You can participate in Open Networked Learning in three different ways. The most common and most collaborative way is to join a problem based learning (PBL) group where you work with 7-8 colleagues on scenarios for each topic in the course. In the PBL groups there will be a mix of institutional learners (from the organizing universities) and open learners. Each group has a facilitator and a co-facilitator.

As an open learner you have the opportunity to join a PBL group (subject to availability) which you indicate during the course registration. But you are also welcome to follow the course informally and study independently, as an independent learner. If you don’t want to join a PBL group, we still encourage you to connect with others to learn together by connecting your individual reflection space and participate in the live events of the course.

You can participate in the following three ways:



The most common form of participation. You study within a facilitated PBL group with other learners (both open and institutional).
An institutional learner is affiliated to one of the organizing institutions and are enrolled to the course through your institution.



You are not affiliated to any of the organizing institutions. You study within a facilitated PBL group with other learners (both open and institutional). This requires continuous engagement and you should be able to spend approx. 6-8 hours/week for your studies in the course.



You are not affiliated to any of the organizing institutions named above, you do not wish to participate in a PBL group or there are no spots in PBL groups available. You can follow the course informally, studying topics independently and taking part in common course activities. You are encouraged to create an individual reflection space, writing reflections on the course and connecting it to the course homepage as well as joining the common course activities. You are not eligible for a course certificate. Read more about it here.
ONL course activities in brief
  • PBL group work, synchronous and asynchronous (only for institutional and open learners)
  • Course webinars and tweetchats (for everyone)
  • Continuous reflection on your own learning and networking (for everyone)

A core activity during the course is collaborative learning in a mixed PBL group with 7-8 learners from different universities and contexts. Groups have their own online working spaces and participate in one to two online meetings each week (decided within each group), as well as work in discussion forums and common files in between the meetings. Each group will be guided by a facilitator and a co-facilitator. In addition to PBL group work and the offered common course webinars and tweet-chats, you will also reflect on your learning by using an individual learning blog or other reflective tool.

Awarding certificates

Institutional as well as open learners who study in a PBL group are eligible for a course certificate.

As an open learner the facilitator of your PBL group is responsible for “assessing” your participation at the end of the course in order for you to get the certificate, which is awarded from ONL.

As an institutional learner the facilitator of your PBL group (which might be from any of the organising institutions) is responsible for the assessment of the PBL part, whilst your course leader(s) for your institutional course will be your contact person and also will “assess” your overall participation (including the blogging) at the end of the course in order for you to get the certificate, which is awarded from your institution.
The course requirements as presented above are general and applicable for open learners and all participating institutions, however each institution might have specified some details – please check with your institution’s course leaders.

Course requirements

If you wish to gain a certificate for the course you must complete the following:

  • active participation in the PBL group (participation in group work both synchronously and asynchronously, taking responsibility for tasks, creating presentations, giving feedback to colleagues etc.).
  • write reflective posts for each course topic (approx. 400-500 words each, include references to literature/resources).
  • comment on reflections written by your peers, at least once for each topic.

The certificate will tell that ONL is equivalent to two weeks of full-time studies.

20 thoughts on “How to participate and course requirements

  1. Can’t find any information on your page about WHEN you can follow this course. Is it open to join at any time? Inscription periods? This is a fundamental information – perhaps I’ve missed it, but I’ve searched for it for some while now…

  2. Hi! I am wondering if it matters if I comment on blog posts written by anyone in the large ONL group, or if it has to be on blog posts belonging to my PBL group? Since there are few posts in my group at the moment, I have been expanding my comments to the whole ONL group.

  3. Hello,
    Since I still do not have my new semester schedule, I do not know yet if I will be able to attend the webinars of the course. Will they be recorded ? Can we watch them after the webinar? Is attendance to the webinars mandatory for the 3 types of registrations ? Thank you in adcance

    1. Hello Caroline,
      Thank you for your comment asking about this!
      The common course webinars that are scheduled (can be viewed on are offers and will be recorded openly available to view. You can for the course as an open learner participating fully in a PBL group (or as institutional learner if you are affiliated with any of the collaborating institutions) or as an independent learner to just follow the common course activities and possibly writng a learning blog. We have just now about 100 registered to participate in PBL groups, there are a few places left and registration is still open!
      I hope this answers some of your questions!
      Kind regards,
      Lars Uhlin, course organiser

  4. I would like to register for the next one. I am currently studying at the Open University UK. I am keen on being part of this.

    1. Hi Valentine,
      Great to hear your interest!
      We are about to open up for Registration of interest on the ONL site, but I have also noted your interest.
      Happy to see you in the autumn course ONL222 starting 19 September!
      Best regards,

  5. Hi,

    I would like to register for the next ONL course and I would like to participate in PBL as an Open learner. Kindly let me know when the next registration opens.

  6. Hi, is there any possiblity to take part in that course ths year or should I wait for the next edition. The course is very interesting to me and I would be delighted to take part in it. Though it requires a lot of work I am possitive that it is worth to take all that effort.

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