Reflection On Topic 2 – Open Learning -Sharing and Openness

Openness for me means sharing my knowledge..in which ever form will support the objective of the sharing.  The amount of openness in my own practice as a facilitator is determined by my motivation for sharing.  What I want to achieve by sharing the information determines how much I want to share and what objective I wish to achieve by sharing the information.

I was lucky to have been introduced to creativecommons.org quite early on in my career here at Varsity College and make use of openly licensed sources as far as possible as well as introduce my students to these sources.

Technologies and information resources can allow for the production and delivery of education to happen faster and cheaper.  MOOCs also allows for more people to learn a new skill.  The disadvantage is that the quality of the material cannot be guaranteed.  With technology and course resources that are heavily regulated by copyright, sharing and reaching of students are limited.  To obtain the necessary permissions to share this information can take time but quality can also be managed more easily.

The format of the MOOC needs to be determined by the objectives of the course and the degree of participation required.

The motivation of the facilitator for going open could be an indicator as to which type of model for delivery should be chosen.  If, for example, the facilitator just want to “test the water” or if the belief is that the understanding of a particular concept in his/her course could better be supported by enabling students to engage and collaborate online, an ad-hoc programme could be set up.  If the motivation is to convert his/ her course into a fully fledged course, the facilitator could opt for the ‘fully online programme’ model in which a multidisciplinary team creates a master course divided into segments with each segment presented by different instructors (Hill, 2012).

The course structure should support and promote the principles of inclusive education by first of all building partnerships with people from multiple disciplines so that the needs of a learner can be determined holistically.  These needs should be addressed in the course structure.  Also, do not only think of learners with disabilities but widen your thoughts to also consider any and all learners which might be at risk (for which reason ever) of being excluded from participating in a course (European Agency for Development in Special Needs Education, 2009). The technology chosen to support the delivery of the course needs to conform to the universal design principles which means that if all participants cannot access the course and its resources in exactly the same way, equivalent means of access should be provided.  The design of the interface and how the resources are made available should be appealing to all learners and should not stigmatize or segregate learners.

Hill, P. 2012. Online Educational Delivery Models:  A Descriptive View. [Online].  Available at:  http://er.educause.edu/articles/2012/11/online-educational-delivery-models–a-descriptive-view [Accessed 13 March 2017]

European Agency for Development in Special Needs Education. 2009. Key Principles For Promoting Quality in Inclusive Education:  Recommendations for Policy Makers. [Online].  Available at: https://www.european-agency.org/sites/default/files/Key-Principles-Matrix.pdf [Accessed 13 March 2017].

Centre for Excellence in Universal Design. 2014.  The 7 Principles.  [Online].  Available at:  http://universaldesign.ie/What-is-Universal-Design/The-7-Principles/ [Accessed 13 March 2017].

 

 

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4 thoughts on “Reflection On Topic 2 – Open Learning -Sharing and Openness

  1. I absolutely agree Susan, the design is very important. The first online module I attempted was so frustrating. The interface was not appealing, the structure not user-friendly for a beginner.

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  2. Hi Susan! You mentioned the quality of shared material. That reminded me about a project at the schooldepartment I worked at. They wanted to start up a platform for teachers to share their schoolmaterial to another. Me and a collegue made a reserach to get experiences from other municipalities. We found out that it’s not easy. One municipalitie told us it was difficulties to make teachers share. A common reason were: “It’s not good enough yet. I want to develop it more before I share” … wich never happend. At the same time there was a few thechers that shared an amount of material in poor quality. The material of good quality, shared of a very few, drowned among that material. Some municipalities had started a platform with material. In the beginning it’s fun to start up and organize, but it’s not so fun to manage and keep current. Some municipalities wants a staff to inspect material and give the material suitable and consistent keywords. But they find out that i costs to much. One more aspect. Teachers who was very good and serious left the common platform to brand themself in their own blog or YouTube-channel. The best idé was to combine sharing of material with training of teacherteam in Educational ICT and schooldevelopment. The assesment for the teams would be to create digital material and share it at the common platform. Since the material would be created by several individuals together it would also get a higher quality. /Charlotte

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