Well, 'meeting' #1 of my PhD journey is done! As this is a seminar course focussed more on empowerment and conversation, our prof likes to call our weekly get-togethers 'meetings'. Ok.
As is standard in the first introduction to a course, there was the typical conversation about the course outline and where we would be headed and such things....
One of the key points of the meeting was the nature of a concept, and the concept we used as a first example was 'culture'. So in our little groups, we were tasked with analyzing the concept of culture.
The point of this first exercise wasn't to determine a correct and complete analysis of the concept of culture, but to practice thinking about culture in a systematic way.
The real task is our first assignment, to analyze a concept related to our research interests. This post is a first go at analyzing the concept of 'open', at least as it relates to education.
I'll work through the steps of the analysis as outlined above on my own, then I 'll go back and consult some resources.
Here is v0.2
There is not one single concept that could be considered the definitive or authoritative definition of 'open'. The word is used in a wide variety of contexts to mean very different things. Examples include the idea of an 'open door' indicating that a physical object is in a particular position that allows entry into a building or room; or an 'open door policy' used to indicate that a person welcomes conversations with others; 'open for business' indicates that a particular business is currently welcoming customers; and an 'open relationship' indicates that partners in a relationship are free to pursue relationships with others that might otherwise be forbidden in an exclusive relationship.
This analysis specifically excludes discussion of these contexts in favour of the idea of 'openness in education', or 'open education'.
Open education is a system of beliefs and practices that seek to enable increased access (the capacity and the power to participate) to learning by reducing or eliminating barriers such as systems of oppression, cost, geographic distance, and institutional policies.
This is a difficult question for me to answer without outside assistance. I just don't know the history of the word itself.
Examples of open education might be conceptualized on a continuum from fully closed to fully open and include the use of open education resources (OER), adopting policies that reduce or eliminate course and program prerequisites, providing specialized support for marginalized individuals, providing multiple avenues of access to learning environments for those who cannot travel to campus, and providing opportunity for student work to be exposed to 'the public'.
OER are learning materials that are licensed under open licenses such as public domain or Creative Commons which allow users (students and teachers) to use the materials for free, and also enable users to retain copies, reuse, redistribute, remix, and revise the materials for their own use. While this reduction in costs (for students) represents a lowered barrier to accessing higher education, it also represents opportunity for teachers and institutions to implement practices which are directed towards increasing social justice for marginalized populations of students. Jhangiani and Jhangiani (2017) found in their study that higher textbook costs are more detrimental to economically disadvantaged students than to those who do not require a student loan or do not have to work while they are attending school. Even if nothing else changes in a course, if a faculty member assigns an open textbook to which all students have immediate access for free from the first class, then one barrier to accessing higher education has been lowered.
Multi-access learning environments are those where students have flexibility and choice in how they engage in the course activities and meetings. Irvine, Code, and Richards (2013) describe four concentric spheres to represent four levels or tiers of access.
Jhangiani, R. S., & Jhangiani, S. (2017). Investigating the Perceptions, Use, and Impact of Open Textbooks: A survey of Post-Secondary Students in British Columbia. The International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning; Vol 18, No 4 (2017): Special Issue: Outcomes of Openness: Empirical Reports on the Implementation of OER. Retrieved from http://www.irrodl.org/index.php/irrodl/article/view/3012/4214