Open Educational Resources (OER), Teaching

Open Pedagogy Tools

There are many free to use and open source tools that can help with creating an open pedagogy curriculum, allowing your students to become digital creators, and moving away from using disposable assignments. According to David Wiley, disposable assignments are “assignments that students complain about doing and faculty complain about grading. They’re assignments that add no value to the world – after a student spends three hours creating it, a teacher spends 30 minutes grading it, and then the student throws it away.”

Decorative, tools in a pile

Photo by Ashim D’Silva on Unsplash

Here are specific tools to help with open pedagogy assignments, expanded upon from The OER Starter Kit Open Pedagogy chapter is one of the tools commonly used for open pedagogy projects. allows users to annotate websites and online readings easily. Using can let students engage with your course readings and each other in a more interactive way than discussion boards might allow.

Wikipedia, WikiEdu, and Wikibooks: are excellent tools for working with students to create a text. Alternatively, short student projects, such as annotated bibliographies, can be done via Wikipedia by adding context and citations to short or underdeveloped articles. This not only gives students the opportunity to get experience explaining concepts for a public audience, it also increases the available public knowledge on your course’s topic!

Google Drive: provides a variety of tools that can be used for collaboration on text-based projects as well as slideshows and spreadsheets. 

New Google Sites: a website creation tool in the Google Suite, it’s an easy to use website creation tool.

YouTube: student-made instructional videos or class projects can be incredibly useful to showcase for future students in the class or to use as supplemental materials for explaining difficult concepts.

Timeline JS and other Northwestern Knightlab Tools: is an innovative suite of open-source, adaptable, and lightweight tools for media makers, with its most popular being an easy to use, visual timeline tool Timeline JS. Other tools include Juxtapose, Scene, Soundcite, Storyline, and Storymap. 

Pressbooks: is an open book production platform. Robin DeRosa at Plymouth State University in New Hampshire created an open pedagogy assignment using Pressbooks. Instead of assigning her students the Norton Critical Edition, she gathered together public domain texts into Pressbooks, then assigned her students to write the introductions to the various chapters and then annotate the text itself with

H5P: is an HTML5 creation site, it’s an open tool that allows instructors and students to create tutorials, questions, hotspots, interactive video, and more. 

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