learning, teaching and research (archive)

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Open education

October 5th, 2009 · 2 Comments · web 2.0

I have begun to develop a wiki devoted to the discussion and development of ideas about open education (http://terrywassall.org/wiki). As a practical contribution I wish to get involved in open education initiatives exploiting my substantive areas of sociological expertise, including the sociology of the environment and sociological theory and research methods. I think I already have some characteristics of an open scholar, according to Terry Anderson’s definition anyway (which I outlined in a previous post The Open Scholar), but I hope to develop this role while I am still employed by the University of Leeds and continue it as an independent scholar after ‘retirement’.

For the moment  I am trying to work out the practicalities of being a learner and scholar within an open education environment. Most discussions on open education I have found seem to be about open education resources and materials. Although the resources and materials are of obvious importance, the discussion of what it is to be an open learner and the practicalities involved is rather dispersed across a multitude of discussions about personal learning environments, social learning, communities of interest and practice, connectivism, life long learning, digital divides, information literacy, and so on. What has not been addressed, it seems to me,  in an explicit and systematic way, is what does it mean to be an open learner in terms of the practicalities of defining learning needs and objectives, finding and evaluating open learning resources, finding and connecting and working with other open learners and sources of expertise and advice; in short, creating an appropriate and effective personalised learning environment and network based on open platforms and applications, open educational resources and open networks of learners and scholars.  In the wiki I hope to develop a series of scenarios of different sorts of open learning projects and activities to translate the more general and abstract discussions into practical real-world open education applications.

The wiki so far sets out the general open education issues, in draft,  on the main page. Other pages started are on open learning, open scholarship and open educational resources. I would be grateful for any ideas, opinions, or references to documents or similar sites and projects. This would include any blog posts you could recommend that address any aspect of  open education and learning. I would be very happy to turn this into a shared collaborative project or to be involved with any other similar project already underway.

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