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Scenario: “As the current pandemic situation evolves, a return to full in-person teaching and learning seems highly unlikely and the expansion of online education is likely to continue. How do you think this will cause an increased interest to shift towards open education and sharing of open educational resources? If you decide to open up your courses, what levels of openness would be appropriate from your own and from your institution’s perspectives? Does your university learning management system (LMS, e.g. Moodle, Canvas etc) offer opportunities for openness? What support would colleagues need from the leadership? How would you introduce the idea of openness to your students?”

The world is changing. The global pandemic has changed our thinking. The world is coming closer together and that is also changing education. Digital resources are becoming more important than ever before. This is a chance to change education to more open concepts and include everyone. Open education can act as a driver of innovation.

The given scenario stated above posed some questions concerning openness. In our group PBL4, we have worked on answers to these questions by taking the perspectives of teachers, students, and institutions.

Teachers’ perspective: We see that teachers may have some hesitations and questions regarding open education. Some of them are: “Am I familiar enough with digital tools?”, “How do I use them in my class?”, “Where do I find high-quality open materials? and How do I use them and make them available?”, “What will happen to my material if I decide to distribute it openly?”, “What about copyright? Does my university even support me using open materials and sharing my work?”.. List goes on regarding those uncertainties.

In our group PBL4, we’ve found some answers from different views to those questions. First, creating an open atmosphere in your courses will help. It will make students feel relaxed and learning will be more successful in an open environment. Using open educational resources, save your time when you prepare your courses. You can also open up your own material for others to help them prepare their own courses. You can also reach more students maybe even globally with your material. You can increase your visibility and reputation by creating open materials. When it comes to quality control, there are some tools of quality assurance for open educational resources [1].

Students’ perspective: It can be challenging and a bit scary since it may take too much time to understand all the digital tools. There may be some questions that students may ask such as: “What am I getting for my tuition fees if I have to look up and understand everything by myself?”, “Who would be interested in my materials, as student work, if I share openly?”, “In an open learning, who would be responsible for my conclusion, whereas a teacher would be for this role?”, “If those materials are really free, are they really good for me?”, “If I want to produce an online open material, does it need to be new information?

Advantages of Open Educational Resources (OERs) [2] can answer some students’ hesitations. OERs can be taken under 3 levels:

  • use: students can find more educational material broadly online, and access to them increased.
  • adaptation: learners take more active participation and it fosters participatory pedagogy.
  • creation: educators and students can contribute to open knowledge production.

Apart from those advantages, open learning can be still seen as challenging for students since it’s still relatively new. Digital tools will always change and improve and we may need to adapt them in our lives. There is a nice article here [3] that describes new forms of teaching, learning, and assessment. Different from the classical teaching method, here are some of the interesting ones:

  • Flipped learning
  • Teachback
  • Seamless learning
  • Learning to learn
  • Evaluating information
  • Making thinking visible
  • Personal inquiry learning
  • Science in remote labs
  • MOOCs to support language learning
  • Maker culture

Institutional perspective: So what will be the roles of the universities in the future, while we are talking about openness. Our most interesting finding of it was a book “Open Knowledge Institutions” [4]. They claim that we should reinvent the universities. This book is written collaboratively with people all around the world in 2021. The idea is the future of the university as an open knowledge institution that institutionalizes diversity and contributes to a common resource of knowledge, it’s written in a manifesto form. Basic idea is that open knowledge institutions should be networks of knowledge, should span common disciplinary boundaries and campus barriers and in the end, it should serve as agents for societal change.

It’s seen that whole the idea is being a part of the world instead of being apart from the world.

Again, the topic was quite fruitful to discuss from different perspectives, and here is just a reflection of mine that I found interesting to share. During our discussions, we utilized the Miro board and used Canva to create a nice video presentation. You can reach Miro board from <here> and Canva presentation video from <here>.

References

[1] – Mishra, S., & Kanwar, A. (2015). Quality Assutance for Open Educational Resources. MOOCs and open education around the world, 119.

[2] – Arinto, P., Hodgkinson-Williams, C., & Trotter, H. (2017). OER and OEP in the Global South: Implications and recommendations for social inclusion.

[3] – Trends in Learning, OpenLearn Create, 2021.

[4] – Montgomery, L., Hartley, J., Neylon, C., Gillies, M., & Gray, E. (2021). Open knowledge institutions: reinventing universities. MIT Press.

3 Responses to “Reflection on Open Learning – Sharing and Openness”

  1. Anna Mogren

    Final blog-post and a good summary of our group work. Thanks Gökhan! We did talk about quality control and examination although that is still my major concern, how to organise online, apart from the very basic invitation to digital tools and finding my way around on templets and platforms which will need more time. Anyway this course was a good kick start for me and these questions will be in my work forward! Always welcome to Karlstad if visiting Sweden! /Anna

  2. Anna K

    What an intersting summary of the work done in our group over those 2 weeks. Thank you!

  3. Oksana

    I fully agree with the previous comments. You so skillfully depict the group’s work that I cannot but bow down. My sincere gratitude!

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