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The Fallacies of Open: Participatory Design, Infrastructuring, and The Pursuit of Radical Possibility

, University of Rhode Island, United States ; , Illinois State University, United States ; , National Writing Project, United States ; , Kean University, United States

CITE Journal Volume 18, Number 2, ISSN 1528-5804 Publisher: Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education, Waynesville, NC USA


To better understand the impacts of participatory design in English language arts teacher education, this critical case study focuses on the National Writing Project’s Connected Learning Massive, Open, Online Collaboration (CLMOOC) that engaged educators in playing with the connected learning framework. The authors draw from 5 years of interaction data to question “open” as a fixed point of reference in the design of participatory, online learning communities. Through three rounds of remix inquiry, the authors argue that open as a design ideology is necessary but not sufficient in providing conditions for transformative professional learning. The analysis reveals a subtle shift from facilitative practices such as inviting for diversified participation and affirming for reciprocal engagement intended to elicit fuller open participation to those such as coaching toward imperfection and curating relational infrastructures that are grounded in an infrastructuring strategy that is intentionally fragmentary and incomplete. The findings illustrate facilitative practices that engage educators in dynamic connection – making in online professional learning, and prompt the field to critically consider the fallacies of open learning design.


West-Puckett, S., Smith, A., Cantrill, C. & Zamora, M. (2018). The Fallacies of Open: Participatory Design, Infrastructuring, and The Pursuit of Radical Possibility. Contemporary Issues in Technology and Teacher Education, 18(2), 203-232. Waynesville, NC USA: Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education. Retrieved February 19, 2019 from .

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