4 How do I Transition to Open Pedagogy?

Transforming Disposable Assignments into Renewable Assignments

think box says "create" graffiti features a gender-neutral face, with eyes closed, and yellow lips.

Attribution: “Create” by Eden, Janine and Jim is licensed under CC BY 2.0

From Disposable to Renewal

Disposable is: a term paper, a final exam, a research paper, audience of one (faculty member) or a class presentation

  • Once it is submitted, the value ends
  • Students may struggle with academic integrity
  • Created for an audience of one

Renewable is: a case study, a chapter in a textbook, a zine, any kind of resource or material that may then be shared with the larger community

  • This material/artifact is alive: may be edited the next semester, may be shared with the community, may be revised or remixed by other students around the world
  • Students are empowered to decide how others will cite their work
  • Openly licensed


How Do You Transition an Assignment from Disposable to Renewable in Real Time?

It may not be as large a leap conceptually for students as you think:

  • Students familiar with social media influencers as content creators and ethical attribution:
  • Faculty support student understanding of open licensing to guide licensing decisions

Renewable Assignment Design Framework

Step 1

Analyze and identify current assignment

Step 2

Consider meaningful OER contributions

Step 3 

Select tools and repositories

Step 4

Design intentional negotiations for openness

Step 5

Finalize and reclassify assignment

“Renewable Assignment Design Framework” by Jennifer Van Allen & Stacy Katz is licensed under CC BY-NC 4.0

Student creates an artifact The artifact has value beyond supporting its creator’s learning The artifact is made public The artifact is openly licensed
Disposable Assignments X
Authentic Assignments X X
Constructionist Assignments X X X
Renewable Assignments X X X X

Adapted from “Criteria Distinguishing Different Kinds of Assignments” in Defining OER-Enabled Pedagogy by Wiley & Hilton under a CC BY 4.0 license.

The Process of Transitioning from Disposable Assignments to Renewable Assignments:

  • What do students need to know in order to complete the assignment?
  • Will the outcomes change?
  • What repositories/tools/OER content will they use?
  • Are students invited to create/remix with this assignment?
  • Does it support learning beyond creator?
  • Are students  invited to draw from publicly available material, such as an open case study?
  • Is the source material openly licensed?
  • Are students invited to publicly license their new artifacts?

Adapted from “Criteria Distinguishing Different Kinds of Assignments” in Defining OER-Enabled Pedagogy by Wiley & Hilton under a CC BY 4.0 license.

Examples of Open Assignments

Examples adapted from Open Pedagogy Assignments in Ditching the Disposable: A Workshop in Designing Renewable Assignments by Van Allen & Katz under a CC BY 4.0 license.

  • Students edit wiki article for a Fundamentals of Marketing course, create/edit annotated bibliography in ENG 1021, create a video of an example speech for ENG 1030, create/edit literature review to serve as a teaching tool in Psych 2050 course.
  • Students create learning objects (including videos, PowerPoint slides, and diagrams) to help teach course concepts to others.  High achieving learners can take a deeper dive, benefit a wider audience
  • Students create case studies



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Intro to Open Pedagogy: Implications for Course Assignments and Assessment Copyright © 2021 by Sarah Campbell, Kerry Caparco, Jenny Castel is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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