Intro to Openness in Education…on Canvas

Intro to Openness in Education

A real MOOC

Surprisingly, Professor David Wiley decided to offer his well-known collaborative/connectedness-type MOOC called “Introduction to Openness in Education” again this year, despite taking a sabbatical in 2013. He sees it as a public service and you have to respect someone who will take on a project like this when it isn’t his main focus for the year. Although, I suppose in some ways it is cuz he is all about “openness” and his new offering is built in Canvas, an open LMS type tool pulled together by Instructure, which is a new startup by one of his students, Devlin Daley (I had a chance to listen to Devlin explain the benefits of Instructure in a Google Hangout that is archived on the Edstartup101 course site).

Despite the views of some open content/open learning supporters, I do see that we have to find a way to generate monies from open offerings; we can’t depend on foundations like The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation (WFHF) to ensure access to education. However, I was a little taken aback to see IOE go from an open model wiki type support platform to an LMS product (although it looks like a well-designed and full-featured option in many ways). I was wondering if the spirit of the thing would be lost.

However, I was probably too pessimistic because I noticed that, despite a notice on the home page that the course was full, David did blog about and encourage people who were interested to sign up anyway and simply participate using various social media to interact with each other and the course topics which are still available for reading and viewing. Discussion and debate can still take place in the open, although I’m assuming some conversations will only be available to the students inside the LMS?

I did email David to see if he was still going to award badges as I had wanted to take this again so I could actually complete and earn at least one of his badges. I have been exploring the idea of digital badges as a motivation and a way of marking accomplishments in learning and application of knowledge – I liked David’s outline and wanted to test it

I emailed David and he responded immediately – so even if you start late, if you can complete the terms described in the Badges page, you can send him a request to consider your work for badging and he’ll respond. Unfortunately, yet again, I have a new boss, a re-org and not enough time to devote to this to do a good job. Damn. It may have to wait until next year.

But if you’re interested in the structure of different MOOCs, David’s is worth looking at. He’s open to comment and discussion on the design and delivery and, despite being hosted in an LMS this year, his units are similar but even more extensive than those in last year’s course.

I signed up for David’s first Introduction to Open Education wiki-based course in 2007 and I was overwhelmed by the experience. I wasn’t very good at the networking part (too accustomed to two-way learning (teacher-students and back) but I came away so excited about the possibilities. Take a look at his original syllabus (linked course title above) and you’ll see how much the content and the scope of openness has grown in five short years (they seem shorter as you get older ya know)

2013 Offering:

1.  How Does This Course Work (explains digital badges – worth reading!)

2.  Why Openness in Education

3.  Open Licensing

4.  From Open Source to Open Content

5.  From OpenCourseWare to Open Educational Resources and Open Textbooks

6.  Open Access, Open Data, and Open Science

7.  Open Teaching and MOOCs

8.  Open Assessment and Open Badges

9.  Open Policy

10.  Open Policy


About Cloudsyl

Now a mid-Island observer of the Cloud
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