Incorporating Open Educational Practices in Graduate Education: A Collaborative Autoethnographic Study




collaborative autoethnography, co-mentorship, graduate education, open educational practice


In this paper we describe the early steps of our journey through a collaborative autoethnographic research project and share preliminary findings. As distance educators who work at an open, online university, we embrace a philosophy of openness, drawing on open educational practices to facilitate collaborative and flexible learning. As faculty members who support masters and doctoral students, we conceptualize our virtual learning environments as spaces where reciprocal learning takes place between and among learners and professors in a form of co-mentorship. We chose collaborative autoethnography because it is an approach that allows us to interrogate our practice using experiences, archival data, and artifacts as accessible and reliable sources of information. Collaborative autoethnography, which permits us to both individually and collectively critique our practice, requires us to consider our personal experiences in relation to our identities as distance educators within the cultural context of an open and online research university in Canada. The initial data analysis process has uncovered three emergent themes to date. These themes include values linking open educational practices with student engagement and facilitating effective open educational practice through learning design. This research project enables us to experience the power of collaborative autoethnography as a research approach and to further our understanding of the potential of open educational practices in graduate education.


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