Father of 3, husband, educator and lifelong learner.

#EDCI-339 Topic #2 Post

After completing the two readings for the second topic, I was taken aback at how many different Open Education models there were which were outlined in the readings.  There does not appear to be a consistent approach that the instructors chose to base their models from.   In the Claire Howell Major (2015) reading, she broke each of the individual course models onto the following descriptors; Enrollment, Amount, Timing, Platform and finally Pathway.  The two descriptors that stood out for me were the timing and the platform.  Timing is an important factor as it describes HOW the students will navigate the course.  In a synchronous timed course, the students must follow a specific timeline which lends itself to those who need structure in their education.  The asynchronous times courses are more student paced courses.  The information is set out from the beginning and the student must choose how to gain an understanding of the content.  These types of courses lend themselves well to organized and self-driven students.  The platforms the instructors chose were mostly also of two types; provided and student chosen or DIY.  While I appreciate being provided a platform to work from, I appreciate the flexibility in allowing the student to choose how they are going to show their understanding.  I wonder if there is research being done somewhere that will look into which of these factors is best suited for the purpose.

In the Jordan and Weller (2017) document, I was immediately drawn to the visual of the timeline outlining the evolution of the Open Education movement.  The first stage of the movement began in the U.K. in the early 70’s.  I have always equated Open Education to online resources and online programming so it took me a little while to understand what the Open Education model could possibly look like without the advent of the internet.   I also enjoyed reading through the different types of Open Education, from “distance education and open learning” in the ‘80’s all the way to the “E-Learning and Online Education” of the ‘90’s and finally to the rendition of open learning with the development of “Open Practices” in recent years.  I believe ,although it is never stated in the article that each progression in the evolution takes advantage of the successes and shortcomings of each prior version.  Taking what worked well and further developing ways in which to minimize the shortfalls of previous models.

References :

Claire Howell Major. (2015). Teaching Online – A Guide to Theory, Research, and Practice. Retrieved from http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/uvic/detail.action?docID=3318874 (pp. 88-105)

Jordan, K., & Weller, M. (2017). Jordan, K. & Weller, M. (2017) Openness and Education: A beginners’ guide. Global OER Graduate Network


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  1. tessgreenlay July 15, 2020

    Hi Todd,

    Really great analysis of the readings for this week. I appreciate how concise and to the point you are about insights and opinions. Your posts are always really easy to follow and touch on some really important points from the text.

    I had a bit of a difficult time relating to the second article from Jordan and Weller since my education started in the 2000s. I didn’t even think about how with each teaching movement, they were probably building on the previous’s failures and successes, so thank you for that insight. I agree that it is difficult for me to picture what Open learning would have looked like before the internet since nowadays it seems you need internet access to do anything!

    For the Major book, I like how you pointed out that the examples all may classify as open or distributed learning environments, but that the structure and implementation of them were all quite different. Even with these differences, they all were able to achieve success with their courses and students, something that is very important. One thing I noticed that most of the courses did have in common was listing some sort of schedule and syllabus. I think having this familiar concept might have helped students with this newer form of learning. I’d love to hear your thoughts about that!

    I’m looking forward to more group work with you, and can’t wait to read more of your insights!


  2. Michelle July 15, 2020

    Hi Todd,

    I like that you mention how we tend to view open and distributed learning as something that can’t exist without the internet, when in reality, these concepts have been around for a very long time. If you’re in my generation, you probably can’t even remember a time before the internet. It’s hard to imagine how distributed learning could exist in a time before the internet, but some of my older coworkers have shared stories of doing correspondence courses in school where they would be sent videotapes of recorded lectures in the mail and sent completed assignments through Canada Post!

    I think when examining the differences in learning platforms, there is not necessarily one that is better or more effective, but rather how the platform lends itself to the structure of the course. I think it depends on the instructor’s familiarity with the platform, the subject of the course, and the ways students are expected to interact in the course. It is not a learning management system that is effective, but rather a course with proper UDL pedagogy that helps the learner to be successful.

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