Open Pedagogy: Varied Definitions, Multiple Approaches

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Project Summary: [Open Pedagogy: Varied Definitions, Multiple Approaches]

Lead editor/author(s): [Editors: Kimberly Hoffman and Alexis Clifton]

Introduction & About the Project

  • The term “open” has been heavily used in the past decade or more and can come with multiple interpretations: open access, open source, open textbook, open pedagogy … In general, “open” within these contexts implies unlimited, free, public access with the ability to manipulate and transform the educational content.

Within the educational realm, we see even greater nuances of “open” in terms of how the access to and adapted creation work together. Our book aims to shed light on four different definitions and how they are applied in a variety of learning experiences.

  1. Open as in MOOCs - encouraging self-driven learning through massive open online courses

  2. Open textbooks/resources as core text replacements - saving students money on textbooks while cultivating the benefits of student ownership, accountability, and rigorous learning (via open textbook modification or developing content through research methodologies)

  3. Student-developed open projects - the product of student learning becomes open and usable by a wide audience

  4. Open pedagogical design - course design without a clear end product or strict process of learning; learning outcomes are defined, but how the instructor and students arrive at those outcomes is flexible

We seek chapters focused on library/teaching faculty collaborations that explore the intersecting roles and desired outcomes that each partner contributes toward student learning in an open environment.*


Primary Audience: Higher education library, faculty, and staff practitioners interested in advancing open pedagogy in their field and institution. Secondary Audience: Primary and secondary educators and librarians; higher education students

About the Text/Context

*This book will be grounded in several theoretical chapters that situate the idea of “open” in a social, economic, political, and learner-centered context. The book will include four main sections highlighting examples of collaborative work between library staff and teaching faculty.

We welcome chapters that focus on practical, creative, and collaborative approaches to any one of these categories of open pedagogy: What turned your attention to open? What problem were you trying to solve? What ideas did you generate to solve that problem? Who was involved? What roles did each partner take? What was the result? How did learning in an open way benefit instructor(s) and students? What practical and ethical considerations were at play? What might you do the same, better, differently next time?

Additional structural guidelines will be provided as the project progresses.*


CC BY 4.0

While the global license for the book is CC-BY, some differently licensed materials may be included so long as they are clearly demarcated in the text and any changes are made in accordance with the conditions of the other license. This might apply in the cases of images, videos, or sections of non-CC-BY text that are essential to the book. However, we strongly discourage relying on this exception in order to protect and promote downstream uses.”


*Lead Editors:

  • Kim Davies Hoffman (Head of Outreach, Learning and Research Services, University of Rochester)

  • Alexis Clifton (Director of Open Teaching and Learning, SUNY OER Services, SUNY Geneseo)

Editorial Board - University of Rochester:

  • Robert Berkman
  • Eileen Daly-Boas
  • Lev Earle
  • Joe Easterly
  • Moriana Garcia
  • Deb Rossen-Knill
  • Kristen Totleben

Contact the editors at*


Proposals are due by April 28, 2019, 11:59 PM EST and can be submitted to

  • Contributors will be notified of their status (acceptance or rejection): June 3, 2019
  • Deadline to submit the first draft of accepted chapters: July 21, 2019, 11:59 PM EST
  • Estimated length of chapter: 2,500–4000 words
  • Projected publication date: June 2020*

How to Get Involved

Please reach out to the project team directly through the Project Discussion Forum, or contact us at the email above.

Measures of Success

  • Chapters included in this book will accomplish three goals:
  1. The chapters will showcase a collection of creative and collaborative approaches to open pedagogy that inspire and motivate readers to develop something new and reach out to partners across campus to make that happen
  2. Just as we value open course design, information access, and student assignments, the process of publishing an open book both allows its creators to publish in an open way and learn the various steps in how to achieve an openly published book
  3. In working through the publishing process, the editorial board has identified opportunities to integrate this work into relevant courses, thus inspiring a new wave of open pedagogy and coursework*

Hi Alexis (and Kimberly, @uropenpedagogy ), thanks for sharing the details about this really interesting project! We’re excited to help support this book’s creation.

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