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.
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