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Open education

Course overview

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Welcome to the free OpenLearn course on open education. This course runs over seven weeks and is focused around the subject of openness in education. The course is an adapted extract from the Open University Masters-level course H817 Openness and innovation in elearning [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] (of which this is one of four blocks) and open, informal learners.

This is the ‘stand alone’ version of the course, so you will be studying it independently of other students. This means others may not be studying at the same time, so the interaction found through blogs and forums may not be relevant, and is not monitored by the course team.

The course operates an activity-based pedagogy, so within each week there will be approximately four activities: in these you will typically be expected to read some material (or view some other media), perform an activity and create a short blog post. It is through the process of sharing the outputs of these activities through blogs and forums, and reflecting on the experience of other learners that learning occurs for much of this course. We will look at pedagogy associated with open learning in Week 5.

The course is set out week by week as many learners prefer to structure their study this way and, particularly for an open course, it helps to coordinate discussion. But it is not essential that you study it in this manner. If your other commitments mean you have to work ahead sometimes or need to catch up, this is fine – there is a lot of flexibility built into the structure of the course. The course is aimed at a postgraduate, Masters level, with the expectation of approximately 16 hours of study each week. However, the informal learners may choose to only select some of the activities in any given week.

The topics you will study in the coming weeks are: