As I read through chapter 11.4 of Tony Bates’ book Teaching in a Digital Age I was struck by level of consideration that was being given to the emotional state of the learner. In this chapter Tony references Hegarty’s 2015 article, Attributes of Open Pedagogy: A Model for Using Open Educational Resources where the author outlines eight attributes of Open Pedagogy. I immediately noticed that of the eight listed attributes, four of them included the words: “trust”, “flourish”, “empower” and “encourage”. These words all generate strong feelings of well-being and confidence building for me; really driving home the concept of mutual respect and developing relationships.

Searching Merriam-Webster online dictionary reveals synonyms like enable, confidence, prosper and thrive, also words that are strongly associated with emotional states of being or personal development. Continuing he highlights DeRosa and Robinson’s belief that knowledge should facilitate engagement beyond the scope of the specific learning. This develops empowerment and the building of student efficacy by using newly constructed knowledge outside of the context from which it was developed.

Similarly, David Merrill outlines five principles of learning in 2002 paper, First Principles of Learning. These all stress the need to foster learning through the application of new knowledge and inclusion of learner’s existing knowledge. Using words like “engaged”, “activated”, “applied”, and “integration”, which have a strong positive connotation of growth and development, further stressing the importance of learner emotional well-being.

These thoughts formed the backdrop of my lecture and lab classes today, and as I watched my class process the information and concepts, I reflected on the idea of flourishing, trust, and empowering. I will always answer my students’ questions with questions of my own or an observation that they already have the knowledge to formulate the answer themselves. It is my hope that this empowers them to integrate the new knowledge into this new context and supports both DeRosa and Robinson’s idea that knowledge never stops growing and Merrell’s 5th First Principle of Instruction identified as the Integration Phase.

I’ve watched students engage in discussions about complications and retell mistakes they’ve made, indicating a sense of trust and comfort in the learning environment. To openly share mistakes and errors to classmates has the potential to create feelings of “less than” or “reduced competency” when compared to others within the class. This is often referred to as taking Intellectual Risk, the fear of appearing less competent than others, which requires trust in your peers to willingly do.

The idea and concept of Open presents somewhat of a puzzle for me and I can relate to Bates suggestion of Open as a way of thinking yet recognizing that it is also a physical approach to facilitate learning. This word has both physical and philosophical connotations to it. Physically the resources created for learning by learners are freely accessible by any and all as well as the philosophical idea of allowing free unconstrained movement to learn from a personal perspective of individual’s own choosing.

What I’m really struggling with is the concept of student created Open Educational Resources within the context of my courses. I don’t truly understand what this means or how to apply this to my courses. It’s important that I understand how this could be done and if these resources and artifacts are limited to a digital realm or can they include physical items created and developed through implementation of knowledge created within the learning environment.

Please share your ideas of what sort of artifacts can be created and how are they could be used within the learning environment. Do you see OER as a purely digital artifact or can it exist in a physical realm too.

I have a new semester starting January 2020, which seems like an excellent opportunity to usher in some positive changes with a move towards a more open learning environment.

I’ve already committed to taking more intellectual risk, (see previous post) so help me take that risk by enabling me to enable my students.

Owen Lloyd



Bates, T. (2019, September 26). Chapter 11.4 Open pedagogy | Tony Bates. Retrieved November 15, 2019, from

Merrill, M. D. (2002). First principles of instruction. Educational Technology Research and Development, 50(3), 43–59.