Open learning has slowly increased in popularity over the last few years. It generally refers to the practice of using online technologies to share knowledge and information freely. The idea is that learning should be inclusive, rather than exclusive and that everyone should have the ability and the right to access knowledge. Open learning and education has become a hot topic that has gained traction with academics across the province.
Types of Open Learning:
- Massive Open Online Courses—an educational model that offers free and uncredited courses en masse via the internet. Most MOOC’s are open to anyone (so long as they have an internet provider), and are meant to eliminate the economic barrier to higher education. After all, traditional education can be expensive.
- ‘Open textbooks’ are becoming a major open learning resource across British Columbia. BCcampus is currently working towards providing number of free online textbooks based on the 60 most common areas of study.
- Open Badges is “a new online standard to recognize and verify learning”. The idea is that you can complete online learning tasks and receive badges to acknowledge their completion. These can then be posted on social networking sites, websites and even your resume to demonstrate your skill-sets.
Issues with Open Learning:
- When participating in open learning, remember that in Canada, excerpts from copyrighted materials can be duplicated under ‘Fair Dealing’, so long as they are used “for research, private study, criticism, review, or news reporting.” But when does photo-copying pages out of a textbook and supplying them to students infringe on the intellectual property of the author? Thankfully, more authors are publishing their works under Creative Commons licenses, which allows their work to be consumed by a wider audience for free, which is helpful for open learning initiatives.
- The internet has enabled the integration of many online open educational resources into the classroom, including blogs, videos, and other social media including Facebook and Twitter. These hold many benefits as they’re cheap, easy to use and accessible, however the use of online tools can put students’ privacy at risk. Remember that everything you do online impacts your digital dossier, even when it is for school.
- Open Badges | UBC
- Open Learning Courses
- Students as producers: an Introduction | Vanderbilt University (2013)
- Degrees of Openness | International Journal of Education (2009)
- Open UBC
- Video Game Law: Faculty of Law | UBC
- Arts One Open| UBC
- Speaking Openly
- Why MOOCs Still Matter | TED Talks (2013)
- Open Education Resources | Open BC Campus
The Digital Tattoo Project encourages critical discussion on topics surrounding digital citizenship and online identity. There are no correct answers and every person will view these topics from a different perspective. Be sure to complete the previous sections before answering the questions.
- Do you think your own work as knowledge-producer has contributed to your digital identity?
- Are you comfortable collaborating online?