Openness in education and learning is facilitated through open educational resources (OERs) and and open participation in courses. I believe we are also ready for open assessment. Open education is no longer limited by physical and geographical constraints (i.e. ubiquitous) and allow the implementation of methods for informal assessment (i.e. Mozilla Open Badges). This has been suggested as a solution to the problem of costly higher education (Weller & Anderson, 2013). There was also observed a new form of participation of people temporarily ‘sampling’ the course (i.e. ‘drop-outs’) or actively observing (i.e. ‘lurkers’) in open learning environments (Mackness, Waite, Roberts & Lovegrove, 2013).
Reflections on module 2:
2a) What openness means for your own practice
In education OER:s on Youtube has made it possible to create adaptation to students entry-level. I had advanced students listening to professors explaining ‘chemical shift’ in nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy, while other students still were working on basic examples and tutorials. I have also shared and used material in repositories like ‘Microsoft Educator Community‘ or ‘Google for Education
2b) How to find and use openly licensed resources
I started to used WikiEducator and Wikiskola for OER, but are now experimenting with H5P and DS106bank to create an ecology for sharing. I usually recommend Creative Commons search tool called CC-Search.
2c) Advantages and disadvantages of open and closed technologies
My experience of closed technologies involve ‘silos’ and ‘gatekeepers’ that stop open participation. I found this quote from John Kotter “The existence of silos and gatekeepers is not inherently bad: they are a necessary check on how work is delegated, managed, and completed” and this brings my thoughts to institutions and how the economy is structured. He also offers an definition and connect this to ‘gatekeepers’:
“Silos are robust vertical structures that establish and enforce a rigid hierarchy while discouraging or outright banning horizontal structures. They may also be referred to as “stovepipes,” which is an especially appropriate metaphor because the fire burns only at the bottom level, and the smoke only rises up, never down. Silos require gatekeepers who will enforce that only selected ideas make it to higher levels of the public service” (Kotter International, 2011)
This highlights a problem with conformity or sameness when you have a closed environment. Power balance is also a problem when you have hierarchies “The term ‘gate-keeping’ is thus a telling one when applied to the public service: it implies the existence of a gate, or barrier, and the establishment of a person to actively manage that gate to protect or maintain the structures and organizational values and work flows of the institutional community. Examples include a “union versus management” mentality; managers micro-managing and acting like “dictators;” and various “forms of wheeling and dealing” (Morgan, 2006).
2d) Implications of different open course and MOOC formats in relation to your learning experience on this course.
I’ve experienced eXtended Massive Open Online Courses (x-MOOC) with over 10000 participants, where the lecture is delivered by an instructor to the student. In a connectivist Massive Open Online Course (c-MOOC), groups of people learning together. For younger students I found it usefull to create a task-based Massive Open Online Course (t-MOOC), where the aim is to share knowledge and resources with peer students.
References to Learning Resources:
Weller, M., & Anderson, T. (2013). Digital resilience in higher education. European Journal of Open, Distance and E-Learning, 16(1).
Mackness, J., Waite, M., Roberts, G., & Lovegrove, E. (2013). Learning in a small, task–oriented, connectivist MOOC: Pedagogical issues and implications for higher education. The international review of research in open and distributed learning, 14(4).
Kotter International. Breaking Down Silos. Forbes, Retrieved June 2014 from <http://www.forbes.com/sites/johnkotter/2011/05/03/breaking-down-silos/>
Morgan, Gareth. Images of Organization. (London: SAGE Publications, 2006)
Weller, M. (2014). Battle for Open: How openness won and why it doesn’t feel like victory. London: Ubiquity Press. (Focus on Chapter 4, Open Educational Resources, and Chapter 5, MOOCs.)
Bates, T. (2015). Teaching in a Digital Age: Guidelines for Teaching and Learning. (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. (Focus on Chapter 10, Trends in open education.)
Dos Santos, A., Punie, Y., Munoz, J. (2016). Opening up education. A support framework for higher education institutions. European Commission JRC Science for Policy Report.