Open pedagogy assignments can involve students engaging with communities other than their peers in a classroom, opening their ideas up to public scrutiny, and creating and communicating in new way. When students openly publish their work through online platforms such blogs, wikis, open textbooks, social media, etc, they are not necessarily using the same format or skills that they would in writing a research paper or persuasive essay; instead they are applying new strategies to the information and knowledge they have to produce something people will use. When asking students to create content, there are a few considerations to keep in mind. Students own the copyright in their own work, and should be given the choice whether or not to share or publish it publicly and with an open license.
When sharing content outside of traditional classrooms, different people have different levels of comfort and risk. Students should never be required or compelled to give up any of their privacy in order to complete an assignment. It is always good to provide students with options on how they may complete or share their work.
If you are publishing students’ work on a course site or planning to re-use it in future terms, ask for students’ permission regarding how long they would like their work to be share. Some may not mind having it posted indefinitely, but some may wish to have their work taken down as soon as the class is finished. At the very least, let them know that if they later decide they would like it taken down, they can contact you.
It is useful to provide them with various choices, such as:
- publishing with a pseudonym
- publishing in a way that only other people in that class can see their work
- submitting only to the instructor or T.A.
- publishing publicly with or without an open license
When working with students as creators of content, it can be helpful to think of them as collaborators. You might not want your work or privacy shared without your consent and students are often the same.