(4). 3-13. Copyright B. Hegarty.

Participatory Technology

Engaging in a participatory culture is regarded as a creative endeavor, in which more experienced contributors are able to mentor less experienced peers in a supportive and socially connected community. This promotes peer-to-peer learning, diverse cultural expression, and the development of skills valued in the modern workplace.

EXAMPLE: Introduction to the Brain has been created by final year Psychology students and includes an introductory information pack for high school students and an activity with printable materials.

People, Openness, Trust

Building confidence and independence in an open learning environment would motivate people to find their inner creative self and impact their world. Students need opportunities to develop trust, confidence, and an openness for working with others.

EXAMPLE: Students in this course worked with the local LGBT Health and Wellbeing center, student societies, and a range of other networks to identify LGBT volunteers willing to share recorded experiences of healthcare. The students conducted interviews with these volunteers and recorded digital stories.

Innovation and Creativity

Social learning is on the rise, with students increasingly using social media to become creators rather than receivers of information. There are implications for educators in using educational technologies to develop innovative models of learning that personalize experiences and incorporate new opportunities for using the wealth of open accessible content through informal learning opportunities.

EXAMPLE: This open textbook chapterdoes a terrific job of outlining social media technologies and their affordances for social learning.

Sharing Ideas and Resources

Affording students the opportunity to cultivate their online presence and identity promotes open discussion of their ideas and learning and helps them more easily engage in networked learning with others. Sharing can enhance not only the quality and diversity of the learning experience, but also promote the production of user-generated content, sharing, and active participation in the learning process.

EXAMPLE: In a genetics course, students research a genetic condition in a public domain site. Then they give a description of the condition and make a problem based on the condition for other students to solve.

Connected Community

Open Pedagogy within a learning community encourages not only connectivity and sharing of resources and knowledge, but also the development of content by students through a connected community. This is not only essential for collaboration and sharing resources, but also to encourage a more participatory culture.

EXAMPLE: In this open online digital storytelling course, rather than the instructor specifying assignments everyone must do, participants can choose from an array of ones included on the repository site, all of which have been created by past course participants. You are also invited to help grow the archive.


There is empowerment and ownership when students are encouraged to become fully involved in the learning process. This requires ‘opening’ up the process to empower students to take the lead, solve problems, and work collectively to produce artifacts that they share, discuss, remix, and redistribute.

EXAMPLE: A biology instructor redesigned the course to incorporate principles of open pedagogy, open science, connected learning and social justice. Students take ownership of what and how they learn, share resources and connect beyond the walls of their classroom.

Reflective Practice

Open Pedagogy encourages ongoing reflection around the learning experience and can lead to fundamental changes in belief and practice. A vital component of reflective practice is feedback from peers which facilitates the integration of professional learning and reflection into everyday activities leading to intuitive, ongoing reflective practice.

EXAMPLE: Using written conversations as an activity to empower student voices and permit time for thought to expand and be built on by others. Additionally, collaborative annotation is another way to encourage student reflection. Robin DeRosa used Hypothesis with her students to create an open textbook.

Peer Review

Open Pedagogy lends itself to organic formation of networks to share knowledge and comment on each other’s work, leading to more open practices that inspire learner-generated content, peer critique, and collective aggregation. Open peer review is considered fundamental to performance in a participatory culture.

EXAMPLE: The Open Case Studies project brings together faculty and students from different disciplines to write, edit, and learn with case studies that are free, open, and licensed to allow others to revise and reuse them. The project began with a focus on case studies related to topics in environmental sustainability, but has expanded to include case studies on other topics as well.

graphical representation of an assignmentAssignment #1: Create a Visual Representation

GUIDELINES: Read Chapter 1 from A Guide to Making Open Textbooks with Students.

Research the terms from one of the choices below and visually represent the intersections and/or parallels between them in a product of your choice.

Open Ecosystem: Include open pedagogy, open education, open access, open data, open source, open educational resources.

Schools of Pedagogy: Include constructivist pedagogy, connected learning, critical digital pedagogy, open pedagogy.

You may create something by hand or using multimedia or web tools. Provide the final product URL or an image in a comment to the Workplace group post on this assignment.

Creative Commons CC BY License ImageUnless otherwise noted, this work is licensed under a
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