In Topic 2 we will explore the benefits and challenges of openness in education and learning, focusing especially on open educational resources (OERs), open and closed technologies and open participation in courses.  


By the end of this topic, you will have had the opportunity to

  • discuss open resources, open/closed tools and open participation courses
  • reflect on different aspects of openness in your own context
  • review in groups open features of the chosen activity/resource
  • inquire into open educational practices related to a specific scenario

Activities for all learners   

Introduction lecture

Before you do anything else watch Alastair Creelman’s introduction to openness in education, explaining concepts like open educational resources, Creative Commons, sharing, Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) etc: 

After watching the introduction please post your questions and thoughts on this Padlet page that will be the basis of our discussion webinar, 19 October.


In the Webinar – open education on Wednesday 19 October, 15.00 – 16.00 (Sweden) we will discuss many of the issues raised in Alastair’s introduction lecture. During the webinar you will be able to discuss the questions in small groups and then present your ideas to the rest of the participants  You can also, during the entire week, share your thoughts in the ONL Google+ community about your own professional experience of open resources, tools and open courses.  

Learning blog – reflection  

Suggested themes for reflection in your learning blog:

  • what openness means for your own practice
  • how to find and use openly licensed resources
  • advantages and disadvantages of open and closed technologies
  • implications of different open course and MOOC formats in relation to your learning experience on this course.

A reminder: If you are aiming for a certificate you need to both write reflective posts within a blog and comment on others (see how to participate).  

Don’t forget the to fill in the Activity tracker!

PBL group work

For guidance on PBL group work including the FISh design please see Learning activities. Choose one of the scenarios below:  

I spend a lot of time preparing resources for my sessions and my students say they find them really useful. I have read a bit now about open educational resources and wonder if I should share my resources in some way. Could people take my material out of context or use it in the wrong way. How can I share my resources in a responsible way and what advantages are there for me as a teacher?
Similarly I often use photos, diagrams and films in my teaching but I’m not sure whether I’m allowed to use them. How can we use educational resources responsibly and should we also try to help our students understand these issues?

I’m interested in opening up some of my courses, maybe even offering them as MOOCs, but I don’t really know where to start. What options are there for offering courses that are open to all? How should I change the course structure, pedagogy and use of technology? What are the opportunities and dangers of “going open”?

Optional activities

Get that experience!
ONL is a type of MOOC, though not so massive as most of them. If you have no experience of a MOOC you may want to enrol in one, just to have a look. Class Central is a good place to search for MOOCs from all the main platforms in the world. Browse the different courses and see what you can find (you may have to register in order to see the activity).  

During this second topic you are encouraged to continue to use your Twitter account. Are there, for example, any open resources (OER) that you have found useful that you can share? Remember to use the hashtag #ONL162 when tweeting.  

Suggested readings and resources  

To watch

To read  

Further readings and resources  

Further viewing

Further readings