Open learning is the
way of the future. There Is a massive change in the dynamic of learning. This
is especially true seeing that the focus is shifted from the educator, which is
the center of traditional learning to the students, whom now have access to material
and is able to access material online and has the ability to set their own
learning pace. These students are also able to collaborate with other students
more freely than the traditional physical classroom.

Open learning being
free also opens up many opportunities for potential students who don’t have the
finances to pursue traditional learning, which at college/university level
could be very costly. This gives many students, especially in the less
fortunate space an opportunity to educate themselves. This gives power to the
masses to educate themselves. This is no longer reserved only for people
fortunate enough to afford university fees, diminishing social inequality.

Open learning gives students access to many different sources and encourages students to find, validate and use different sources of information for their purposes.

There are still
problems with open learning. The most common being the online literacy of
students. Many of which lack basic web navigation and Microsoft skills, leaving
these students feeling overwhelmed. Open learning and literacy is still based
on literacy. Students lacking basic literacy skills will experience difficulty
when making the switch from physical classroom based learning to open learning

As teachers, there are a few
things to consider when creating an open learning platform. Some of the things
to consider is the platform on which to make the material available. Examples
of platforms that can be used is Youtube & Slideshare. These platforms can
be easily accessed across borders, making it decentralized.

Some considerations for the
choice of platform should also be whether these platforms record student
information for their own purposes. Student confidentiality needs to be
maintained as far as possible throughout the process of learning. Student
security is of utmost importance, lack of security would be a detractor in the
potential learning process and definitely would cause potential students to
review their willingness to use an open learning platform.

Licensing of the content is also
something educators need would need to create. In the purposes of open learning
platform, it is important to make the content open, allowing students and
educators to use and download the content at no cost, other than the cost of
actual downloading. The content should be open for students to modify and use,
whether this would be part of the content or holistically.

In conclusion, open learning
opens the borders of education for students, this also allows students to
pursue information relevant to themselves, not necessarily being bound to one
course and a formal degree in a particular field.

For further readings and resource
recommendations, please see our group assignment for open learning.

Topic 2: Views on Open Learning