The prevalence of algorithms used to process personal data to make decisions, such as product or news recommendations, based on previous user behavior collected through digital devices. The reasoning used to make the decisions are often not clearly communicated to users.

Newell, S., & Marabelli, M. (2015). Strategic opportunities (and challenges) of algorithmic decision-making: A call for action on the long-term societal effects of ‘datification.’ The Journal of Strategic Information Systems, 24(1), 3–14.

ancillary materials

Materials beyond the core content, such as practice problems, quiz/test questions, etc.


Behaviorism is a systematic approach to understanding the behavior of humans and other animals. It assumes that all behaviors are either reflexes produced by a response to certain stimuli in the environment, or a consequence of that individual's history, including especially reinforcement and punishment, together with the individual's current motivational state and controlling stimuli.


Implies that the different processes concerning learning can be explained by analyzing the mental processes first. It posits that with effective cognitive processes, learning is easier and new information can be stored in the memory for a long time.


Asserts that the learner has prior knowledge and experiences, which is often determined by their social and cultural environment. Learning is therefore done by students' “constructing” knowledge out of their experiences.

constructivist theory

Constructivism focuses on learning obtained through knowledge. Teachers lead students' learning through inquiry and continuous assessment. A tenet of constructivist learning aligns with educational theorist Vygotsky's concepts of social learning. Hence by creating lessons that allow students to learn and reflect in a group setting, students and teachers can maximize opportunities of inquiry.

copy of record

The single copy of a document, often the original, that is designated as the official copy for reference and preservation.

Creative Commons license

An alternative to copyright, which includes information about what users are allowed to do with items. Creative Commons licenses address attribution, sharing, derivatives, and commercial use. For example, a CC-ND license would be one requiring attribution with no derivatives allowed. See for more details.

Creative Commons License-2

A series of licensing designed for open access publication of materials.

Creative Commons licensing

A copyright license that allows for free distribution of the work. Different types of Creative Commons licensing indicate whether the work can be freely distributed, modified, or used commercially, and what attributions are required for redistribution of the original or adapted work.


Critical pedagogy is frequently traced to the prominent work of Paulo Freire and his critique of banking modes of education. Rather than viewing learners as passive recipients of knowledge, critical pedagogy emphasizes the emancipatory potential of education and learners’ capacity to redefine their worlds and their place in it.

McLaren, P. & Crawford, J. (2010). Critical pedagogy. In C. Kridel (Ed.), Encyclopedia of curriculum studies (pp. 148-149). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, Inc. doi: 10.4135/9781412958806.n88

"An educational lesson that offers the student or learner opportunities to perform, share, analyze, connect, and apply new information is experiential learning.” While definitions and conceptions of experiential learning continue to evolve, founding theories may be traced to Dewey, Rogers, and Kolb.

Strong, R. (2015). Experiential learning. In J. Spector (Ed.), The SAGE encyclopedia of educational technology (pp. 285-286). Thousand Oaks,, CA: SAGE Publications, Inc. doi: 10.4135/9781483346397.n124

critical digital pedagogies

An approach to teaching and learning that values student agency, community, and collaboration. It demands that open and networked educational environments "be platforms for engaging students and teachers as full agents of their own learning."

Stommel, J. (2014). Critical Digital Pedagogy: A Definition. Hybrid Pedagogy. Retrieved from


Online software that focuses on graphing and plotting. See for more details.

digital redlining

Digital redlining refers to inequitable information technology policies and practices that restrict user access and control collection of user data in a manner that discriminates against marginalized groups.

Gilliard, C., & Culik, H. (2016, May 24). Digital Redlining, Access, and Privacy. Common Sense Education.

digital scholarship

“[T]he use of digital evidence and method, digital authoring, digital publishing, digital curation and preservation, and digital use and reuse of scholarship.” (Rumsey 2011)

Rumsey, A. S. (2011). New-model scholarly communication: Road map for change. Charlottesville, Va.: Scholarly Communication Institute, University of Virginia.

Domain of One’s Own

A Domain of One’s Own grew out of an initiative started at the University of Mary Washington and was largely spearheaded by Jim Groom, Martha Burtis, and Tim Owens. The initiative is now more than five years old and includes a robust community of institutions and advocates. At the core, the initiative rests on the belief that there is enormous learning potential in granting individuals ownership of their own domain space.

Dublin Core

A set of vocabulary terms used in the library and information sciences to describe both physical and digital objects.


Experiential learning is the process of learning through experience, and is more specifically defined as "learning through reflection on doing."

experiential learning

The process by which students learn the skills required to accomplish a goal through active engagement in an opportunity, followed by reflect on what they have learned from that experience. The reflection allows them to translate the learning experience to action items that can be revisited in future use of the skill set.

five principles of open assignment design

Assignments that: develop student skills in alignment with the course; create a project "that will add value to the world"; produce something that is itself "openly available"; provide support to students; and creatively builds (rather than repeats) over time (Jhangiani 2017, p. 272).

Jhangiani, R. S. (2017). Open as Default: The future of education and scholarship. In R. S. Jhangiani & R. Biswas-Diener (Eds.), Open: The philosophy and practices that are revolutionizing education and science (pp. 267–279).


Online software designed for use in teaching of multiple mathematics areas. See for more details.

GNU license

An alternative to copyright, which includes information about what users are allowed to do with items. GNU licenses are usually applied to software, but could be used in some cases for online course content. See for more details.

Google Sites

Google Sites is a structured wiki- and Web page-creation tool offered by Google, which allows the creation of simple web sites that support collaboration between different editors.


A free and open-source content collaboration framework based on JavaScript. H5P is an abbreviation for HTML5 Package, and aims to make it easy for everyone to create, share and reuse interactive HTML5 content.

high-impact courses

Courses that are high enrollment and/or commonly required or taught.


A browser extension that allows students to annotate digital content, helping with comprehension and in developing critical thinking skills about course readings in private, group or public settings.

information literacy

"Information literacy is the set of integrated abilities encompassing the reflective discovery of information, the understanding of how information is produced and valued, and the use of information in creating new knowledge and participating ethically in communities of learning."

Association of College and Research Libraries. (2015). Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education. Retrieved from


A major database that primarily focuses on content from major journals that is 3-5 years prior to the current year.

Knowledge Commons

The term "knowledge commons" refers to information, data, and content that is collectively owned and managed by a community of users, particularly over the Internet.


A markup language used to get mathematical and scientific content to display properly when displayed online or when printed. See for more details.

Linked data

Data hyperlinked to other data to increase context and discoverability.

metadata profile

A set of guidelines to how to create metadata, what terminology is needed, and examples of metadata creation.


A branded subset of a website dedicated to a specific group, category, etc.


Breaking up content into much more distinct and separate portions, or modules, allows for those wanting to integrate materials to use the specific topics they want more easily.

multiple intelligences

Developed in 1983 by Dr. Howard Gardner, professor of education at Harvard University, the theory suggests that the traditional notion of intelligence, based on I.Q. testing, is far too limited. Instead, Dr. Gardner proposes eight different intelligences to account for a broader range of human potential in children and adults.


Open Educational Resources (OER) = Teaching and learning materials that are openly licensed, giving users the legal permission to retain, reuse, revise, remix, and redistribute the material.

OER-enabled pedagogy

OER-Enabled Pedagogy is the set of teaching and learning practices only practical in the context of the 5R permissions characteristic of open educational resources.

OER-enabled project

Educational materials that are free to access and openly licensed.


An online platform used for virtual exhibitions, websites, and content management.

one-shot instruction

Typically a 50-80 minute library session where students are given support on a particular academic assignment or topic. Topics covered often include keyword identification, search strategies, database navigation and information retrieval.

open concepts

Foundational knowledge of systems that support the ethical and legal participation in the creation and sharing of OER, such as copyright, open licensing, and privacy.

open educational resources

OER "teaching, learning, and research resources that reside in the public domain or have been released under an intellectual property license that permits their free use and re-purposing by others."

open educational resources (OER)

Content that is freely available online. Many people more specifically see OER content as content that going beyond free access with licenses that allow for making changes and distributing.

open pedagogical design

In this case, the curriculum is designed to be open-ended, with no assumed "correct" final answer in mind. Curricular structures and supports are in place but students are given the freedom to take an individual path to learning.

open pedagogy

A student-centered teaching approach that empowers students as creators of knowledge and open resources.

open textbook

Open textbooks are course textbooks that have been funded, published, and licensed to be freely used, adapted, and distributed. These books have been reviewed by faculty from a variety of colleges and universities to assess their quality. These books can be downloaded for no cost, or printed at low cost.

Source: Open Textbook Library,

place-based education

An interdisciplinary pedagogical approach that supports using local communities and their resources as a framework to teach, giving students better representation of their community, environment, and history within their educational experience.


The process of using a theory or something that you have learned in a practical way.

primary sources

A resource providing a first-hand account of an event, incidence or happening. Primary sources can include diaries, newspaper articles, photographs, manuscripts, and letters, for example.

racial justice

Political philosopher Christopher Lebron develops an account of racial justice in terms of the social value of black persons in a racially hierarchal society, from which he articulates three principles of racial justice: education that helps individuals positively value black identity and more deeply understand historical and social facts; education about the negative and oppressive norms about black social value; and the regulation of institutional practices in line with socially valuing black life (2013, Chapter 5).

Lebron, C. J. (2013). The Color of Our Shame: Race and Justice in Our Time. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press.

radical familiarity

Making a historical literary text more accessible and familiar by connecting the text to current events, issues, media, or theory. Radical familiarity is a form of critical thinking that allows students to meet an “old” or different type of text on well-known or common ground.

Reclaim Hosting

Reclaim hosting is a web hosting company that supports numerous colleges and universities in the offering of student domains and web hosting. The company grew from the founding Domain of One's Own initiative at the University of Mary Washington.

Renewable Assignment Design Framework

A process to develop renewable assignments.

renewable assignments

Renewable assignments are an alternative to traditional, disposable assignments, which students throw away after they are graded. Renewable assignments are possible because of the permission to engage in the 5R activities granted by open educational resources (OER).

renewable assignments 2

An assignment or activity in which students are invited to openly license and publicly share the artifact that is created, which has value beyond the students' own learning.

responsive web design

Responsive Web design is the approach that suggests that design and development should respond to the user's behavior and environment based on screen size, platform and orientation.

surveillance capitalism

Surveillance capitalism is a term coined by Shoshana Zuboff to capture the dangers presented when industries extract, compile, repurpose, and resell user data for capital gains. It can be understood as a "new form of information capitalism [that] aims to predict and modify human behavior as a means to produce revenue and market control."

Zuboff, S. (2015). Big other: Surveillance Capitalism and the Prospects of an Information Civilization. Journal of Information Technology, 30(1), 75–89.

textbook affordability

General strategies for eliminating or reducing cost of course materials. Examples include: use of OER, use of library-licensed resources, use of used and/or previous editions, etc.


Ximera is a free and open-source platform for creating and sharing interactive online course materials. The goal of Ximera is to make it easier for authors familiar with LaTeX to create interactive online content and to provide educators and researchers with quantitative data on student performance and involvement.


Self-published, small circulation works that tend to communicate information informally through original or mashed up (under fair use laws that permit limited use of copyrighted materials) text and images.


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Open Pedagogy Approaches Copyright © 2020 by Alexis Clifton and Kimberly Davies Hoffman is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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