Allen, J. V., & Katz, S. (2019). Developing Open Practices in Teacher Education: An Example of Integrating OER and Developing Renewable Assignments. Open Praxis, 11(3), 311–319.

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Research Question

How can a teacher education course in literacy and technology be redesigned to adopt OER in lieu of a course textbook and adapt the final course assignment utilizing an open pedagogy approach. The intent of the course redesign was to introduce the teacher candidates to OER, help teacher candidates understand aspects of Creative Commons licensing, and experience finding, adapting, reusing, remixing, and creating OER.


This article highlights a collaborative partnership between education faculty, and library faculty, and the authors and speaks to the key points and processes of redesigning a teacher education course that may be used as an example for others engaging in open education practices. This included a course broken into three stages: 1. OER integration, preparing for OER-enabled pedagogy with the development of a renewable assignment 2. considerations for scaffolding student learning about OER 3. negotiating choices about sharing their work


  • Stage 1 strategically selected the course and identified appropriate OER
  • Stage 2 prepare for OER-enabled pedagogy, including the development of a renewable assignment
  • Stage 3 specific considerations for teaching students about OER and assigning Creative Commons licenses to their work


Key Findings

Teacher educators are well-positioned to evolve future use of open practices within the K-12 curriculum. As they model the adoption of OER and open practices, teacher educators encourage candidates to reimagine their agency, as they grow professionally and contribute meaningfully to the global teaching community.


Open pedagogy reconceives the notion of who creates knowledge and provides a pathway to empower students as creators. DeRosa and Jhangiani (2017) framed this concept as “a site of praxis, a place where theories about learning, teaching, technology, and social justice enter into a conversation with each other and inform the development of educational practices and structures” (para. 2).

As their work with the OER evolves, the intention is for teacher candidates to develop their own digital literacy skills as they engage with a variety of tools and platforms. The scaffolding of the course redesign is meant to provide an encouraging low stakes entry into the world of OER, moving from simply accessing OER content to contributing OER content.

Wiley and Hilton (2018) developed criteria to distinguish assignments into four categories - disposable, authentic, constructionist, and renewable. The disposable assignment is one in which a student simply creates an artifact. In an authentic assignment, the artifact developed has value beyond the student’s own learning. Students make their authentic assignment public and beyond the bounds of the teacher-student relationship in a constructionist assignment. To make an assignment renewable, students openly license an artifact that has value beyond the student’s own learning and that has been made public. Wiley and Hilton (2018) have posed the following four questions to determine if an assignment is renewable: + Are students asked to create new artifacts (essays, poems, videos, songs, etc.) or revise/remix existing OER? + Does the new artifact have value beyond supporting the learning of its author? + Are students invited to publicly share their new artifacts or revised/remixed OER? + Are students invited to openly license their new artifacts or revised/remixed OER?


  • credibility Allen and Katz are both experienced educators in the CUNY system.
  • accuracy The authors have carefully researched and documented their findings.
  • reasonableness The article balances favorable findings with reflections on how to proceed in similar practices in the future.
  • support Source supported by peer-reviewed scholarly research.