Curriculum design for open education/Introduction: Key concepts and big ideas/Open learning pedagogies

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Open learning pedagogies

Examples of micro open courses from different disciplines in the OERu course list

Open learning pedagogies are emerging that extend technology enhanced learning (TEL) approaches in combination with open educational practices (OEP), and the international movement promoting open educational resources (OER). One player in the movement is the Open Educational Resources Universitas (OERu). Key ideas underpinning open learning pedagogies include connectivity, networks (of people and technologies), mobility, accessibility, formal and informal learning, and learner-led pathways.

Open approaches to teaching shift the emphasis from teaching a set curriculum and facilitating interaction within a given cohort, to a ‘curation’ role for the teacher who supports learners to access and integrate OER and connect with wider networks (Smyth, Bossu & Stagg, 2015 - in print[1]). Learners are positioned as co-creators of knowledge artefacts through which they can demonstrate their achievement of learning outcomes, and to gain credit across courses, and potentially, institutions. Open approaches feature among a broader range of innovations in pedagogy which include 'massive open social learning', learning design informed by analytics, learners bringing their own devices and event-based learning (Sharples et al., 2014[2]).


  1. Smyth, R., Bossu, C. & Stagg, A. (2015 - in print). Toward an Open Empowered Learning Model of pedagogy in higher education. In M. Keppell, S. Reushle & A. Antonio (Eds.), Open Learning and Formal Credentialing in Higher Education: Curriculum Models and Institutional Policies. Hershey: IGI Global.
  2. Sharples, M., Adams, A., Ferguson, R., Gaved, M., McAndrew, P., Rienties, B., Weller, M., & Whitelock, D. (2014). Innovating Pedagogy 2014: Open University Innovation Report 3. Milton Keynes: The Open University. (CC-BY)