The Open UniversitySkip to content

Open Education as a threshold concept in Teacher Education: a theoretical framework for further research

Tur, Gemma; Marín, Victoria I.; Havemann, Leo; Keefer, Jeffrey; Marsh, J. Dawn; Nascimbeni, Fabio; Crump, Helen; Baker, Nick and García Vallejo, Mari Cruz (2018). Open Education as a threshold concept in Teacher Education: a theoretical framework for further research. In: OER18: Open to All - 9th annual conference for Open Education research, practice and policy, 18-19 Apr 2018, Bristol, UK, Association for Learning Technology.

Full text available as:
PDF (Version of Record) - Requires a PDF viewer such as GSview, Xpdf or Adobe Acrobat Reader
Download (573kB) | Preview
Google Scholar: Look up in Google Scholar


Threshold concept framework: A threshold concept can be considered as akin to a portal, opening up a new and previously inaccessible way of thinking about something. It represents a transformed way of understanding, or interpreting, or viewing something without which the learner cannot progress. As a consequence of comprehending a threshold concept there may thus be a transformed internal view of subject matter, subject landscape, or even worldview (Meyer and Land, 2003). Threshold concepts have been explored in many disciplines (Bradbeer, 2006) and may have a key role for the transformation of the students? learning experience (Cousin, 2006). Since open education has implications for innovation and change (Peter and Deimann, 2013), we suggest exploring it as a threshold concept.

There are five main attributes defined originally by Meyer and Land (2003) and three more have also been listed stemming from comments made by the authors (UCL, 2013): transformative, troublesome, irreversible, integrative, bounded, discursive, reconstitutive and liminal.

Openness as a threshold concept:

1. Transformative - Is openness transformative for students involved in open educational practices?

2. Troublesome - What difficulties do students face when being involved in open educational practices?

3. Irreversible - How do students? perceptions change when being involved in open educational practices? How do these changes impact visions of their own future professional careers?

4. Liminality - How can the progressive change towards the open movement be scaffolded? How can feedback help in the construction of authentic open educational practices?

5. Discursive - What kind of narrative do students involved in open educational practices develop? Does it reflect authentic construction of the open movement understanding?

This is the theoretical framework for future research about openness as a threshold concept. More research is needed to obtain data that would throw light on how to address each particular attribute. This is an open call to those interested in going further in this line of research.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item
Keywords: threshold concepts; open education
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies (WELS)
Research Group: Centre for Research in Education and Educational Technology (CREET)
Item ID: 58239
Depositing User: Leo Havemann
Date Deposited: 17 Dec 2018 11:39
Last Modified: 05 May 2019 06:50
Share this page:

Download history for this item

These details should be considered as only a guide to the number of downloads performed manually. Algorithmic methods have been applied in an attempt to remove automated downloads from the displayed statistics but no guarantee can be made as to the accuracy of the figures.

Actions (login may be required)

Policies | Disclaimer

© The Open University   contact the OU