Moving beyond the various definitions and examples of OEP and open pedagogy, Nascimbeni and Burgos (2016, CC BY) have proposed an aspirational definition of an ‘open educator’:
An Open Educator chooses 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.
They pose that an open educator implements openness along four main activities:
- Design: Implements open learning design by openly sharing ideas and plans about their teaching activities with experts and with past and potential students, incorporating inputs, and transparently leaving a trace of the development process
- Content: Uses open educational content by releasing their teaching resources through open licenses, by facilitating sharing of their resources through OER repositories and other means, and by adapting, assembling and using OER produced by others in their teaching
- Teaching: Adopts open pedagogies fostering co-creation of knowledge by students through online and offline collaboration and supporting learners to contribute to public knowledge resources such as Wikipedia
- Assessment: 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
Another view of the ‘open educator’ by Tur, et al (2020, CC BY) explores the transformative impact on identity in the process of becoming an open educator. The authors (all open educators) argue that a focus on the development of open educator identity aligns with current reflective approaches to working on teachers’ professional identity, a core domain of the National Professional Development Framework.
Some questions you might consider in relation to OEP… What does OEP mean to you? What values underpin it? What value do you think your students might find in it? If you wish, share your reflections on Twitter (hashtag #NFopen).
In order to help the development of teachers’ openness capacity, Nascimbeni & Burgos (2016) propose a self-assessment and development framework for teachers that takes into account all of the dimensions of openness described above. The ‘Open Educators Factory’ tool allows educators to self-assess their capacity and level of development in terms of open education and offers guidelines to further adopt openness in all dimensions of their activities. You can self-evaluate using the Open Educators Factory tool and explore the detailed feedback provided by the tool. (Please note that the use of this tool requires the creation of an account on the Open Educators Factory platform; we include this here simply as an optional additional activity you may wish to explore.)