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Sharing Voices: exploring open educational practices with language educators and students through participatory research

Sharing Voices: exploring open educational practices with language educators and students through participatory research
Sharing Voices: exploring open educational practices with language educators and students through participatory research
This commentary is a submission for the Award of PHD by Published Works. The work described here broke new ground and is an expression of the emerging, transformational change that advances in digital technology are making to academic scholarship. It challenges traditional research approaches in every way: from design, through data collection, dissemination and impact. It celebrates collaboration as part of a democratic, inclusive, participatory action research
approach that reflects the nature of learning in a digital age as connected, networked, collaborative and socially constructed (Siemens, 2005).
The commentary organises a programme of innovative work exploring the area of open educational practice (OEP) for language teaching and language teacher education in Higher Education. This exploration is presented from a range of perspectives including language teachers working in varied contexts and language students. It is work that has contributed knowledge on international, national, local and individual levels as a direct result of its innovative design: it is work that has had an impact and was often transformational.
The work here has been selected to illustrate the foundations of a sustained individual research journey. The consistent aim of this research was to explore and understand the challenges, drivers and implications of OEP for language educators through practical projects. The work was undertaken at an early point in the development of the field and it explored and encouraged genuine practice change. The work took place at the beginning of my career as a committed supporter and creator of open education and it has influenced the development of my current roles. It focuses on the use and creation of OERs and developing OEP. The submission reflects the diversity of open digital scholarship and consists of peer-reviewed publications, multimedia assets and published technical reports for national, UK government-funded, multi-institutional projects.
Findings present a picture of OEP in action, as it relates to language educators, researchers and students. They reveal that OEP could be beneficial for language teacher professional development and that community-focussed networks are important in realising this benefit. Open collaboration led to creativity and rich engagement, and was clearly satisfying and rewarding for participants, including students. Findings suggested that OEP could offer a response to contextual challenges faced by language educators in their professional lives. They indicated that the involvement of students in collaborative open educational resource (OER)-creation projects could be impactful and motivating for students and educators. Findings also highlighted challenges to engagement with OEP, including institutional barriers, technical issues, personal reluctance to share work and legal obstacles.
Overall, this diversity of work demonstrates that the context of a language educator’s professional life is essential in fostering or hindering uptake of OER and understanding the drivers and barriers to the adoption of OEP. The context of subject discipline provides the purpose and motivation for engaging with OEP. Finally, my work demonstrates the power of a participatory action research approach in exploring OEP. It reveals an approach that ensures a diverse, enduring, diffuse impact and one that through its open, democratic, collaborative nature, is suited to its field and to the nature of academic life and learning in a digital age.
University of Southampton
Borthwick, Kate
300f9e66-702e-4ab2-95dd-97b70d497806
Borthwick, Kate
300f9e66-702e-4ab2-95dd-97b70d497806
Archibald, Alasdair
15b56a58-87df-4322-8367-70f4daff3f42
Wright, Vicky
5a4085ca-99b1-43d4-92e0-8b36edbcf93a

Borthwick, Kate (2022) Sharing Voices: exploring open educational practices with language educators and students through participatory research. University of Southampton, Doctoral Thesis, 98pp.

Record type: Thesis (Doctoral)

Abstract

This commentary is a submission for the Award of PHD by Published Works. The work described here broke new ground and is an expression of the emerging, transformational change that advances in digital technology are making to academic scholarship. It challenges traditional research approaches in every way: from design, through data collection, dissemination and impact. It celebrates collaboration as part of a democratic, inclusive, participatory action research
approach that reflects the nature of learning in a digital age as connected, networked, collaborative and socially constructed (Siemens, 2005).
The commentary organises a programme of innovative work exploring the area of open educational practice (OEP) for language teaching and language teacher education in Higher Education. This exploration is presented from a range of perspectives including language teachers working in varied contexts and language students. It is work that has contributed knowledge on international, national, local and individual levels as a direct result of its innovative design: it is work that has had an impact and was often transformational.
The work here has been selected to illustrate the foundations of a sustained individual research journey. The consistent aim of this research was to explore and understand the challenges, drivers and implications of OEP for language educators through practical projects. The work was undertaken at an early point in the development of the field and it explored and encouraged genuine practice change. The work took place at the beginning of my career as a committed supporter and creator of open education and it has influenced the development of my current roles. It focuses on the use and creation of OERs and developing OEP. The submission reflects the diversity of open digital scholarship and consists of peer-reviewed publications, multimedia assets and published technical reports for national, UK government-funded, multi-institutional projects.
Findings present a picture of OEP in action, as it relates to language educators, researchers and students. They reveal that OEP could be beneficial for language teacher professional development and that community-focussed networks are important in realising this benefit. Open collaboration led to creativity and rich engagement, and was clearly satisfying and rewarding for participants, including students. Findings suggested that OEP could offer a response to contextual challenges faced by language educators in their professional lives. They indicated that the involvement of students in collaborative open educational resource (OER)-creation projects could be impactful and motivating for students and educators. Findings also highlighted challenges to engagement with OEP, including institutional barriers, technical issues, personal reluctance to share work and legal obstacles.
Overall, this diversity of work demonstrates that the context of a language educator’s professional life is essential in fostering or hindering uptake of OER and understanding the drivers and barriers to the adoption of OEP. The context of subject discipline provides the purpose and motivation for engaging with OEP. Finally, my work demonstrates the power of a participatory action research approach in exploring OEP. It reveals an approach that ensures a diverse, enduring, diffuse impact and one that through its open, democratic, collaborative nature, is suited to its field and to the nature of academic life and learning in a digital age.

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Published date: February 2022

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 454992
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/454992
PURE UUID: 3dc20fe5-4540-4b66-8ba2-b7f8f3162400

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 03 Mar 2022 17:37
Last modified: 03 Mar 2022 17:40

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Contributors

Author: Kate Borthwick
Thesis advisor: Alasdair Archibald
Thesis advisor: Vicky Wright

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