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What does open educational practice mean to you?

We had our forth ‘open education at UAL drop-in/focus group session at WCA 26/04/2012 following on from previous sessions at (CSM, LCF and CCAD) the sessions are part of a CLTAD project collaboration between ALTO and DIAL. We will announce further dates for meetings at Camberwell and LCC very soon and be running a lunchtime webinar. If you would like us to visit your college again or visit a specific course to talk about the implications of open education then please contact Chris –

We kicked off the meeting by asking participants ‘what open education or open educational practice meant to them’ we were fortunate to have a good cross section of views and experience. We had some critical debate around the issues of openness, which was really useful for progressing the debate. It would be good to try and engage and encourage more critical debate in future meetings to help address the core concerns of open education/open practice. I feel is important that we’re (ALTO, CLTAD & DIAL) are not seen as promoting or pushing people into open education but seen as supporting the imminent transition into openness for everyone. The open educational movement is already in danger of becoming an elite network of specialists who advocate ‘openness’ and are rarely self critical of the movement and like many technological movements there is a danger of becoming too specialised and advanced which could marginalise the critical voice.   

Here’s a rough breakdown of the discussion, I couldn’t capture everything as I was typing and talking at the same time, we only really asked the first question ‘What does open educational practice mean to you?’ I have created the other questions based on the general flow of the discussion and could use these in future focus groups.    

OEP in Practice

OEP unaware (Novice)

OEP aware (visitor)

OEP starter

OEP resident

Never heard of or know what open educational practice is, not sure how it relates to them.  

Interested in the notion of practicing or being online as a professional, happy to learn more & observer others

Has been involved and interested with online activities but now starting to acknowledge online educational practice and OER

Has one or two online professional community domains, posts and comments OER content daily.

What does open educational practice mean to you?

It’s not something I’ve engaged in.

I don’t know what I would put online

Students are online I’m offline its not my space, I’m the face to face contact.

Open is seen as content not anything else


We use other people’s resources more than create our own. We don’t always monitor the quality of these resources.

Consume more content through more  hobbyist produced materials rather than through the professionals eLearning content.

You have to acknowledge what is it; you’re dealing with something that is quite woolly, vague concept, can’t be grasped?

I see OEP as making my life easier. I like to cluster/tag information & to link and reference content together, ideas and connections together can be openly viewed and developed. Its good to have it out in the world rather than hidden away, old content keeps popping up, its easy to reuse & update.  

What helped/would help you to get started in OEP



Always kept a journal 1992 – paper this was to document processes – trade secrets are not so trade secrets.  So being open and making these journals online seems to be the future.

Finding a place or creating your own place to live online. A place you feel is right for you and your practice.

What are the problems for OEP to address,  

Fears, concerns or improvements

Generally agreeable with group

Not want to see teaching staff replaced by videos.

Clarity of IP, there’s no clarity.

Teaching materials belong to the university is a concern 

Sharing has moved on somewhat at UL, we’re much better at sharing

Confidence about if I take something away from my teaching how will it impact on my teaching. Changes the teaching role by replacing with video tutorials.

Fear that technicians are going to be undermined by this being open.

Nervous, trial and error, curious about what I write

Forums – are a good way of learning how to be open and discuss openly but can be one way. Like to get more feedback and know what people are doing with my resources and posts.


Find course specific content

Better attribution processes

Clarity of IP

24/7 OEP, when can you switch off

Improve participation and communication

More involvement

More creative approaches to OER and OEP and not try fit the new into the old


What are the motivations for OEP

Generally agreeable with group


Online profiles

Energy involved in teaching large amount of students, open education is possible to help save time.


Student pathways

(blueprint plans secrets, sharing the invisible) –



Not about how we teach about how they learn

How much do we share with are competitors

Unknown potential, its great to be part of something that’s emerging, also a bit nervy about being open.  


Would like to know what do the students feel about open education, if paying for the course and its all being open, is this a problem?

Having everything to hand. Being able to send links and reference content easily.


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This Work, What does open educational practice mean to you?, by cfollows is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license.