Dec 032013
 

Well course one of the masters has come to a close and without much pomp or circumstance I might add. I am not sure I even feel all that much smarter to tell you the truth but I am guessing that comes after course three or four.

So lets see… What did I learn.

  1. University has changed since I was there twenty years ago. People are much friendlier and accommodating. Might have something to do with me being the Senior citizen of the cohort as well. Nice to see people still respect us old folks.
  2. Writing Blog post rather than formal papers was a nice change.
  3. Conversing over video conferencing is just strange. Give me real live breathing people in the same room and I am happy.
  4. I think I may have wasted my youth.

This of course is the short list of take aways, there is so much more to add but this post is supposed to reflect on what I learned about Open Education or Open Learning and to tell you the truth… I don’t got much. All I can really do here is recap my previous course related posts as they pertain to the open learning model.

My first and perhaps most important take away was from a guest lecture Bonnie Stewart did on being a connected educator. Although the topic didn’t really address “open learning” in a curricular sense, it certainly brought to light how being connected provides an individual with more and better learning opportunities to take advantage of.

My second most important take away was the idea that the simple act of making something available to a student, does not guarantee that learning will occur. In my opinion this is the biggest falling down point of the inquiry learning movement. Just because you make learning opportunities available to students does not mean a student will learn. There is one universal truth we constantly seem to forget. People are lazy and most will default to doing nothing if not given some external stimuli.

My third biggest take away is coming to the realization that there are two main types of open learning opportunities. The first is the à la carte open learning opportunity, where the individual picks and chooses what they want to learn from all the choices out there. The Adobe Learning tutorials and webinars are a prime example of à la carte open learning. On demand learning. When, how and why is up to the learner.

The second type of open learning comes from a set menu. The learner wants to learn something for one reason or other but they MUST follow a specified path. How the curriculum is served, who is serving it or even who is learning with you is determined by someone else . Set menu open learning is usually institutionalized and part of some type of formal certifiable program. Much like the masters program I am in now.

These takeaways are by no means earth shattering or groundbreaking. They don’t even scratch the surface of what I am hopefully headed for in the next couple of years but for every great finish, there is always a slow but well planned beginning.

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