As part of our collaborative writing day yesterday, Chris Pegler and I worked on the concept of openness and it’s implications for designing for learning. In particular we considered the question: What would be the implications of adopting open practices on all aspects of education? We did our notes as a table and felt that there are many implications of adopting open practices in education. We considered openness in terms of the following aspects of creating and supporting learning interventions:

  •       Resources
  •       Activities
  •       Learning pathways
  •       Support
  •       Accreditation

For each we considered examples of open practices, along with identification of issues or key messages from these. In each case there is evidence of a spectrum of open practices. For example in terms of resources there are a range from closed, course-based resources to completely open Open Educational Resources (OER).





OER (courseware to component) (Pegler)
Khan Academy

Open practice (OPAL)
Showcase/Shop window and marketing for conventional courses (tasters). Sharing work in progress for comment – LORO, HUMBOX etc.


MOOCs, pedagogical patterns (McAndrew and Goodyear)

Walled garden and open boundaries within conventional course activities. Scale of MOOCs – retention issue. Variety of routes through and forms of learning input (how much learner influence on design is there). Siemens/Downes – choice of tech is open (PLE and portability). Rhizomatic learning (Cormier), organic and contextualised. Chance and choice. Can also be highly structured (Stanford AI).

Learning Pathways

Scaffolded (conventional) to flexible (e.g. SocialLearn)
Learning analytics

Bussu (language learning site) – learning pathway based on assessment of needs.
Learners can drown in the choice. Pedagogy of abundance.  Recommender systems – learner and buying  (Amazon, If you liked this)


Social networks

Facebook examples from AI Stanford providing local (cultural) support – satellite support for core programme. Twitter.
Supporting entry to education (e.g. Bridge to Success). Cloudworks. Blog comments. Serendipitous to structured.


OERu, P2P, badges

Will the standard forms of accreditation still be relevant in the future?  Shift from knowledge to skills and competencies to meet changing needs. Demonstration?  See badges (Wiley course). Formal, non-formal, informal variants.