Webinar #1: Exploring the reality of open educational practice in Australia: An ecological perspective

Adrian Stagg, Manager (Open Educational Practice), University of Southern Queensland.

Abstract: This webinar will report on research conducted at three Australian case study sites to map an ecology of open practice, and to explore the values, motivations, and affordances of the university that influence practitioners. The ecological model is highly transferable and attendees can translate the approach to local contexts. As a strategic planning tool, the ecology offers deep insight into the institution, staff, and the potential for nuanced approaches toward nurturing a flourishing culture of openness.

The context of open educational practice (OEP) in higher education is predicated by both an examination and understanding of the practitioner and the institution. Practitioners do not mediate their experiences of OEP with a professional lens only, they bring a ‘lifeworld’ (Dilthey, 1954) constructed of prior encounters, values, and attitudes through which they interpret open education. Reflected and refined by Bronfenbrenner’s’ Ecology of human development (1979) and ecological model, these lifeworlds are expressed initially as internal systems of reality, progressing to increasingly broader systems that influence the development of the individual.

In this context, the individual practitioner is potentially influenced by disciplinary, institutional, sector-wide, and societal systems. Aligning with, negotiating, or rejecting these external systems leads to multi-causal, nuanced understanding and expression of OEP. These factors can be viewed as barriers and enablers and, whilst existing research has identified commonalities of experience, a deeper embedded view of practice is largely absent. From an institutional perspective, understanding the effect of established systems on practitioner behaviour are critical to localised strategies for flourishing OEP. Practice is shaped by representation of and engagement with learning and teaching cultures, policy environments, support mechanisms, or legislative compliance. Implementing open educational practices in the Australian higher education environment requires a discrete national approach instead of simple generalisation or transliteration from other systems.

DateTuesday, 21 February, 2023
Time12pm (AEDT)
Webinar Linkhttps://youtu.be/cQi3hE1ENVI
Adrian Stagg headshot: wearing a white button down shirt, grey waistcoat, maroon tie and black framed glasses.

Adrian Stagg is currently the Manager (Open Educational Practice) for the University of Southern Queensland. His career has included both public and academic libraries and positions as a Learning Technologist, and eLearning Designer. Adrian holds a Master of Applied Science (Library and Information Management) and submitted his PhD thesis at the University of Tasmania in November 2022. His research areas include the ecology of open educational practice and higher education, and policy as it relates to and supports open educational initiatives. He is an active member of the open education community through the OERu and Open Education Network, and facilitates the UniSQ Open Education Staff Scholarships Scheme. Adrian can be reached on Twitter via @OpenKuroko.

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