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Despite all the benefits claimed for open education resources (OER), studies reveal that these are used less than anticipated. One reason for this is potential users’ uncertainty over whether the products aims, design and processes are fit for the intended purposes. Bates (2011) stress that OER must be founded upon sound instructional principles. Merrill’s (2002) first principles of instruction were abstracted from a wide range of systematically reviewed instructional design theories, models and research. These principles are always true under appropriate conditions regardless of the methods or models that implement these principles i.e:

  • Learners are engaged in solving real-world problems.
  • Existing knowledge is activated as a foundation for new knowledge.
  • New knowledge is demonstrated to the learner.
  • New knowledge is applied by the learner.
  • New knowledge is integrated into the learner’s world.

The goal in my day today developing and design process is to achieve higher-order thinking skills and collaborative work aka peer-to-peer engagement for my learners and participants. This helps transform teaching because then they are actively engaged with addressing the challenges in meaningful contexts. Some of the examples include role-playing, and simulation of customer engagement through various real-life situations that I have to make them comfortable with. I wrote a blog post reflecting on theoretical and pedagogical stance for LRNT523 concluding all theories of learning have some truth to them, but no one theory can explain the full complexity of learning. Thus, instead of comparing these theories based on their accuracy, we should instead look for how each theory can inform our own practice—how is it useful to us in my engagement with the learners? Each theory has a role in instruction and, therefore, has a role depending on the learners needs. Their needs should be paramount in pedagogical concepts.

In conclusion based on the readings of Bates (2019) and Merrill (2002), it seems that Open education suffered from the lack of a clear definition which made it difficult to discuss and difficult to defend. The very language patterns of education worked against the acceptance of open education. They saw open education as characterized by a set of beliefs that open educators held and which informed their practices, rather than open education as a set of rules and practices unto itself. Is open pedagogy in a similar situation? Is it a new manifestation of an old idea? Will it be self-defeating to promote open pedagogy to people who do not share the philosophical heritage?


Bates, A. W. (2019). Chapter 11.4 Open Pedagogy. In Teaching in a Digital World. 2nd ed. BC Campus.

Ertmer, P. A., & Newby, T. J. (2013). Behaviorism, cognitivism, constructivism: Comparing critical features from an instructional design perspective. Performance Improvement Quarterly, 26, 43–71.

Honey, P., & Mumford, A. (1992). The manual of learning styles. Berkshire: Peter Honey Publications.

Merrill, M.D. ETR&D (2002) 50: 43.

Shah, T. (2019, September 21). Reflect on Your Theoretical and Pedagogical Stance. Retrieved from