Open Learning – Sharing and Openness

Although the use of IT is significantly more prevalent in younger generations in our  society I think we can´t take for granted that our students have digital literacy and it´s important for both students and teachers to learn how to use digital tools and social media, to use OER, to know how copyright issues should be handled and how to master information retrieval and source criticism. The rapid advancements in technology have meant that many teachers suggest a more integrated approach between Learning Management Systems and Open access social media (Watson, 2014). I think that it´s important to think about the level of collaboration my students require and which activities I´ll integrate. Blogging is for example a good choice if you are using prompts to fuel the online discussion. For sharing quick links and taking polls Facebook and Twitter can be preferred.

By sharing your digital learning resources you help other teachers to get ideas and materials into their teaching. You contribute to the collegiate learning online and thus to develop teaching. One way to contribute to collegiate learning is to publish lesson ideas, content and materials on the Web. Teachers can choose to have a blog or other sites where they publish materials, a Youtube channel for movies etc. Teachers can share more continuous of lesson concepts and ideas in certain groups on Facebook. Bates (2015) points out that the Open Professionals Education Network has a guide to find and use OER. However, it is important to check out to see whether the resource has a Creative Common license or a statement that gives permission to re-use. Many sites, such as OpenLearn, allow only individual, personal use for noncommercial purposes. This means that rather than integrating the materials directly into your own teaching you should provide a link to the site for your students (Bates, 2015).

According to Creative Commons guide ( Creative Commons licenses are based on the four licensing: 1) Attribution (BY). You must enter the author, the work’s title and the license for it. This condition is included in all licenses, 2) No Derivatives (ND). The work may not be processed in any way. It may only be copied and distributed, 3) Non-Commercial (NC). Administration may be used only for non-commercial purposes. It may therefore not be sold or used for commercial purpose and 4) ShareAlike (SA). If you process the work may be new material, created by processing only distributed under the same terms as the original work. The differences between them is how many rules to apply when somebody wants to use your work.

By attending this ONL162-course I have become aware of the rapid international development of net-based education (both regular courses and MOOCs) and if Swedish higher education should be able to participate in this rapid development technical infrastructure is required for the support of qualified and full virtual learning environments. It will be important that universities change their digital learning environments that support working teachers to work in a qualified digital learning environment in the next years. It is in other words not only a question of that individual teachers should be encouraged to develop net-based teaching. Weller and Anderson (2013) propose the resilience model in ecology as a model for analyzing an institution´s ability to adopt within an altered environment while retaining the core functionality. They examined both MOOCs and OAP and the authors believe that institutions should actively investigate and develop new methods and models of postsecondary institutions to insure dominance of more resilient organizations.

ONL162-course is a type of MOOC and Bates (2015) lists some advantages and disadvantages with open courses of MOOC formats. Some of the advantages are that a MOOC course can open access to high quality content (particularly in developing countries), they are free to anyone with a computer and Internet connection and a valuable form of lifelong learning. Some of the weaknesses are that the high registration numbers are misleading; less than half of registrants actively participate and of these only a small proportion successfully complete the course, a tendency to attract those with already a high level of education, rather than widen access and MOOCs have been limited in the ability to develop high level academic learning. I think that above listed advantages and disadvantages may well be true of ONL162-course.

Bates, T. (2015). Teaching in a Digital Age: Guidelines for Teaching and Learning. accessed 22 October 2016

Watson, K. (2014) Learning management system or the open web? Cofa Videos, Learning to teach online UNSW. accessed 22 October 2016

Weller, M., & Anderson, T. (2013). Digital resilience in higher education. European Journal of Open, Distance and E-Learning, 16(1), 53
accessed 22 October 2016


2 thoughts on “Open Learning – Sharing and Openness

  1. Kerstin! I hope I manage to comment on the correct “place” on your latest post. I´m really not good at this….
    But I wanted to say: well done! You have really dived into the literature. Thank you for a good overview and interesting reflections about sharing and using OERs. This chapter of the course has, as you said, also opened my eyes for the fact that you need to handle the resources you leave and use openly on the internet with knowledge, not as much as to protect your own work as to show respect to others and to open possibilities to others.


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