topic 6: open educational practices

Rationale:  The move towards ‘openness’ in education has accelerated in recent years with a number of high profile institutional initiatives such as the MIT OpenCourseware project and  there is now a growing body of Open Educational Resources (OERs) and Open Educational Practices (OEP) offered by a number of institutions around the globe which not only give access to free educational courseware, such as images, video, audio and other assets to educators and learners worldwide, without an accompanying need to pay royalties or licence fees but also provide opportunities for open access participation and learning in course settings via for example Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC) which often attract large numbers of participants. The OER and OEP have emerged as a concept with great potential to support educational transformation as well as provide extended opportunities for learning in non-formal settings. This unit explores the benefits and challenges of openness in education and learning more generally and looks at ways in which educators and learners can harness and benefit from a plethora of open opportunities to engage and re-engage in learning but also to explore how OER and OEP can be re-purposed, adapted and contextualised for specific learning and teaching situations.

Molyvos - Open Hotelroom Window

opening up: what does this mean for learning?
image source

Intended learning outcomes

By the end of this topic, you will have had the opportunity to

  1. discuss open educational practices and open educational resources
  2. reflect on open educational resources and open practices in your own practice
  3. review in groups open features of the chosen activity/resource

Activities/tasks for all learners

  1. Google + FDOL community: Discuss aspects of digital literacies in participants’ professional context with peers and comment on each others’ contributions.
  2. Twitter: During this sixth topic you are encouraged to continue to use your Twitter account. Remember to use the hashtag #fdol141 when tweeting. Why not share a resource you have found useful.
  3. Reflection: Reflect on your current practice and identify how you could provide opportunities to your students to connect with individuals, groups and resources beyond the course, module, programme boundaries. How could you open-up your practice? What would be the benefits and challenges?
  4. Reflecting through images: Have a look at the image below and think about in the context of this unit. Then reflect on your experiences. Have you felt like this before in a learning situation? What did this mean for your learning/teaching?

    On my own… What needs to happen so that the un-engaged in learning take advantage of open course and re-engage with learning?

    On my own… What needs to happen so that the un-engaged in learning take advantage of open course and re-engage with learning?
    image source

  5. Food for thought activity (optional)Learning in collaboration and in communities with Fred Garnett: Please watch the episode and answer Fred’s question in the FDOL132 community category unit 6.

Additional activities/tasks for learners within PBL group


“I spend a lot of time preparing resources for my sessions and my students and they find them really useful. Many times I thought to share them with colleagues but nobody came to me and gave me anything for free. So, why should I? I had to work hard, and am still working hard to create these resources. Increasingly I hear that we should share more and while I share openly with my students, I feel extremely uncomfortable letting others use my materials. Should they not create their own?” I don’t really understand what the benefits of Open Educational Resources are? It looks to me as if OERs are becoming an easy solution, or quick fix for teachers. Really not sure what this is all about… and then this fascinating with doing everything in the open? What is this all about?”

  1. Study the scenario: or contribute your own.
  2. Investigate the chosen scenario: Consider using the COOL FISh framework and adapt as it suits the group.
  3. Share you findings: At the end of this topic share your main findings in a creative way in the FDOL  community.
  4. Reflection: Reflect individually and in your PBL group on your learning.


suggested readings1. Using Online Technologies to Extend a Classroom to Learners at a Distance, by John L. Hilton III, Charles Graham, Peter Rich and David Wiley, available here2. Collaborative Environments to Foster Creativity, Reuse and Sharing of OER by Paolo Tosato and Gianluigi Bodi, available here3. Digital resilience in higher education by Martin Weller and Terry Anderson, available here

4. A pedagogy of abundance or a pedagogy to support human beings? Participant support on Massive Open Online Courses, by Rita Kop et al., available here

additional resources

FDOL diigo group at check this learners’ generated collection and add further resources you find useful and link well with this unit. Remember to use tags and comment on resources shared by others.

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