I have discovered you can be planning open pedagogy and not even know it! I am excited to have been working with a colleague, Kaitlin Kozlowski, to redesign and co-teach a Nursing Leadership course. We began with a discussion about what learning experience we wanted our students to have. We decided the key element would be for students to learn about something they would find meaningful related to leadership. We planned to provide a foundation related to the 4 domains of nursing practice and the leadership elements in each and support them to choose what they want to learn most deeply. Our second desired outcome was to refresh student’s academic writing skills in a supported way as they near the end of their program and may wish to proceed to graduate school. While there are always prescriptive components necessary in a course to cover the material, we would disperse these throughout the course and in the synchronous seminars while focussing on these two core goals. It is important to note this course is part of a blended program and we opted to add 3 synchronous or face to face sessions in this course to help meet the learning objectives.
In order to achieve meaningful learning objective, we decided students would self -select their paper topics for faculty approval (to ensure alignment to course objectives) and build that assignment throughout the semester using the Open Journal System. This would include a draft, peer review and final submission to faculty. They would also have a number of self -initiated content sharing pieces to add to their e-portfolio. These would include an explanation of why they selected them and what they had learned. These may be from their paper research or from other areas of leadership they are exploring. A list of resources to explore will be provided in the course material to stimulate their interests and encourage discovery. In addition, e-portfolio and forum contributions may be written, verbal (voice thread) or visual using an app of their choice, to allow freedom of expression and preferred sharing style.
Feedback from KPU Open Learning Advisor, Rajiv Jhangiani, was that we had several elements of open in our course design. Open design may include Topics, Assignments, Policies and Structure. This course has core topics delivered by faculty as well as student driven inquiry to explore other concepts aligned with their personal interests. The major assignments are the eportfolio submissions and the formal paper submitted through the Open Journal System. These assignments allow for flexibility and negotiation based on the individual learner and as a result, the structure and pedagogy of this course is aligned with Open principles.