Topic 2 has been eye opening for me. Why? Because I’ve started to understand what makes a MOOC (Massive Open Online Courses) tick and what doesn’t. So far, I have participated in a lot of MOOCs, while I completed some, there were some left unfinished with the hopes of coming back (one day) and completing it. My personal reason, most of the time, was other personal commitments (work, family etc.) However, I have come to realized it was actually not all on me (yes partially and a big one, but not totally). The MOOCs themselves, their designs to be precise, were to blame as well. That I have never thought about, until now! Thanks Anne for creating this euphoric moment for me!

So what was online learning? And why did I choose it to begin with?

Online learning have opened up new worlds for me, an eager young adult hoping to improve herself apart from school. While searching for courses and sources of information I met with Saylor, Coursera, edX and much more. They offered expert led courses, for free at the time, and that was long long time ago. I sampled some and registered for the ones interested me most. Interestingly, even if I had been the one to hunt down all those opportunities, I have started to lose interest after some time into the courses. Thanks to the topic and readings of this week, I now understand what led me to give up on those courses and the difference between two types of MOOCs: cMOOCs (communicative) and xMOOCs (engagement). So, I have understood the importance of two essential dimensions in online learning designs;

#1 Do the publishers/individuals want to disseminate the information only? If so, why go to a MOOC rather than read a wikipedia page? What’s the added value MOOCs bring onto the table rather than repeating the available (online) resources in virtual format?

#2 Do publishers/individuals want to create engagement between the following pairs;
     a) course materials and students?
     b) students and students?
     c) students and course admins (instructors and/or teaching assistants)

When these questions are answered, then and only then, the online learning environments, along with successfully developed other educational layers, mimic, support even supersede the traditional learning environments.

It seems all is well now, right?
Uhm, no, not yet!

The ownership of those materials create a profit and benefit cycle for the parties involved, which in turn limits the audience and ironically the reader base to benefit from the educational materials such as textbooks, articles, lab reports, etc. So how to tackle this problem? As a response Open Access comes to the rescue. 

 The ideal and sacred reality we all desire, but honestly, have a long way to reach with our current pace. In the meantime, fear not, there exists a solution Creative Commons Licenses. These licenses will give the creator of educational materials the chance to share without profit constraints, and many others to use without financial restrictions on one condition; attributing materials via CC. When compared to the limiting and profit-driven cycle, this bravery definitely wins!


On the other hand, while the thought of openness is growing all around the world, it is easier said than done. Weller (2014) claims that this case resembles the French Revolution of 1789. While the movement (overthrowing injustice then, going open now) is for a great cause with (currently smaller, but firm) positive results, average audience (French citizens then, now the individuals with the desire to learn more, i.e. researchers, scholars, students, layman etc.) don’t feel the same intensity during the aftermath. Until widely accepted and practiced, openness might be downplayed like a marketable trait rather than the default feature of educational materials. Therefore, share and use of open educational materials, licensed via CC, are of great importance for both today and the future.

With this goal in mind, please check out our group’s artefact, where we have done our best to reflect on various dimensions of open learning, sharing OER and going open.


Can I use that picture Infograph: https://thevisualcommunicationguy.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/Can-I-Use-That-Picture_Revised-2019_11x17.jpg

Openness: https://barrfdn-prod.s3.amazonaws.com/crop/1331/halfscreen_crop.jpg?1529010692

Group 10 PBL Artefact for Topic 2

Topic’s ONL Reading List (from our course page)



Topic 2: Open Learning, Sharing and Openness