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Thursday, October 18 • 2:30pm - 3:15pm
Open Educational Resources and Practices as a Driver for Change in Art College Education

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This session will describe the work ((http://alto.arts.ac.uk/) of the Centre for Learning and Teaching in Art and Design (CLTAD) at the University of the Arts London that has been helping teaching professionals engage with Open Educational Resources and Practices (OER/P). Our experience indicates that these activities are potentially powerful tools to support those who are interested in promoting, understanding and managing change in an educational system. As UK higher education enters a prolonged period of austerity and a rapidly changing student demographic, the question of what and how to change is becoming more pressing. Increasingly, colleges are considering offering new flexible learning opportunities as means to retain and extend their student markets. This in turn raises questions about the institutional changes needed to support such activities and the individual pedagogic skills required to develop new programmes of learning and modes of teaching.

We have found that OER/P acts as an excellent ‘lightening conductor’ to identify underlying pedagogic conceptions and practices. As John Biggs, Paul Ramsden and others have observed everyone has an implicit model of learning and teaching. Making these mental models explicit using OER/P is an important step in developing the skills and infrastructures needed to operate effectively in these new educational markets. This helps to move engagement with OER/P from the edges of institutional agendas to the centre of strategic planning. We outline the main strategic dimensions in which change needs to occur in art college education, concentrating on the, very personal, area of pedagogic design and practice.

Pedagogic methods in art education place an emphasis on dialogue, mentoring, apprenticeship and a learning community approach to personal development and support. This is a potentially strong foundation to support open innovation. However, as in much of the rest of higher education, one of the main obstacles to moving teaching practice towards a more open model is the highly situated nature of institutional teaching; the ‘pedagogy of the studio and workshop’. Such teaching activities are strongly embedded in an institutional context, almost in the 'bricks and mortar' of the institution. Not surprisingly, in this environment teachers can find it difficult to conceptualise and abstract their own pedagogic practice.

The critical nature of the design processes that are required to effectively implement flexible learning make the acquisition of collaborative pedagogic design skills a key area to address. In this connection, there is much to be learnt from those fields of professional activity where design is recognised as a fundamental component.

This session will provide an overview of some of our activities in supporting teachers engage with OER/P together with their reflections on the experience, paying particular attention to the affective, administrative, and cognitive factors involved. The session will end with time for participants to consider and debate the implications of the support teachers may need to engage in these new design practices.

avatar for john casey

john casey

Open Education Project Manager, University of the Arts London
Managing Open Ed Projects at the UAL. Interested in how Open Ed can drive change in 'closed' education. Also very interested in the design skills needed for Open Ed as a bridge to introducing more flexible learning in traditional education,
avatar for Nancy K Turner (University of Saskatchewan)

Nancy K Turner (University of Saskatchewan)

Director, Teaching and Learning Enhancement, University of Saskatchewan

Thursday October 18, 2012 2:30pm - 3:15pm PDT

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