On a Continuum of Openness: Royal Roads Experience Designing a Graduate Program in the Open

This presentation will share the experience of redesigning an MA program in learning and technology that has openness and networked learning as key design principles. The role of educational developers within Royal Roads University Centre for Teaching and Educational Technology to support open educational practices will be explained and the experiences of faculty designing and developing for, and in, an open learning environment will be discussed. This work is part of an ongoing case study research project that investigates and documents the experiences of faculty in a graduate level program that is predicated on a view of openness as a continuum.

This interactive presentation will highlight design decisions, support requirements and initial tensions such as coming to a common understanding of openness and what openness can be within the constraints of an institution. It will also discuss how openness supports or detracts from online community and the role of openness in the creation of safe learning environments. Examples will be provided for ways to support adjunct faculty in designing for, and facilitating in, these more open learning spaces.

After taking part in this session, it expected that the audience will be better able to:

  • Appreciate how openness can be taken up at a programmatic level in a graduate program;
  • Understand key considerations for faculty moving from Moodle to a more open WordPress supported learning environment;
  • Reflect more fully on the considerations and impact of adopting openness at a program or course level.


Dr. Elizabeth Childs

Associate Professor and Program Head MALAT Program, Royal Roads University

Dr. Jo Axe

Director, School of Education and Technology, Royal Roads University

Vivian Forssman

Director, CTET, Royal Roads University