A Closer Look at Sharing and Openness in Education

In today’s day and age, Open Learning and sharing have become more relevant than ever before. With the advent of the internet and advanced technologies, learning has undergone a major transformation. However, this transformation has given rise to some concerns and questions regarding the impact of Open Learning on traditional methods of learning.

One such concern is the possibility of losing one’s competitive advantage when everything is available via Open Learning. Another important aspect to consider is the need for different support structures for Open Learning. Additionally, the integration of AI in Learning has its own set of pros and cons, which makes us wonder whether educators and subject matter experts can coexist with AI.

Furthermore, there’s been an increased focus on getting students to share their work with other learners and making it an open learning resource. Anyhow, it’s important to acknowledge that not all subjects may be suitable for online learning.

Let’s dive into what our group has come up with!

“How does one keep their competitive advantage if everything is going to be available via open learning?” is a valid question that many individuals and institutions are asking. With the availability of open learning resources, there’s a concern that one’s competitive advantage might diminish. Specialization and differentiation, high-quality learning experience, networking and partnerships, innovation, brand reputation, lifelong learning, and a focus on learners are some ways that individuals and institutions can maintain their competitive advantage.

Open learning has the potential to benefit many groups, including educational institutions, researchers and academics, startups and entrepreneurs, governments, and non-profit organizations. It can provide access to resources that might have been difficult to obtain otherwise and democratize education.

However, certain groups may face challenges from open learning, including commercial companies and national security. They might face difficulties in protecting their intellectual property, and there could be competition for resources.

There are also some drawbacks and concerns associated with open learning. Financial sustainability, technological infrastructure, and support, intellectual property, loss of exclusivity, quality control, and competition for resources are some of the concerns that need to be addressed to ensure the success of open learning.

Different support structures are needed for open learning to be successful. These support structures include providing technology, from LMS to funding for devices, and supplying professionals to help with instructional design and technical elements of teaching. Support for learners is also necessary, which includes social network sites, support interventions, and support that can be rendered at five phases of the learning cycle.

Collaboration and community are important for open learning, where sharing resources and creating feedback loops for course improvement can be accomplished. Curricular design support is another aspect that needs to be considered for course improvement, where providing LMS templates and training and opportunities for collaboration with instructional designers can be useful. In addition, course improvement can be achieved by creating teacher teams and student groups to facilitate learning loops and sharing of knowledge and experiences, while considering dimensions such as interdisciplinary, male/female teachers/students, diversity aspects, the experience of pedagogy, and AI competence.

Sharing of resources is another important aspect that should be considered. This can be achieved by creating an infrastructure that supports resource sharing between and within a course or program. Dimensions that should be considered include course material, personnel, external stakeholders such as policymakers, industry (public and private), the financial system, set-ups for guest lectures, real-life cases, AI techniques, databases, and language/cultural aspects, including local vs international.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of AI integration in learning? AI integration in learning has both advantages and disadvantages. Varied AIEd techniques have been implemented to create intelligent learning environments for behavior detection, prediction model building, learning recommendation, etc. AIEd has provided new opportunities, potentials, and challenges for educational innovations, such as the change to personalized learning, the challenge of the instructor’s role, and the development of complex educational systems. However, there are also concerns related to the use of AI in education, such as plagiarism, wrong information generated, insufficient learning, biases in data training, and privacy issues.

ChatGPT, which is one of the generative AI, has the potential to revolutionize the current educational system. It has benefits, such as promoting personalized and interactive learning, formative assessment practices, etc. However, there are also challenges related to ChatGPT, such as generating wrong information, and biases in data training, which may accentuate existing biases and privacy issues.

Findings suggest that scholars should seek the potential of applying AI in physical classroom settings, and recognize detailed entailment relationships between learners’ answers and the desired conceptual understanding within intelligent tutoring systems. It’s necessary to closely incorporate the application of AI technologies with educational theories.

In general, there seem to be multiple pros to integrating AI into education, especially related to personalized and interactive learning, assessment, and course design. Yet, there are multiple concerns related to the use of AI in education, such as plagiarism, wrong information generated, insufficient learning, biases in data training, etc. However, it’s essential to accept the rapidly changing landscape in educational practices and incorporate these changes in our current educational praxis. One area that has garnered more attention and becomes topical is students’ assessment. Educators may need to rethink how students are assessed in the future.

Is co-existing with AI possible for Educators or Subject Matter Experts – Human intervention needed? Yes, co-existing with AI is possible for Educators and Subject Matter Experts. AI can be used to supplement and augment the work of Educators and Subject Matter Experts, but human intervention is still essential for effective teaching and learning. Educators bring empathy, creativity, and personalization to the learning experience, while AI provides personalized learning experiences, automated assessments and grading, and real-time feedback to teachers. Educators and Subject Matter Experts can take advantage of AI-based tools and technologies to improve the learning experience of their students and create more engaging and interactive content. However, educators must ensure that they remain in control of the classroom and that AI is used ethically and responsibly.

Getting students to share their work with other learners (open learning resource). In essence, the concept of open educational resources (OER) involves students contributing their work to a wider audience. There are many reasons why educators might want to encourage students to share their work in this way. Firstly, it empowers students to be active knowledge producers rather than passive knowledge receivers. It also gives their work a wider and more meaningful impact than just doing disposable assignments. Additionally, it can be an avenue for student advocacy, allowing them to reduce spending on costly textbooks and make educational resources accessible to all.

Of course, there are some considerations to keep in mind when obtaining students’ consent to use their work as samples for class discussion and learning. It’s important to be transparent about the purpose of sharing and how the work will be used, ensuring that students are comfortable with how their work will be shared and that they understand any potential implications. Creating a safe and supportive environment for students is also essential, and this includes setting clear guidelines for giving and receiving feedback and modeling tactful communication skills for expressing opinions and critiquing. There are different ways that students can contribute to OER, including allowing their work to be viewed by future students of the same course, co-creating content with each other or with the course instructor for a learning resource that is available to other students, and co-creating content for material on the internet.

There are various types of OER resources that students can contribute, including textbooks, literature, lesson plans, videos, rubrics, assessments, and more. Ultimately, encouraging students to contribute to OER has the potential to create a more collaborative and engaging learning environment while also making educational resources more accessible to a wider audience.

Are all subjects suitable for online learning? No, not all subjects! There are certain subjects and topics that may not be appropriate for open learning as they can potentially lead to criminal activities and pose a threat to national security or common interests. For instance, programming computer viruses or malware, advanced molecular biology, and advanced nuclear physics or engineering are a few examples of such topics. Similarly, there are certain topics that are sensitive or controversial and may impact students’ sense of identity, values, interests, and beliefs. These topics may prompt a strong emotional response from students, such as distress or anger. Some examples of such topics are racism, slavery, sexuality/sexual orientation, gender biases, political views, religious beliefs, ethically questionable behavior, illegal activity, and cultural customs.

However, there are certain guidelines and tips that educators can follow to teach sensitive topics effectively. These guidelines include recognizing the diversity of students, setting a framework and objective for the discussion, fostering civility, and summarizing the discussion. Educators should also be prepared to deal with tense or emotional moments and reflect on the effectiveness of their approach. References such as “Teaching and Learning Sensitive Topics” by Pam Lowe and Helen Jones and “Ten Tips for Facilitating Classroom Discussion on Sensitive Topics” by Alicia L. Moore and Molly Deshaies provide useful insights for educators on how to approach sensitive topics in a constructive and respectful manner.

In summary, throughout our discussion, we have discussed a range of topics related to education and technology. We have talked about the integration of AI in education and the benefits and concerns it poses for educators and subject matter experts. We also talked about the advantages of getting students to contribute to open learning resources (OER), the types of OER resources available, and how to obtain students’ consent to use their work as samples for class discussion and learning. Additionally, we discussed the limitations of certain subjects for open learning and how to handle difficult and sensitive topics in the classroom. Overall, we have covered a diverse range of topics related to education and technology, focusing on how to effectively leverage technology to enhance teaching and learning.

Individual Reflections

Reflecting on our group’s discussion, I find the idea of maintaining a competitive advantage in the age of Open Learning particularly fascinating. In my own teaching, I strive to ensure a high-quality learning experience, which involves constantly innovating, staying up-to-date with educational trends and technology, and creating a vibrant community of learners.

The integration of AI into education is indeed a trend I have considered. The promise of personalized learning, automated assessments, and real-time feedback can greatly enhance the learning experience for my students. In my teaching, I would aim to use AI tools to supplement rather than replace my role as an educator. AI could help grade assignments or provide feedback, giving me more time for personal interaction with students, curriculum development, and innovative teaching strategies. However, as our group findings indicate, I would be mindful of the potential issues related to plagiarism, biases in data training, and the generation of inaccurate information.

As for openness in education, my institution promotes it by encouraging the use of OERs and advocating for the creation and sharing of these resources. Personally, I have shared some of my own teaching materials as OERs and have seen the benefit it brings in fostering a collaborative teaching environment. In the future, I am keen to involve my students in the creation of these resources as well. I believe that doing so would not only provide them with a platform to share their work and insights but also imbibe in them a sense of active participation in the learning process.

However, I do agree with the group’s findings that certain subjects may not be suitable for open learning due to their sensitive or controversial nature or their potential misuse. In teaching such subjects, I aim to create a respectful and safe space where diverse perspectives can be shared and debated constructively.

In summary, my reflection on our group’s findings has led me to appreciate the transformation education is undergoing due to technology and openness. It has also encouraged me to reflect on how I can leverage these trends in my own teaching to provide a better learning experience for my students. It’s clear that integrating AI and the philosophy of openness in education are powerful tools that, when used responsibly and effectively, can greatly enhance the learning experience.


Thank you for this in-depth reflection on what our group has come up with. It was really refreshing to review your reflection and compare with my own notes. You highlighted some interesting areas that I think we could have elaborated on in a new topic:-)

Thank you Marko for your group summary of Topic 2 with the main focus on AI. It would be nice to read your individual meta reflection on your group’s reflection. This is what would be interesting to see, and how you can apply these ideas into your own teaching environment. How do/can/will you integrate AI into your teaching? How is your institution working with openness? Are you creating and sharing any OERs?

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