Staying open or staying close or sometimes being open and at times closed, yet open and closed at the same time. It seems quite tricky. What actually is openness in education? For me openness is sharing resources, free and easy access to educational resources, being able to have a learning network with minimal barriers. Openness is a blessing for it provides everyone to have access to knowledge and learning whoever wants to. I however always have few concerns over openness regarding credibility of the resource regarding a topic where my prior knowledge is meager. How much credit hours’ worth are open courses. Would an open course worth anything in my CV or has any credibility? Of course, it adds a lot to my knowledge. Recently I am interested in interior designing which is not my background. I wanted to learn the basics. The greatest difficulty that I faced was which course is more authentic, cheap and of course worth signing up for. Does a free course provide authentic knowledge? These are my concerns as a learner…  The webinar from Kay Odone and Alastair Creelman were quite thoughtful and provided me with relevant solution to my quarries.
Being open myself while delivering my own course however will resolve the issues which I have being a learner. But still it a lot of hurdles exist. One of the hurdles is sustainability of the open course. In case of low funding quality might get affected at certain place. This issue, however, can be resolved by keeping optional advanced options of the course in a paid version as discussed by Weller (2014) in his book. Doing so will not keep the course truly open I assume, however in case of low funding this can be done, and it will attract more interested learners to go a step ahead, thus can act as a source of filter for truly interested to go further.
Thinking about openness in my own context takes me to MOOCs. MOOC however is a huge term for me as I rely on smaller version of MOOC in our parenting courses in order to keep track of networking and interaction among our participants. As our organization is new and only three people are running it, one is assumed to work on social level, in direct contact with participants and promoting sector, one with management of online stuff and I as deigning the small courses. We are serving as totally open to anyone who is interested. So smaller groups are our priority. The pedagogy behind cMOOCs being Siemen’s theory of Connectivity and connective learning where social media has asserted its impact that knowledge is distributed by connecting and sharing. (Downes 2007) has enabled me to truly classify our little MOOC into cMOOC. And enabled me look critically on several aspects of our courses to modify them and how to engage learner more.
Downes, S. (2007, Februrary 2). What connectivism is [Web log post]. Retrieved from http://halfanhour.blogspot.co.uk/2007/02/what-connectivism-is.html
Openness….Where dose it lead to??