Through my group discussions, course webinars, and literature readings, I have come to a better understanding of the role of open learning and the challenges that I need to be aware of. I have also learned about the concept of ‘open educational practices’ (OEP) in higher education and their benefits (Santos, 2019).
To begin with, in my practical experience of open learning and sharing, I have applied some of the basic OEP principles, such as using available course materials and guidelines, creating new course materials, and sharing with others. I have found that access to teaching and research materials from staff is helpful in my teaching and research development.
I use open-access publications, theses and dissertations, software (such as Python, TensorFlow, and other AI tools), GitHub, public datasets, and YouTube videos in my teaching and research. Research project meetings and discussions with partner groups, institutional meetings at different levels, online educational/research webinars and seminars with the international community on different topics of interest have allowed me to access different resources that helped me develop in different aspects.
However, as someone who has experience teaching both online and face-to-face, I recommend that the shift towards purely online education should be slow. Although open education offers many benefits, such as cost-effectiveness, accessibility, flexibility, lifelong learning, and innovation, it also has some limitations. The lack of effective online assessment tools, limited interaction with teachers and peers, language barriers, and difficulty with feedback are some of the challenges that I encounter in my online courses. Furthermore, dependence on technology is also a disadvantage for learners from developing countries.
To make the most of the opportunities presented by open education while minimizing its obstacles (such as misinformation, lack of digital competency, security concerns, language barriers, etc.), personal information is protected under the GDPR, and institutional policies are detailed and accessible to students in all my courses. The evaluation of the learners and the learning outcomes is facilitated through the alignment of the learning outcomes, course materials, and examination moments.
The emergence of AI tools has the potential to impact course design in many ways, such as automating certain aspects of grading or personalizing learning experiences for individual students (Holmes and Bialik, 2019). However, I have not yet used AI in my course development and assessment.
In terms of introducing the idea of openness to students, I believe that it is important to emphasize the benefits of collaboration and access to diverse perspectives that open education can offer. Engaging students as partners in this open initiative can help to create a sense of ownership and empowerment among students, which can lead to more meaningful learning experiences (Santos, 2019).
Overall, I hope to learn more about how to incorporate open resources and tools in my teaching while minimizing the risks associated with open education through this course. I am curious about new methods, tools, programs, and resources that can help me improve the quality of my online courses. As the field of open education continues to evolve, I am eager to remain informed about best practices and to remain flexible in adapting to new technologies and strategies.
• Beetham, H., Falconer, I., McGill, L., & Littlejohn, A. (2012). Open practices: Briefing paper. Jisc. https://www.jisc.ac.uk/guides/open-practice.
• Inamorato Dos Santos, A., Practical Guidelines on Open Education for Academics: modernising higher education via open educational practices, EUR 29672 EN, Publications Office of the European Union, Luxembourg, 2019, ISBN 978-92-76-00194-2, doi:10.2760/55923, JRC115663.
• Fadel, Charles, Wayne Holmes, and Maya Bialik. “Artificial intelligence in education: Promises and implications for teaching and learning.” The Center for Curriculum Redesign, Boston, MA (2019).
• General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) Compliance Guidelines