The focus of this week’s topic is the historical and theoretical trends in k-12 open learning. The movement towards open educational practices is aligned with a societal shift from small geographical communities to an interconnected global community based on collaboration. As the world and society change, the education system changes with it, moving from the traditional, instructivist “one size fits all” approach to an open approach where barriers are dismantled and every learner has choice for the “time, place, medium and content”(Roberts, p.530) of their education, becoming contributors to global funds of knowledge.
Learning theories guide educational practices, helping teachers to choose strategies and tools based on current research. Theories have evolved over the last 100 years; from Behavourism to Cognitivism to Constructivism, moving from an understanding of humans as passive consumers of knowledge to active producers and contributors of universal content.
Open Educational Practice (OEP) is not a theory but a method (Roberts, 529) to improve the quality and access to education for all. OEP is built on the foundational aspects of Dewey and Vygotsky’s theories,that learning should be based on real world experiences through creativity and collaboration. Butcher and Wilson-Strydom (2008) identified 8 principles of open-learning;
- Learner centeredness
- Lifelong learning
- Flexibility in learning
- Removal of barriers to access
- Recognition of prior learning experiences and current competencies
- Learner support
- Expectation of success
OEP requires Open Educational Resources (OER), according to Wiley (2014) to be considered an OER it should include the 5R’s of Openness
- Reuse- the right to use the content in a wide range of ways
- Revise- the right to adapt, modify, adjust or alter the content
- Remix – the right to the original or revised content with other open content to create something new
- Redistribute- the right to share copies of the original content as well as revisions or remixes
- Retain – the right to make, won and control copies of the content
OER are found in the public domain or are attached to a Creative Commons license designation. Here are some links to OER’s within the public domain;
Open learning practices have the potential to change the way we teach and learn. When combined with public education OEP removes barriers for all learners, bridging the gap between formal and informal learning environments and experiences.
Also… here is a documentary some of you may find interesting on the paradigm shift in teaching and learning towards a collaborative model.
Barbour, M & Labonte, R. (2018) An Overview of eLearning Organizations and Practices in Canada. In R. Ferdig & K. Kennedy (Eds.), Handbook of research on K-12 online and blended learning (pp. 600-616). Pittsburgh, PA: Carnegie Mellon University ETC Press.
Butcher,N.,&WilsonStrydom,M(2008).Technologyandopenlearning:Thepotentialofopeneducationresourcesfor K-12 education. (pp. 725-745). Boston, MA: Springer US. doi:10.1007/978-0-387-73315-9_42
Roberts, V. , Blomgren, C. Ishmael, K. & Graham, L. (2018) Open Educational Practices in K-12 Online and Blended Learning Environments. In R. Ferdig & K.Kennedy (Eds.), Handbook of research on K-12 online and blended learning (pp. 527–544). Pittsburgh, PA: Carnegie Mellon University ETC Press.
Wiley, D. (2014). The access compromise and the 5th R. Weblog. March 5 2014. Retrieved fromhttp://opencontent.org/blog/archives/3221