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After setting the right mindset on online participation and polishing my digital literacy, I’m ready for web learning and teaching. Now, as an educator, I would like to go open on the web with my teaching materials but the question is how should I start? What options are there and what concerns I probably would have?

This is exactly the follow-up topic after we are ready to embrace the open web. The advantages of going open with teaching and learning activities are self-explanatory. It helps teachers with efficient preparation of the teaching materials and facilitates the students or even a wider learning community with enriched knowledge. During the digital age, the sharing experience is becoming easier than ever. However, as stated by Bates [1] in his book, “Open educational resources offer many benefits but they need to be well designed and embedded within a rich learning environment to be effective.” The first concern we had in our group discussion was concerned with the legal issues, e.g. copyrights of the teaching materials that one would like to upload. The second concern we had was about the online teaching/lecture database, where we could upload/download teaching materials.

In addition to creating the database for sharing the slides of teaching publicly, there shall also be guidance or rules of sharing and an entire ecosystem for people who are creating the original content. The spirit from the community of open source code or software sharing can be a good example. There is a general convention in this community for sharing and use of the shared content. For us, a rule can be that, if one is using a shared lecture note, it is encouraged to share his/her modified version back to the community. The coding people are using for example “GitHub” for sharing codes. Automatically, the creator has the “credit” for uploading content. In addition, as the codes are more related to scientific research, they are often cited in scientific publications. And citation is a very powerful and well-accepted measure of success in research. However, in terms of teaching, we are missing such a kind of measure to encourage the content creators to share their hard work.

With that said, it seems that we are still not so much ready for going open in the field of teaching and learning. But several good initiatives and practices are being implemented and one example the Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) [2] and is Canvas [3]. Several institutions have already implemented the teaching experience with Canvas. Also good practice is also being developed for the Creative Commons License [4]. The methods and means are gradually becoming available for going open for us. What we need to do is to start being aware of these rules and platforms and gradually sharing our knowledge with a wider audience.

[1] Anthony William (Tony) Bates, (2015). Teaching in a Digital Age. ISBN: 978-0-9952692-0-0

2. Open Learning – Sharing and Openness