second topic in ONL192 focused on Open learning and sharing which as always raised
a lot of reflections, some that I shared within the PBL group and some that I will
reflect upon here.

While taking
a course about ICT and learning at University of Gothenburg some years ago, I read
a chapter (Davies & Merchant, 2006) about academic blogging. Now when blogging
is a part of the learning activities in this course I had to go back and read
it again to see if the meaning of it had changed. The chapter focus is on
academic writing and online publishing and is strongly related to the focus of
topic 2; openness and sharing. From my point of view blogging can both be
viewed as an open educational resource (OER) as well as an open educational practice
(OEP). Also Davies and Merchant address academic blogging as a new social practice
where texts grow and develop in an interactive way which can be an interesting option
for learning in networks as well as research work. Blogging in some ways challenge
our views of both being the writer and the reader of texts compared to
traditional publishing which gives us new possibilities.

and Merchant (2007) also states that blogging as a genre of digital
communication tend to blend the personal with the public and challenge ways of
looking at the world. An interesting view which I can relate to when it comes
to some learning strategies we have tried to use in the nursing program where
students are asked to write about topics they are studying and connect them to
own experiences and then also read and comment/discuss other students posts. The
aim is to try to help student find their own meaning of the topic, to relate to
the daily life and views of health for example. We haven’t really named it
blogging but I can see the similarities. My idea now is to see if we can extend
it to a course blog.

problem though is the tendencies to see blogs as something that is just
personal and of no real interest for the learning practice or outcome. It will
need some discussions in the teacher team I assume.

and Marchant (2007) also relates blogging to research work as a way to increase
the openness and sharing both of the process and the results. That leads me to
a short video presentation I found of Hilton’s (2016 a, b) research about OER.
The article in itself raises some really important results, but the short video
(Hilton, 2016b) is in my opinion an excellent way of sharing research results
in a way that increase interest both for the topic itself and to make research
more accessible.

Hilton’s (2016a) review of OER focus on
effects and perceptions of outcomes from programs using traditional textbooks
compared to programs using OER. In my opinion we treat textbooks in the
education as the base for learning and spend a lot of time and efforts on
choosing “the best book”. But do students read these books? Quite often I doubt
it, Hiltons background states that in some cases only 18% of students claimed
that they read or used textbooks to prepare for lectures while 53% stated that
they never or rarely used textbooks. One reason mentioned repeatedly was the
high cost that is an argument I recognize. Hilton presents findings of students
perceptions of using OER that it was an easier way to get access to textbooks,
that  OER were found to be more up to
date and easier to use. That makes me reflect on the possibility to use more
OER in education. In one course I work with now we have tried to cut down on
mandatory books and use more open material that can be found online. The main
reason is that these students are in their very last semester and we both want
to give them tools and resources for finding relevant material when they work
as nurses and also to check their level of academic skills. There are varying
results and opinions and I can see that as soon as some questions or problems
shows up teachers tend to lean to more mandatory books as the solution.
Personally I think we should start earlier with more open sources and help
students to handle how to value and choose material. I also believe we as
teachers need to help each other to accept that we do not loose control with
more open sources, we just need to work a bit different.

Good examples of what needs to be done from
our side as teachers is presented in an article from a Swedish nursing program
(Elf, Ossiannillson, Neljesjö and Jansson, 2016). They have investigated teachers
and students perspective of using OER in a nursing program and found four categories,
where one was that using OER is a complex task requiring preparation, time and
appropriate skills to manage successfully. There is where we need to develop
our skills, to help students develop those skills. Another finding was that it
is a complex task to critically evaluate resources. I strongly believe that if
we want to help students develop a critical attitude to be able to support life
long learning teachers need to evaluate and question our own digital literacy
since we need to support students ability to use digital tools in their future
professional role.  Probably that is much easier said than done.

Davies,J..Merchant, D.(2007) Looking from the Inside Out. Academic Blogging as New Literacy. In Lankshear,C., Knobel, M., (ed)(2007) A New Literacies Sampler, (p.167-197) Peter Lang, New York.

Elf,M., Ossiannilsson E., Neljesjö,
M.,  Jansson, M., (2016) Implementation of open educational resources in a
nursing programme: experiences and reflections. Open Learning: The journal of
Open, Distance and E-learning,
30:3, 252-266

J.(2016a) Open Educational resources and college textbook choices: A review of
research on efficacy and perceptions. Educational Technology Research and
, 64(4), 573-590 

Hilton (2016b) A review of the Effectiveness and perceptions of Open
Edcational Resources as Compaed to Textbooks.  (2016)
short presentation of research

Openness and Sharing