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What is Open Pedagogy

There are different definitions of open pedagogy.

One possible definition:

Open pedagogy is the application of the concept of open to the practices of teaching and learning. It can involve a blend of strategies, technologies, and networked communities to empower students to have control and agency over their own learning. (Source: Open Pedagogy | Program for Open Scholarship and Education (

Another possible definition:

Open pedagogy describes teaching practices that
  1. Commit to learner-driven education that is access-oriented, and
  2. Enable students to engage in public knowledge and content creation through assignments and learning tools.

Yet another definition:

Open pedagogy can include creating, adapting, or updating OER with students, building course policies, outcomes, assignments, rubrics, and schedules of work collaboratively with students, or facilitating student-created and student-controlled learning environments. It is "the practice of engaging with students as creators of information rather than simply consumers of it. It’s a form of experiential learning in which students demonstrate understanding through the act of creation. The products of open pedagogy are student created and openly licensed so that they may live outside of the classroom in a way that has an impact on the greater community." (University of Texas Arlington Libraries)

What are Open Educational Practices (OEP)

Nascimbeni and Burgos (2016) defined the Open Educator:

An Open Educator choses to use open approaches, when possible and appropriate, with the aim to remove all unnecessary barriers to learning. He/she works through an open online identity and relies on online social networking to enrich and implement his/her work, understanding that collaboration bears a responsibility towards the work of others.

Nascimbeni and Burgos (2016) on OEP:

An Open Educator implements openness along four main activities. The open educator:

  1. Implements open learning design by openly sharing ideas and plans about his/her teaching activities with experts and with past and potential students, incorporating inputs, and transparently leaving a trace of the development process.
  2. Uses open educational content by releasing his/her teaching resources through open licenses, by facilitating sharing of his/her resources through OER repositories and other means, and by adapting, assembling, and using OERs produced by others in his/her teaching.
  3. Adopts open pedagogies fostering co-creation of knowledge by students through online and offline collaboration and allowing learners to contribute to public knowledge resources such as Wikipedia.
  4. Implements open assessment practices such as peer and collaborative evaluation, open badges, and e-portfolios, engaging students as well as external stakeholders in learning assessment.

Seminal Works on Open Pedagogy

One is the "seed" that started the widespread appreciation for Open pedagogy prospects, making assessments Open -- the blog post from David Wiley. Wiley's post was important because it underscored how many assessments are "disposable" and could instead be artifacts that have a place out in the world.

Have a brief look at a prominent proponent who really got the ball rolling, Robin De Rosa, who described her work in this 2016 blog post where she describes how her students integrated (or modified) materials into her Open textbooks, which were resources that continued to evolve every semester as students worked on the textbook as editors or contributors of digital artifacts such as videos, graphics, charts, etc.

There are countless examples out there to be found. Check this list on the Open Pedagogy Notebook website.

GBC Highlights

Discover how the TLX collaborates with educators to enhance teaching methodologies, integrate innovative technologies, and foster engaging learning environments.

How TLX Collaborate with Bernie transforming in-class to fully online and marking the decision to drop a real textbook for his unique teaching experience? We are also working on the 3rd course on International filming starting in January 2025.

Community and Resources


Open Pedagogy Notebook

The Open Pedagogy Notebook serves as a valuable resource for educators interested in exploring open pedagogy. It provides examples of classroom-tested practices and emerging ideas.

EdTechnica Encyclopedia

These book chapters discuss open pedagogy and open recognition. 

Sample Renewable Assignments

A Guide to Alternative Assessments

This guide is designed to help faculty design and implement alternative assessments. It contains Best practices and Accessibility considerations. Each alternative assessment page contains a description, the benefits, challenges and solutions, examples, rubric, and resources.

Download Guide to Alternative Assessments

Tools to promote Open Pedagogy in the classroom

After deciding to adopt Open Educational resource (OER), many faculty then ask, “What do I do next?” This guide serves as ideas for the next steps in using OER and, more broadly – open pedagogy – in one’s teaching.

Download Tools to Promote Open Pedagogy in the Classroom

Student-Created Group Genetics Worksheet

In this assignment students first look up a genetic condition in Genetics Home Reference (a public domain site maintained by the National Institute of Health). Then they describe the condition and make a problem based on the condition for other students to solve.

See the Student-Created Group Genetics Worksheet on the Open Pedagogy Notebook

Dig Deeper

To learn more about the Student as Producer, Renewable Assignments , and OER-Enabled Pedagogy models, review:

Risk, Privacy, and Ownership

Challenge for learners

Learning involves risk:

Risk is ever-present with open pedagogy, from the platforms that we utilize that mine and monetize our intellectual labour and the digital footprints that we require our students to leave in the course of their education to the open sharing of unpolished ideas and practices that leave us exposed and open to criticism and judgment. Open pedagogy involves vulnerabilities and risks that are not distributed evenly and that should not be ignored or glossed over. These risks are substantially higher for women, students and scholars of colour, precarious faculty, and many other groups and voices that are marginalized by the academy.

5Rs for Open Pedagogy, Rajiv Jhangiani, Ph.D.


Make sure students understand:

  • How may their work be evaluated by others?
  • What are their obligations regarding copyright and appropriate citation of others’ work?
  • How can they license their own work (with an open license) to allow others to re-use and build on their work – while attributing them as the original author?

Challenge for faculty

Also, traditional grading may not align perfectly with open pedagogy.


Adjust assessment methods. Focus on process, reflection, and growth rather than just final products.


Some students may lack digital literacy skills or be unaware of online safety practices.


  • Provide guidance on responsible online behavior, copyright, and avoiding plagiarism
  • Teach them to navigate digital spaces effectively.
  • Offer training on using open tools (e.g., wikis, blogs, GitHub). Provide resources and support.
  • Be sure students know about the various options they have for privacy and for choosing a license.


Many open pedagogy projects ask students to create open educational resources by adding a Creative Commons license to their work. However, students may not be familiar with open licenses and proper attribution.


  • Teach about Creative Commons licenses and how to attribute sources.
  • Emphasize ethical use of others’ work.
  • Talk to students about the value of OER and why you are asking them to publish their work openly.


Here are some Open Pedagogy Assignment Templates and Student Agreement to Publish their Work under a CC license.

Social Annotations using


Social annotation allows students to collaboratively read and share ideas, questions, and context about a text. It is like a class discussion board, but unlike a discussion board, annotations can remain visible and useful to a wider audience beyond the end of the course.

Download the Social Annotation Assignment Template

Take & Teach Presentation or Poster


Students choose their audience and prepare a teaching poster or presentation about a topic of their choice utilizing openly licensed resources.

Download the Take and Teach Assignment Template

Creating a Wikipedia Post


Creating a Wikipedia post allows students to utilize the skills needed to write a research paper in a creative way. In this assignment, students will find, analyze, and cite relevant sources for a post about a person they think should be included in Wikipedia.

Download the Wikipedia assignment template

Student Agreement to Publish their Work under CC license

Students need to be cognizant of their rights as creators of information. Open pedagogy assignments should empower students by granting them agency and allowing them to make choices. It is essential to communicate these assignments clearly to students from the outset and obtain their consent to license their work under Creative Commons Licenses.

Download the student agreement