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Integrating Open Science and Open Education in Teaching Methods

Fri, August 31, 8:00 to 9:30am, Marriott, Salon H


Open science and open education are two growing movements in academia that are both prompting critical and searching self-examinations of current practices in both teaching and research. First, open science – including research transparency, workflow, registration, open data, and open access – has spurred a deeply reflective discussion about best practices in research that has implications for everything from methods instruction to publication standards. Much attention has focused on how publication standards are shifting for existing scholars, but less attention tends to be paid to how methods instruction has been changing or needs to change for future scholars and across a wide range of disciplines. Second, open education – including open texts, software, exams, exercises, instructional materials – has prompted an equally broad debate about the cost of commercial educational materials as a barrier to education and as a burden to educational institutions. Thus, open educational materials offer a potential alternative that can increase access to education and permit institutions to rededicate budgets for commercial materials, including high-cost software, to other strategic priorities. How can these two movements be integrated for maximum benefit to students, faculty, academic units, and institutions? Part of a larger project on the integration of open science and open education, this paper focuses on methods instruction in higher education and advances practical recommendations for both (1) enhancing open science, including integrating material on research transparency and workflow into core methods courses, starting at the undergraduate level, and (2) enhancing open education, including adoption and/or development of open texts, free and open-source software, open exercises and tests, open data, and open learning management platforms. The goal is to design a methods curriculum that is portable and scalable across disciplines and different types of institutions and that relies primarily on open educational resources (e.g., open text, free, open-source software) and implements core principles of open science. These recommendations promise practical benefits of reduced material costs for individual students, faculty, academic units, and entire institutions, but also promise courses that are more clearly aligned with normative and ethical commitments to the accessibility of information and education.