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Wednesday, October 20 • 1:45pm - 2:25pm
Improving Learning Outcomes Through Open Pedagogy

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During two semesters in 2020/21, an instructor in a large general education course started the iVoices Student Media Lab and involved hundreds of students in the creation of an open textbook in Pressbooks. The library provided technical support and advice on licensing and copyright issues. The result was the textbook Humans R Social Media, featuring student-created videos, glossary terms, and student essays with diverse viewpoints and firsthand experiences not found in commercial textbooks. It was the first large Pressbooks project at the University of Arizona. This presentation will include instructor Diana Daly's firsthand account of running this media lab and project, fully online, to collectively learn from and model the complex processes involved in running an online media lab and creating an open textbook with students.

This presentation also will include Cheryl (Cuillier) Casey's research on student responses to this project, based on mixed methods survey data and focus group research, documentation from project implementation, and reflection on what we have learned in this open textbook project. We will share lessons learned during the project’s first semester and how improvements were made in the second semester to enable assignment scaffolding and increased student agency. We will share a copy of the student memorandum of understanding, which emphasizes student choice. We will also present the results from two surveys about students’ experiences with this open pedagogy project. In nearly all categories of learning outcomes, a higher percentage of students in the second semester rated outcomes better with open pedagogy compared to traditional activities. In the second semester, only 0-4.3% of students ranked learning outcomes worse with open pedagogy (an improvement over the first semester, where 2.4%–8.2% did).

We also will discuss ongoing analyses of quantitative and qualitative data. We will explain why some students said they preferred traditional learning activities. We also will share students’ comments about the value of hands-on, real-world experiential learning and how they praised the engagement, relevance, and timeliness of the project. Students said open pedagogy led to deeper learning and provided extra motivation. One student said that publishing “gave me more incentive to make sure my assignments were my best product.” Another wrote, “It made us feel like our opinions and our voices were heard and appreciated for the first time.” We will conclude with tentative findings regarding impacts and best practices of open textbook implementation as a practice of open pedagogy.

After participating in this session, attendees will be able to:
  • Articulate the potential benefits and challenges of open pedagogy
  • Find resources to create their own open pedagogy project
  • Understand the advantages and challenges of using Pressbooks in open pedagogy
  • Formulate a memorandum of understanding that gives students choice and agency
  • Replicate or customize a student survey

Resources (all are licensed CC BY):

avatar for Cheryl Casey

Cheryl Casey

Open Education Librarian, University of Arizona
avatar for Diana Daly

Diana Daly

Assistant Professor and iVoices Director, University of Arizona
I teach in School of Information at the University of Arizona, and currently head a student media lab called iVoices.

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Wednesday October 20, 2021 1:45pm - 2:25pm EDT
Room C