23 May: Open Educational Practices (OEP) for teaching in higher education

Seminar series: Growing Open Educational Practices in Africa SEMINAR 1
Presenter: Catherine Cronin, Centre for Excellence in Learning & Teaching (CELT), National University of Ireland, Galway

Format: One hour webinar Tuesday 23 May, 1 pm (SAST)

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Open educational practices (OEP) is a broad descriptor of practices that include the creation, use and reuse of open educational resources (OER) as well as open pedagogies and open sharing of teaching practices. As compared with OER, there has been little empirical research on educators’ use of OEP for teaching in higher education. Catherine’s research addresses this gap, exploring the digital and pedagogical strategies of university educators, focusing on whether, why and how they use open educational practices for teaching.
Catherine’s research was conducted at one European university based on semi-structured interviews with educators across multiple disciplines. Using a constructivist grounded theory approach, she found four dimensions shared by open educators: balancing privacy and openness, developing digital literacies, valuing social learning, and challenging traditional teaching role expectations. She argues that the use of OEP by educators is complex, personal, and contextual; it is also continuously negotiated. Her findings suggest that research-informed policies and collaborative and critical approaches to openness are required to support staff, students, and learning in an increasingly complex higher education environment

This online event invites us to discuss and consider the following (among other) questions:

  • Why and when might  educators and educational technology practitioners choose open, and why not?
  • In our contexts, how can we balance personal choice (regarding openness) with  institutional and other constraints?

How can we grow open educational practices in African Higher Education?

Links and articles for interest:


Catherine Cronin is an educator, researcher and PhD candidate at the National University of Ireland, Galway. Her work focuses on openness and open education, digital identity practices, and exploring the boundary between formal and informal learning. She is currently completing her PhD exploring the use of open educational practices (OEP) in higher education. Catherine has been involved in teaching, research and advocacy in higher education and in the community for over 25 years. Catherine advocates a critical approach to openness; she is a regular contributor to conversations and collaborative projects in the area of open education, within Ireland and globally.

This webinar has ended – recording available here

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