With my colleague Cynthia D’Angelo, I presented a webinar on analyzing educational data from an open science perspective through the Center for Open Science. The organization (unsurprisngly!) advocates for openness in research; they created and maintain the fairly widely-used (across research fields) Open Science Framework platform for sharing.
The Center for Open Science invited people from across educational research to join a working meeting this week on open science in educational science—wait, scratch that, in educational scholarship! I say that in that way because the names used really matter; not everyone (in act, perhaps a minority) of researchers in education identify as scientists; more, I believe, would identify as educational researchers—or something else, like teacher educators). I was happy to join; Charlottesville seemed fun to visit and the topic was right up my alley. I thought I could bring a teacher education (and a bit of an educational data science) perspective to the meeting, too.
Info. on the Working Meeting
We’re wrapping up now - I’m near the back typing away - but I thought to try to sum up a few take-aways now. First, I’ll share the agenda here. Some additional materials are here/
- First, I think that attempts to make educational scholarship more open are on the right track. No one is trying to push ideas about openness onto others; there was generally an attitude of… well… openness. That was good.
- On the other hand, educational psychologists (and school psychologists—others with a psychology background of some kind) were well represented. While everyone was open and not pushy about who should do open science and how it should be done, I think greater representation from sub-disciplines of educational research—teacher educators, especially, but also individuals in educational leadership, learning sciences, educational technology-related fields, and content-specific areas like mathematics and science education—was and is needed.
- As one example of how greater representation may matter, a take-away from the meeting that I found to be on the right track was that the challenge of reproducibility seems to be far less resonant in educational research contexts than in, say, psychological science; there, the reproducibility crisis has been widely-discussed. This is not the case in educational research—perhaps for good reason (the goal in educational research is often to explore and reveal or describe variability, rather than to strictly reproduce an effect). But, access to and the usability of research does seem to be something many of us in education are concerned with. The point is this: if we care about accessibility, from whom could we learn? The OER/OpenEd community, for instance, has done a good job of advocating for open access—arguably better than those in the open science movement. Similarly, I’d love for the attendees at this working group meeting to hear and learn from those leading (or using) OpenSciEd.
I’ll start with these reflections … but possibly follow up on these in a later post or posts!