Disciplinary and Institutional Perspectives on Open Educational Practice in Art, Design and Media Studies: opportunities and challenges
Sarah Atkinson, University of Brighton and SCORE, The Open University, UK John Casey, University of the Arts London, UK Chris Follows, University of the Arts London and SCORE, The Open University, UK Debbie Flint, University of Brighton, UK Stephen Mallinder, University of Brighton, UK
Conference Theme: Impact
Summary: Reflective accounts from teams at two UK universities engaged in open education projects in Art, Design and Media Studies
Abstract: This paper features reflective accounts from teams at two UK universities who are engaged in open education projects supported by national agencies (JISC and the HEA). Art, Design and Media (ADM) studies, by their nature, often feature an emphasis on practical studio and workshop based activities, with a pedagogic culture marked by an emphasis on mentoring, apprenticeship and peer support. In some ways the teaching of ADM subjects can be seen to represent the epitome of the traditional campus ‘walled garden’ and face-to-face model of teaching. In many of these subject areas there can be a shortage of didactic learning and teaching materials, representing a challenge for engagement with open educational practice in relation to the production and sharing of open educational resources. Open Educational practices also present opportunities for higher education teachers in these disciplines. The contingent and provisional nature of knowledge in creative practice disciplines and the high value placed on dialogue, aligns well with the multiple perspectives and approaches afforded by open educational practices. This orientation towards practice can take advantage of the potential for sharing and co-creating skills-based resources. Similarly, those disciplines where consideration of audience for creative cultural production practices is key can also find opportunities. This paper proposes that these characteristics of the disciplinary cultures in ADM subjects provide a good natural fit with open educational practices and that by creating online environments that facilitate the sharing of practice and process lecturers will find the transition to ‘teaching in public’ less formidable. Drawing on the findings of the Practising Open Education Project, and case study examples from two SCORE Fellowships, this paper considers how the broader online ecology generally and open educational practice specifically are impacting on teachers and teaching practices in ADM subjects. Practical examples will be provided to illustrate the points made in the presentation, including emerging findings from a pilot exercise to provide an online collaborative space to support lecturers working in Art, Design and Media (ADM) studies subjects.