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Open education
Open education

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4.1 Week 4 Introduction

So far we have looked at open educational resources that can be taken and reused by other educators, or used by learners. Another approach to open education is to run courses that are freely open to all. These have been labelled MOOCs (massive open online courses) and are the focus of this week. The materials presented in this week are largely drawn from Week 10 of the Open University H817 course Openness and innovation in elearning.  

What to expect this week

This week we move away from OERs and look at a more recent development in open education, namely massive open online courses, or MOOCs. Whereas OERs are concerned with open resources that can be used anytime and adapted, MOOCs are courses that take place over a set time frame, studied with a cohort.

You will look at the background to MOOCs, the learner perspective and also compare different MOOCs.

Such open courses make a virtue of people being connected and networked. MOOCs generally provide only limited formal support from lecturers or tutors, so this peer support becomes more important. So the last activity in this week will look at what is called the personal learning network.