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Thursday, October 21 • 1:45pm - 2:25pm
Finding Open Opportunities in a Closed Curriculum: Strategies for Junior and Contingent Faculty

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Because universities predominantly employ contingent faculty—adjunct, part-time, or student teachers—it is important for the open education community to explore how to experiment with open pedagogy when the instructor’s power to change the syllabus, readings, and assignments is limited or nonexistent. By norm and policy, the power to determine instructional content largely rests with tenured faculty members who require contingent and junior faculty members to teach to a predetermined syllabus. This discussion is dedicated to sharing the insights of educators who find ways to integrate open pedagogy in disempowering environments.

A short presentation discussing two of the presenters' open pedagogy projects will frame the discussion. The first example uses Wiley and Hilton’s OER-enabled pedagogy framework to redesign a quiz into a collaborative book of case studies. Quizzes are one example of assignments (in-class activities, discussion prompts, etc.) for which contingent instructors likely have some flexibility—deciding topics, format, and platform—and this example will review how to integrate renewable assignments into a predetermined, closed syllabus.

For highly standardized syllabi that specify implementation, faculty may consider completing assignments themselves in collaboration with students. While students must stick to the syllabus, faculty projects (created in collaboration with students) are unconstrained by the syllabus and can be redesigned to use open pedagogy. The second open pedagogy example applies Bali, Cronin, and Jhangiani’s open educational practices framework to a faculty-student advocacy project fighting unpaid student labor in human service agencies.

The closed curriculum is a persistent message that the ideas of junior and contingent faculty (as well as students!) are not valuable and not welcome. By celebrating stories of clandestine experimentation, this space will help teachers recognize hidden opportunities and freedoms within prefabricated courses to introduce open pedagogy. Of course, open pedagogy is not a panacea. It is simply one way for faculty to engage students within an often moribund and exclusionary curriculum through experimentation, self-determination, and collaboration.

After participating in this session, attendees will be able to:
  • Identify the barriers to integrating open pedagogy faced by junior and contingent faculty members
  • Define and apply the concept of "subtle redesign," or redesigning assignments that look the same to supervisors but in practice integrate open pedagogy

avatar for Matthew DeCarlo

Matthew DeCarlo

Assistant Professor, La Salle University
Hey! I'm Matt. I run Open Social Work with Kim Pendell from Portland State University. I'm the author of two open textbooks on research methods in social work. I have also written a bunch of preprints and done some presentations about open education. Please talk to me if you or someone... Read More →

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How to Join Live Sessions

Live sessions will be held throughout the day. Return to the session page shortly before the start time for a link to join the Zoom room. The join button will only be visible to logged in attendees. See the FAQ for more details.Live session formats include panels, presentations, discussions, and open space sessions. Most presentations and panels are recorded and posted by the next day. Discussions and open space sessions may not be recorded, so make sure to attend live.Note that live sessions begin on time, and the capacity... Read More →

Thursday October 21, 2021 1:45pm - 2:25pm EDT
Room A