This paper reflects on the challenges surfaced while designing of Open Educational Resources (OER) as part of an ERASMUS + partnership of academics and practitioners exploring “good practice” in Assets Based Community Participation (ABCP). ABCP focusses on encouraging individuals and groups to explore local assets and based on this strengths to look at how they might promote development. It is a rejection of the deficit model of community development (Miller et.al 2018). It is based a social pedagogy, it is for doing, for making a difference.
This folds a series of assumptions into ABCP pedagogy, the first is the value of peer learning, the second is the need that learning is deeply contextualised. This is a challenge for OER, first of all OER often assume solitary self-directed learners (Cannell and Macintyre 2017). The second is, how can an OER be deeply contextualised, while being open to those who are not deeply embedded in that context, with the question of context in some ways a return to much earlier discussions around OER and contextualisation (e.g. Wiley et.al 2004).
This session provides participants with the opportunity to explore these entwined challenges, through listening to us share our dilemmas. As an international programme the temptation was to resist context, and try to accommodate “universal values”. Instead, we used the interdisciplinary and inter-contextual misunderstandings within the partnership as a way to dig deeply into the contextualisation of each of the prototype OERs. Sharing the prototypes designed in collaboration with our local partners with the academics, practitioners and service users across the international practices to make visible the hidden assumptions. In this way we were able to align the pedagogy of ABCD and its emphasis on context with an open pedagogy where context is inclusive not exclusive. It our sense these OER are acting as epistemic artefacts (Markauskaite and Goodyear 2016) in two ways, firstly for the learner though the ability to develop a discourse about their own and the practices of others. Secondly for us as researchers in design and ABCP practice.
Our decision to be open about the ways national and disciplinary contexts shape and reshape an understanding of practice emerged through the design process. In part through holding onto speculations about what this learning resource would enable (Macintyre 2014), and holding onto the values inherent within ABCP. However, as an emergent design process it also drew on our own tacit routines, and an awareness of how those routines shape decision making (Cope 2011). This awareness led us to use misapprehensions and tensions within the partnership as a way to challenge our own work routines and the work routines of others. Allowing us to build into the design process opportunities to have our own assumptions challenged and the assumptions embedded within the learning resources made visible. In the spirit of openness the paper having shared our design dilemmas and our clumsy solutions as a way to explore the role of OER in inter-professional learning, the paper invites the audience to consider their own.
Cope, J., (2011). Entrepreneurial learning from failure: An interpretative phenomenological analysis. Journal of Business Venturing, 26, 6, pp.604–623.
Cannell, P., Macintyre, R. (2017). Free open online resources in workplace and community settings – a case study on overcoming barriers, Widening Participation and Lifelong Learning. 19. pp. 111-122.
Macintyre R. (2014). Uncertainty, Learning Design, and Inter disciplinarity: Systems and Design Thinking in the School Classroom. In: Designs for Learning 4th International Conference, 6th -9th of May 2014, The University of Stockholm, Sweden. http://oro.open.ac.uk/id/eprint/40482
Markauskaite L. Goodyear P. (2016) Epistemic Fluency and Professional Education: Innovation, Knowledge, Action and Actionable Knowledge, Springer: London
Miller K. Macintyre R. McKenna G. (2018) Assets based community participation and place making, Journal of Finnish Universities Applied Sciences, https://uasjournal.fi/in-english/assets-based-community-participation/
Wiley, D., Waters, S., Dawson, D., Lambert, B., Barclay, M., Wade, D. & Nelson, L. (2004). Overcoming the Limitations of Learning Objects. Journal of Educational Multimedia and Hypermedia, 13, 4, pp. 507-521.
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