Topic 2: Open learning

During this International Open Access week 2016, I find it particularly apt that we are dealing with the concept of openness in education in our ONL162 course. This year’s theme of “Open in Action” is designed to encourage us as educators to explore possibilities of opening up research and scholarship, and encouraging colleagues and students to do the same. I was motivated to take up this challenge.

The topic of sharing resources and copyright challenges around this issue is one that has certainly piqued my interest to research into this area more. How “open” our respective institutions are, in the sharing of digital content was one that produced robust discussion amongst our PBL Group 5 members. It was interesting to note the varied positions, depending on the countries representing within our group,. as to who exactly owns academic material produced by an educator affiliated to a particular academic institution. This question becomes even more complex, I discovered, in the context of a private Higher Education Tertiary provider, where many independent contractors use the study material owned by the institution, and then adapt the material for reuse by their students.

I was motivated to seek out what the position of our institution is, regarding this very relevant and topical area of education. I was encouraged to discover that our institution is in the throes of solidifying our position regarding the dissemination of slides or presentations by lecturers, whilst employed and under contract with our institution. Interestingly many of our lecturers refer to themselves as someone associated with us in a public domain. As they say, the stance of our institution is a willingness to embrace the sharing of resources, yet is still “a work in progress”.

During my research for this topic and group work undertaken, I have learnt additional digital tools including Flickr, Weebley, Kahoot and hope to incorporate these tools in my future teaching.

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2 thoughts on “Topic 2: Open learning

  1. Hi Fiona,
    I agree that openness is an enabling attribute of our online activity, especially in the educational context. To my dismay, I still discover a lot of content not necessarily being part of the public domain, even at my own institution. At the same time, there has been so much discussion about open access to scientific content, data in the research world. It does not feel particularly optimistic if we cannot effectively deal with the issue in education. There has to be some shift of paradigm.

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  2. I agree this topic opened a wasp’s nest or “can of worms” with regards to the openness and willingness of content and materials at universities.

    You did also elude to how universities in other countries have also complete stances and positions with this regard. So, we could potentially conclude that are factors on a “scale” that gauge the openness of different universities.

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