Equity & Open Education Participant Takeaways

By | April 22, 2021

This post shares participant takeaways from Oregon’s Winter 2021 Equity & Open Education Faculty Cohort Model. This professional development course was created by library faculty member Jen Klaudinyi at Portland Community College. Open Oregon Educational Resources now offers the course statewide with support from The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.

The Equity and Open Education Faculty Cohort professional development course seeks to transform curriculum by asking faculty to consider open educational practices with an equity lens, including universal design, cultural relevance, and diverse perspectives. The core of the course is a four-week exploration in small groups in order to build learning communities that can dive into innovative ideas together. Faculty may continue the course for another four weeks and redesign a course component, incorporating open and equitable materials and/or pedagogy; Winter 2021 course materials are available via OER Commons.

Here are some of the takeaways that faculty shared.

This was a teacher changing course for me. Period. I feel like I could sit in it again and get even more out of it. I loved the small group cohort program; we became a tight knit group. We shared struggles, triumphs and enthusiasm about being educators that care and want to open our courses up to being student led, student centered and equitable (while also balancing pay/equity for our part-time folks). It was incredible. I am planning to implement open resources and open pedagogy into my courses NOW. I already work with OER and Universal Design for Learning but I loved learning about how important and valuable they are! If you decide to do an Equity Alumni Party or workshop, I will be there! – Anonymous

I came away from Part 1 with so many ideas and resources! I have participated in OER workshops as well as Culturally Responsive Teaching campus book groups, so I had some background with some of the weekly concepts. However, covering all of these topics in a condensed time period really reinforced the importance of each week’s concept as well as highlighting strategies for implementing concepts like universal design and open pedagogy. Some things that are sticking with me include a list of excellent links of talks and resources to go back to; continual reinforcement and support for changing up my pedagogical approach to be more student-centered, inclusive and collaborative; and having a great experience working and sharing with a group of educators from different disciplines and schools. One piece of advice that I will hold onto is to jump in and start making small changes with these concepts in mind and build from there; this feels doable vs. overwhelming. – Anonymous

I am developing a new course, Abnormal Psychology, for the 2021-2022 school year, and I am looking forward to incorporating Culturally Responsive Teaching into my course design. Mental Health and psychological disorders have heavy social stigmas attached to them and I hope that thinking through a culturally responsive approach in developing assignments will help my students to unlearn social stigmas of mental health disorders and humanize people who experience these disorders. I would also like to incorporate an open pedagogical approach to at least one of the assignments in the course… My group also discussed whether we feel like the work is ever done and for me, I don’t think so. I believe there is always something to learn that will allow me to connect with my students and for my students to learn, and hopefully find psychology interesting, relevant, and useful in their lives. This is why I think learning about OER, Culturally Responsive Teaching, Universal Design, and Open Pedagogy is vital to my educational toolbox. – Stevy Scarbrough, Umpqua Community College

I loved this opportunity! Each week helped me examine how traditional academic norms support a narrow, capitalist, patriarchal concept of intellectual thought, advancement, and success. OER & Copyright Basics, Culturally Responsive Teaching, Universal Design, Open Pedagogy all feel like tools I can call on to dismantle the archaic academic norms for myself and the students I work with—maybe even my instructional peers. – Corinne Gould, Portland State University

One element of the course that I found very helpful is the pedagogical practice of culturally responsive teaching as a mechanism to facilitate learning for diverse populations. In future courses, I will be intentional in my use of cultural references where appropriate to make the content in my courses more accessible for the diverse populations that I teach. Additionally, when utilizing course content from diverse demographics, I will make sure that representatives from those demographics are the ones to deliver the content. – Anonymous

Open Pedagogy is an approach which I can implement now in my classroom. It is a creative and collaborative learner-centered approach to teaching and problem-solving. We put this approach into action in our group as we discovered a new way for one of the instructors to use this pedagogy in his course with translators. We were empowered to actually think of ways we could be constructive and utilize the new tools we learned about within our cohort. – Kanoe Bunney, Lane Community College

I am taking the idea of the 5 Rs of OER with me: retain, revise, remix, reuse, and redistribute. I am trying to think how to invite groups of students into iterative, ongoing work — collaborating across time — to make both text and study aids better. I am especially excited about the broad ideas of “open pedagogy” with the charge to educators to provide ways for students to go beyond a sense that their academic work is mainly for individual benefit (building their own knowledge and skills), and instead provide opportunities for students to make meaningful contributions to the community of learners through their assignments… I think the ideas from this class will be subtly influencing how I think about what I am doing as an educator for the rest of my career. Thank you for this VERY impactful series!! – Anonymous

I absolutely loved this course! I feel like each week built upon the last until it culminated in the idea of open pedagogy. I am excited to move to part 2 so that I can try out layering all these ideas into a practical application. I plan to use some down time – if I can find any – to go over the excellent resources again. I think the first few weeks material will have a fresh look now that I have gained new perspective. The other thing that is sticking with me is the need to focus on what instructor barriers there are that stop us from moving into open pedagogy, when it is clearly the most inclusive and equitable and effective way to teach. – Anonymous