So the second topic of ONL is Open learning. Hm…when I first start to think about it I consider both myself and my colleges quit open. But then I realize that we are open towards each other, within the institution but not with the outside world really. It’s no big deal sharing material and lectures within the institution but to contribute to other institutions or an open educational resource (OER) would not happen. On the other hand, we are quite bad at using those resources as well.
After investigating this topic, I realize that there is a lot to gain from being open. Not only as a teacher but as a student as well. For teachers there is the possibility to find a variety of material to be used for their activities with the students. It can also be formed to fit perfectly into the specific situation by for example taking different parts from different resources and combining them to something new instead of recommending the students to buy three different books for one course (Wiley and Green, 2012).
The students can gain in form of economic factors since they are not going to need three different books for one course as I pointed out earlier. If they are encouraged to expose their work and learning process in some way, they might get feedback from fellow students with similar experiences but hopefully also from others that have different views and experiences of the specific subject. Both the commenters and the commented will probably learn something from this exchange of ideas.
Disadvantaged students have the most to gain of openness. Not only due to the economic factor but also to improved results. The drop-out rates and low grades has been reduced in these student groups (Poritz J.A. 2019). Why is open for speculation, but one thing is that they can afford the course material since it is free and they will thereby taking part of the material, since buying expensive text-books might not be an option for these students.
Another side of openness is of course MOOCs. I’ve taken a couple of MOOCs. I think I have finished one of them and taken part of sections of a couple others. These have served me very well in foremost introducing me to subjects, but also giving me a quite good ground to build upon. The latter was when I took a MOOC in Neurology from Harvard which was really good. In that course a really good OER text-book was used, which I’ve used in my teaching myself. You’ll find it here if you’re interested (Byrne J.H.).
So to conclude……
I’m using some OER, but could definitely share more of my work with others. It would be beneficial for all. After all, in the words of David Wiley “Education is sharing” (Wiley and Green, 2012).
Byrne, J. H. (ed.), Neuroscience Online: An Electronic Textbook for the Neurosciences
Department of Neurobiology and Anatomy, McGovern Medical School at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth)
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