Who is Open Educator?

open-educators

Having established that open collaboration among educators brings quality and attractiveness to higher education Fabio Nascimbeni and Daniel Burgos seek to determine a framework that enhances openness among Universities. Despite the wide dissemination of open material -mostly through MOOCs-, Higher Institutions they say, are still reluctant to engage further. Nascimbeni and Burgos  focus on the role of the professors and teaching in matters of openness; it is the faculty they say that needs to change.

So, what they did was study the related literature and then sit together with Mackintosh, Mc Greal, Nerantzi, Teixeira and Weller and discuss on a potential conceptual framework. They came up with the following definition:

An Open Educator chooses to use open approaches, when possible and appropriate, with the aim to remove all unnecessary barriers to learning. He/she works through an open online identity and relies on online social networking to enrich and implement his/her work, understanding that collaboration bears a responsibility towards the work of others.

Their definition is further analyzed through the description of the Open Educators main activities:  sharing their ideas; sharing their educational content and teaching resources; fostering co-creation of knowledge by students; implementing open assessment practices.

The authors take this a step further and introduce a framework of self evaluation for educators (image on top). This table, they claim, will help educators determine their current position and relate themselves to develop accordingly in terms of openness. The three different educator profiles on the left column describe the three dominant trends; while the different qualities of openness in teaching on the right columns describe the activities they engage in accordingly.

Since not all educators engage in open practices in the same degree, the authors also describe a process of gradual transitioning from acquiring awareness to getting transformed into open educators.

First of all, I would like to say that I do like a good definition, but what I like even more is an good short and open definition. What the two authors came up with was a quasi page long text and even that wasn’t enough; they kept on explaining and analyzing it further. And the full identity of the Open Educator continues to elude them since at this point their research sample involves only a small percentage of active OEs. Their effort in my opinion is as futile as it is unnecessary; as long as educators are not educated to educate, any attempt to induce change will only be dealt with contempt. Traditional institutional figures can hardly grasp the meaning of transitioning from one point to the next, let alone giving up on their power of sharing knowledge on their own terms. That makes Open Educators the sole missionaries for change toward a new learning environment that treats all individuals as equals. And that is the only single lined definition I can come up with at this point.

Image available here

 

 

 

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