Is openness the solution to online education and learning? I am still pondering on my previous post. Learners cooperate or collaborate for all sorts of reasons, and some would still like to protect their “intellectual property”, so why/why not sharing? Some learners would prefer to be individual, solitary or independent learners, like the visitors, rather than residents. I hope I could find more examples on students leveraging abundance for learning (may be in this MOOC and other MOOCs). Openness is still up to interpretation, as “we” have revealed in our research in Blogs and Forum as Communication and Learning Tools, and The Ideals and Reality of participating in a MOOC. Using OER for personal learning may be a common practice by some students who are used to online learning, but engaging and interacting with others through OER is still not that popular, as a mainstream practice, and so may be a myth. There are issues on autonomy, openness, connectivity and diversity that need to be resolved, especially for the novices. Even for veterans, there are still concerns related to the differences in opinions, academic perspectives and epistemology, that are often embedded in the discourse, and could lead to tensions, alienation, and distractions.
There seems to be many anomalies in educational practice, when learning with such times of abundance. This requires lots of adjustment in the teaching and learning practice for educators and learners to work and learn together. The subtle power inherent in online learning is also a challenge for many classroom educators and learners who may feel safer in a closed classroom environment.
What are some strategies and solutions to the above challenges? That would be included in the next posts.
Postscript: This post on privacy is relevant to openness. People are worrying their loss of online privacy.