Essential question: What do you see as the promise of Open Learning as an emerging technology/pedagogy/philosophy?
Open learning is an approach that gives students flexibility and choices over what, when, at what pace, and how they learn. Open learning often includes aspects of e-learning (Webopedia.com). Open learning is an innovative movement in education that emerged in the 1970s and evolved into fields of practice and study. The term refers generally to activities that either enhance learning opportunities within formal education systems or broaden learning opportunities beyond formal education systems.
- Open Access(ibility): Check if there are specific requirements for entry into a program of study. The most open institutions require no requirements to enter, i.e. they are open to all students. Next the accessibility may differ between the possibilities to recognize prior learning and work experience as relevant antecedents to end.
- Freedom of Time: Separation of teacher and learner in time or place, or in both time and place. You should check if indeed you can study whenever you want. Some ODL courses do however require (online) presence during assignments, group and project work and/or exams (check out our filter options presence requirement when narrowing down your options on our portal).
- Freedom of Pace: Learners are not required to complete a program of study within a specific time. Instead, learners learn at their own pace and make their own decisions about the learning path that is to be followed for their program. However, some distance teaching institutions differ in the offers and some programs are more closely paced (consider our filter option study pace when narrowing down your options on our portal).
- Freedom of Place: Learners are not required to fulfil a residency requirement at the host institution. Most learners do not (have to) leave their home or work place as they pursue a program of study. (please employ our filter option presence requirements when narrowing down your options on our portal).
- Open Programming: can you study at your own pace and place selecting the modules you want to study, and stacking those to a bachelor and graduate programs? Are there entry and exit points in the curriculum? Can you construct your own curriculum? Our Distance Learning Short Courses usually offer information if they are stand-alone courses or can also be combined to a full degree.
- Open to People: check if a program offered is open to all kind of people. Is it open to people abroad, open for the disabled, etc? Look at their services and how learning institutions have adopted the principle of equity of access for all. Again here you will find information in the detailed program descriptions on our portal.
Open Learning as pedagogy, is most of the time online. I usually see Open Learning through online/distance classes. However, as you might remember in my previous post about optional schools, the Open Learning is making its way into elementary education as well. I have seen in the Anchorage school district where Open Learning is utilized for children in hospitals and special needs as well.
The philosophy of Open Learning is delivering education to the student with flexibility. Online classes are the definition of flexibility to me. There are so many free classes to do just about anything online. CodeAcademy.com is great site for basic coding, for example. The possibilities today are endless. I can see the concept of Open Learning growing even more in the near future.
I love Open Learning. Online classes for me have been an avenue for my pursuit of higher learning. Without online open learning, I would not have finished my bachelor’s degree last semester. Open Learning allows me to learn, when it is convenient for me. As an emerging technology, Open Learning is a new framework that has really boomed in the last decade. Most colleges do offer open learning now and some are solely based on Open Learning.
Martinez, S. L., & Stager, G. (n.d.). Invent to learn: Making, tinkering, and engineering in the classroom.
What is open Learning. Webopedia Definition. (n.d.). Retrieved May 24, 2016, from http://www.webopedia.com/TERM/O/open_learning.html
Learn to Code. (n.d.). Retrieved May 24, 2016, from https://www.codecademy.com/
The 6 Characteristics of Openness. (n.d.). Retrieved May 24, 2016, from http://www.distancelearningportal.com/articles/237/the-6-characteristics-of-openness.html