Updated Session Description
In lieu of a webinar or pre-recorded session, we are sharing resources that will lead you on a self-paced, self-guided workshop in designing renewable assignments. Please visit Self-Guided Workshop in Designing Renewable Assignments. These resources include a book chapter, Evolving into the Open, and guiding worksheets. The chapter will introduce you to the Renewable Assignments Design Framework and provide an example of a collaborative design of a renewable assignment. The other two resources in the folder (Renewable Assignment – Part 1 and Renewable Assignment – Part 2) are worksheets that will lead you through this work on your own or with your collaborators.
Original Session Description
When utilizing an open pedagogy approach for teaching and learning, instructors empower their students as creators of knowledge through the design of meaningful work that is shared in sustainable open communities. Wiley and Hilton (2018) refer to open this work as renewable assignments when the resulting artifacts are meant to be assessments of student learning. An assignment may be classified as a renewable assignment when students create an artifact that has value beyond their own learning and is made available publicly under an open license (Wiley & Hilton 2018). Research shows that learners who are positioned as active participants in the learning process and required to apply their learning in authentic and meaningful ways have improved learning outcomes (Lombardi 2007). Renewable assignments not only provide authentic, meaningful learning opportunities but also add value to the world beyond the classroom. Many instructors are using renewable assignments to create, adapt, and remix open educational resources (OER), such as open textbooks, supplemental teaching materials, learning modules, lesson plans, etc. From a caring pedagogies perspective, renewable assignments redistribute knowledge development, from solely the instructor, to a collaborative endeavor that includes the instructor and students making their work together more democratic and participatory (Motta & Bennett 2019). In addition, through open sharing of the artifacts that are created, students show care to others who can take and use the artifacts for their own good, allowing freer access to knowledge and quality materials that sustain teaching, learning, and work across disciplines. As students continually add, adapt, or remix artifacts in open repositories through renewable assignments, they create a sustainable community of knowledge producers.
In this workshop designed for instructors, participants are asked to bring a laptop and current course outlines (syllabi) and/or assignments for the courses they teach. Through an exploration of various examples of renewable assignments across disciplines, participants will understand what makes an assignment renewable and begin to envision what a renewable assignment might look like in their own course and discipline more broadly. Following a step by step process designed and led by the presenters, in disciplinary groups participants will explore considerations for a renewable assignment in a selected course. The process includes:
1. Analyze and classify existing assignment
2. Consider meaningful OER contributions for discipline and/or context
3. Select tools and repositories
4. Design intentional negotiations for openness
5. Finalize and reclassify assignment
At the conclusion of this workshop, participants will have a better understanding of how they can develop and implement renewable assignments in their coursework. According to Cronin (2017 p. 18), openness is always “complex, personal, contextual, and continually negotiated.” Through reflective discussions, participants will consider changes that may be needed to show students care as they engage in the work required by renewable course assignments
In this interactive, hands-on workshop designed for teaching faculty, participants will consider how they may develop a renewable assignment for one of their courses. Throughout the workshop, participants will engage in whole group and small group discussions in disciplinary groups. Those participating remotely will be able to collaborate as a digital group and, depending on who attends remotely, may be able to break into disciplinary groups as well. The following structure will be utilized:
1. As participants enter the session, the presenters will ask participants to group themselves into broad disciplinary groups (ex. Social Sciences, Arts & Humanities, etc). Participants will be given a few minutes to introduce themselves to colleagues within their group and indicate content they typically teach. (3 minutes)
2. The presenters will share information defining open pedagogy and renewable assignments, providing the participants with a rationale for designing renewable assignments using a pedagogy of care as a guiding theoretical framework. (4 minutes)
3. Next, the presenters will share the steps of a process that can be used for transforming existing course assignments into renewable assignments. The presenters will provide an overview of the process broadly as a roadmap for developing renewable assignments. (4 minutes)
4. Starting with the first step in the process – analyze and classify existing assignment, the presenters will share the characteristics and an example of a renewable assignment using Wiley and Hilton’s (2018) criteria and ask participants to examine their own current course assignment to classify it as disposable, authentic, constructivist, or renewable, noting the features of the assignment that delineate it into that category. Participants will be invited to discuss their thinking about their assignment with their disciplinary group. (12 minutes)
5. Next, the presenters will lead participants through the second step – consider meaningful OER contributions for discipline and/or context. The presenters will provide disciplinary groups links to examples of renewable assignments to explore. Examples of resources include Open Pedagogy Notebook and DOER Fellows Renewable Assignments. Along with specific examples, participants will be prompted to consider how the examples contribute to knowledge in the discipline and/or local context through discussion. After this discussion, participants will work in their disciplinary groups to consider what a meaningful OER contribution may look like for their course. During this step, participants will begin to consider a renewable assignment description. (12 minutes)
6. Moving on to the third step – select tools and repositories and fourth step – design intentional consideration for openness, the presenters will briefly present specific tools and repositories that can be used within renewable assignment to create, adapt, remix, and/or share artifacts. For example, Manifold, Pressbooks, and collaborative cloud-based authoring platforms may be used as tools to create artifacts, while OER Commons, Commons in a Box, and cloud-based storage may be used to share artifacts. In addition, the presenters will facilitate a discussion around Cronin’s (2017) work on student privacy concerns when engaging in open pedagogical practices. Since this work centers around a pedagogy of care, this discussion will focus on the skills and considerations instructors need to address when incorporating a renewable assignment, such as digital literacy skills, student access to tools, understanding of OER, time they can devote to teaching about OER and the tools within their course, and the personal negotiations involved in the decision-making process of deciding if one wants to share their work, whom to share the work with, and how to share the work (open licensing and repository options). (15 minutes)
7. If time allows, the presenters will provide time for participants to reflect on how they may incorporate this process into their practice. The presenters will invite participants to showcase a few ideas for renewable assignments to celebrate the work of the group. (10 minutes)
Cronin, C 2017, ‘Open education, open questions’, Educause Review, vol. 52, no. 6, pp. 11-20, viewed 30 January 2019, https://er.educause.edu/articles/2017/10/open-education-open-questions.
Lombardi, MM 2007, ‘Authentic learning for the 21st century: An overview’, viewed 28 May 2019, EDUCAUSE learning Initiative, viewed 28 May 2019, https://library.educause.edu/resources/2007/1/authentic-learning-for-the-21st-century-an-overview
Motta, SC & Bennett, A 2018, ‘Pedagogies of Care, Care-Full Epistemological Practice and “Other” Caring Subjectivities in Enabling Education’, Teaching in Higher Education, vol. 23, no. 5, pp. 631–646.
Wiley, D & Hilton III, JL 2018, ‘Defining OER-enabled pedagogy’, The International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning, vol. 19, no. 4, doi:10.19173/irrodl.v19i4.3601