The University of Massachusetts Amherst

UMass Amherst Libraries Announce Chapter Publication in Rebus Community's Open Pedagogy Approaches

The UMass Amherst Libraries announce the publication of a chapter, "Sharing the End of the World: Students’ Perceptions of Their Self-Efficacy in the Creation of Open Access Digital Learning Objects," co-authored by Lisa Di Valentino, Law and Public Policy Librarian, Sarah Hutton, Head of Student Success & Engagement, and Paul Musgrave, Assistant Professor of Political Science, as a part of the Rebus Community's Open Pedagogy Approaches, released at the end of June 2020.

The chapter presents their study on the impact of student-authored, open, creative scholarship on student confidence in understanding content and conceptualization of ideas as part of the final examination for Musgrave’s course, “The Politics of the End of the World.” The students were required to research, record, and release podcasts that explored major changes in Massachusetts history.

For this study, Di Valentino, Hutton, and Erin Jerome, Open Access and Institutional Repository Librarian, have been working closely with Musgrave to build out a course content site for his students' podcasts, hosted on ScholarWorks, the digital repository for the research and scholarly output of the UMass Amherst community.

Research results from this course were encouraging; basing questions on Bandura's model of self-efficacy and previous studies on open content created in courses using open educational resources (OER), the study asked students about their perception regarding how well they had learned the content, how confident they were sharing that content with a global audience, and how an open pedagogical model changed their approach to research and project management. Student feedback included that the course model made them seek out high-quality and accurate details for their podcasts, knowing that others could listen to them and they didn’t want to mislead anyone. Students said they conducted in-depth research in historiography, and also applied modern social science theory, allowing them to see the broader application of content. The findings have implications for more engaging course designs for undergraduate student learners.

The intent of this open pedagogical model is to teach students about Creative Commons licensing, open scholarship, and how they themselves become scholars over the course of producing, and openly publishing, these informative podcasts as a part of a renewable assignment model. By hosting these podcasts openly, future iterations of the course can build on previous research.

“We intend to work with students to help them develop and upload content, learning how repositories and open scholarship work,” says Hutton. “Learning about Creative Commons licenses, copyright, and fair use in their undergraduate career, these students will be better prepared to engage in global communications and scholarship in their professional careers beyond UMass Amherst.”