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Open University Innovative Pedagogy 2019 report

Matt East

Every year, the Open University publish their Innovating Pedagogy report, detailing ten innovative approaches to pedagogy that haven’t yet made it to the mainstream way of thinking.

The report can be found here.

These reports show some great future thinking, and many of the topics discussed in the previous version are now starting to find their way (or have planted themselves firmly within) new teaching methods hitting the mainstream approaches (e.g. gamification, rewarding activity through badging).

What really jumped out in this report, which is particularly pertinent for Talis Elevate and it’s usage, relates to “making thinking visible”.

“Making student thinking visible can support a student’s learning process by making studying more effective and teaching more targeted. Activities that raise student and teacher awareness of the learning intentions of a course, the student’s subject understanding, and how to improve are all important.”

One of the most valuable points raised by one of our users over the past academic year has related to the qualitative insight you can gain from the students activity within Talis Elevate: how that can be used to gauge the student (and cohorts) learning journey, and growth of knowledge and understanding in a personal capacity. By building explicit and aligned activities towards specific action points like seminars and assessments (or both), this can enable academics to really shape the future delivery for the cohort in front of them based on the students vocalised understanding of the subject matter. Backing this up with the quantitative insight you can gain through the granular analytics also give the opportunity for in-flight intervention around simple things, like reading the whole document, pulling out specific elements of the resource that are maybe missed by the group (or individuals). 

It’s also important to remember the significant value that co-creation of knowledge can have on an individual students’ learning journey, as again expressed in this report. Building opportunities to co-construct knowledge (and importantly, different perspectives on the subject matter) can be hugely beneficial for those students with a lack of understanding or criticality in their thinking.

If there’s one report I’d recommend taking a look at for some bedtime reading, this report has some nuggets of gold in there, that hopefully, you can apply to your own discipline.


Ferguson, R., Coughlan, T., Egelandsdal, K., Gaved, M., Herodotou, C., Hillaire, G., Jones, D., Jowers, I., Kukulska-Hulme, A., McAndrew, P., Misiejuk, K., Ness, I. J., Rienties, B., Scanlon, E., Sharples, M., Wasson, B., Weller, M. and Whitelock, D. (2019). Innovating Pedagogy 2019: Open University Innovation Report 7. Milton Keynes: The Open University.

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