To start thinking about open learning raises many different questions. It can really be discussed from many divergent perspectives. An angle that has engaged me in recent days is linked to part of the topic 2 scenario; “… how do I introduce the idea to my students?”. If you imagine that “my” students are those who study regular university courses and perhaps attend a bachelor’s program – what would it mean for them to take part in a course being given as open learning during their program? What benefits can you list that this brings for ”my” students who are already on my program? What´s in there for them? (I thus intentionally leave to discuss perspectives that are relevant to such students who join an open course from elsewhere.)

There are a number of educational goals that are common in Sweden and are described in the Higher Education Ordinance (Högskoleförordningen (1993: 100)). One of them states that the students after completing the education should be able to “show the ability to orally and in writing account for and discuss information, problems and solutions in dialogue with different groups”. What you really mean by different groups is not defined and how you actually and practically solve it varies between educations. Usually, there are quite a few events that offer something other than discussing with your classmates, in different constellations.

Creating a course that is completely open and hopefully can interest participants from other universities in other parts of Sweden and the world at large, could really offer an opportunity for my students to develop their ability to discuss their subject knowledge, old and newly acquired, with different groups. It is an exciting opportunity at the same time as there are some uncertainties that you need to accept – both as a teacher and a student. For example, we do not know in advance who will participate in addition to “my” students, nor what their competence background is. Therefore, as a teacher you should be prepared for a certain flexibility and to formulate tasks accordingly. Working with PBL, scenarios and some common literature, as in ONL202, is a good way, I guess. But even “my” students need to be prepared for this and approach the course with an open mind.

In this context, I have also considered David Wiley’s ( consideration that knowledge sharing is in many ways about an event, and that it is the event that is put at the center. This, together with the goal for “my” students to have the opportunity for oral dialogue with other groups, means that the course needs to have elements that at given times bring together participants in knowledge sharing events. It nibbles a little on the flexibility that many highlight as an important part of open courses (eg ONL202 Blogpost with Kiruthika Ragupathi and others at Other parts of the course, reading, etc., can of course have flexible solutions to the approach.

The idea arouses interest…

Topic 2. Openness for “my” students?