I had doubts…

I have been very hesitant at sharing my teaching material openly on the internet. In fact, when I was forced to construct a Prezi using the free version, which meant that my artifact would be freely available in the Prezi database, I de-registered my account and deleted my work as soon as I could. Not because I had concerns about the quality -I think the artifact was good, but probably because I feared losing control over the use (and misuse) of my ideas and material.

I thus decided to try to sort out my doubts and misgivings about publishing open, and got the opportunity to do a SWOT-analysis in collaboration with my PBL group at #ONL202, see figure 1 below.

Figure 1. SWOT-analysis on sharing my teaching material online, by PBL group 10, ONL202. CC BY-SA.

Sorting out my thoughts with the SWOT-analysis

Starting out the work with the SWOT it was easy to identify the harmful internal Weakness that I would feel the need to regularly monitor the use of my teaching material, as I fear that the material is misused and misunderstood (a harmful external Threat). This monitoring and ensuing need to handle comments (in particular the unwanted and maybe foul ones) takes time, which could be better spent in other teaching and research activities (the major harmful external Threat).

But the good thing about SWOT-analyses is that they highlight that the same factor might work in opposing and balancing ways, in this case my time and workload. By gaining access to other educators’ teaching material I can save time by not having to develop all material myself (a helpful external Opportunity). And very probable, the quality of my teaching material is increased, leading to a didactic and pedagogy development for me and thus enhanced learning for my students (a helpful internal Strength). Furthermore, as I share my teaching methods and ideas (and teachers always share their knowledge, says David Wiley in a TED talk) I might become a member of a wider internet community of practice (Harasim, 2017), that could generate collaborations and research ideas (a major helpful external Opportunity). Another Opportunity is that my students faster can become members of the online communities of practice, as they become familiar with the teaching material and ideas of educators worldwide.

On balance, I could change my role

But, moving back into the internal harmful Weaknesses, teaching is so much more than artifacts that could found online. The content is (fairly) easy to publish, but the learning context is created in the interactions between the students and the educator. And these interactions are what drive student learning and understanding (Bates, 2019). So if my real fear was that I would become superfluous as educator if I published my Prezi on health economic evaluations, I now realize that my role is even more important. I as an educator need to select the right online teaching material for my students and set it into context by creating learning activities and by being available for discussions, in order to create a good learning environment for my students.


Bates AW. Teaching in a digital age [2nd ed]. Tony Bates Associates Ltd. Retrieved 2020-10-20 from here

Harasim L. Learning theory and online technologies [2nd ed]. Routledge, 2017

Sharing my teaching material online -why?