I am not easily carried away with new technologies and digital solutions, so I entered this week’s topic of openness and sharing being hesitant and restrained, but still with a fairly open mind.
My initial thoughts of this topic was pretty much summed up by Alastair Creelman at the ONL172 Topic 2 Webinar: Open Education, Openness and Sharing “We all want to be open, and it sounds very wonderful. It’s hard to say: ‘I’m against openness’”. However, as indicated above, I am a cautious person who do not want to enthusiastically embrace the idea of freely sharing all the material I have been working with, unless I have examined the consequences thoroughly.
After having a closer look at the recommended resources for this topic I have realized that there are no easy answers or clear definitions that you may decide to embrace or reject. It seems to me that openness in education is a rapidly developing, complex field; a sort of global initiative of exploring if and how technology can enhance learning. One specific example of this exploratory mode is MOOCs. At first I thought that there would be a specific definition of what constitutes a MOOC, but I have now learned that every letter in MOOC is debatable.
On my quest of exploring the world of open education, one question in particular caught my interest: Which courses are suitable for face-to-face, blended or fully online learning?
With that question in mind I have looked at the book Teaching in a Digital Age: Guidelines for Teaching and Learning (Bates, 2015), where you can read that:
«…we have enough experience now of teaching online to know that in most subject areas, a great deal of the skills and content needed to achieve learning outcomes can be taught online. It is no longer possible to argue that the default decision must always be to do the teaching in a face-to-face manner» (p 325).
Bates also presents some useful questions institutions and teachers can consider when designing a course, to choose if the course benefits from being face-to-face, blended or fully online. These questions shed some light on my question above.
However, to get an even better idea of which content and/or skills that one may teach most effectively either face-to-face, blended or fully online, it would be highly useful to gain insight in the experiences of others.
I hope that my colleagues in the ONL 172 community can help me with this – it would be great if you could post answers and reflections to these questions (or just one of them) as comments to this blog post:
Based on your experience…
- which content and/or skills can be taught really well face-to-face?
- which content and/or skills can be taught really well by using a combination of face-to-face and online learning (blended)?
- which content and/or skills can be taught really well by using fully online learning?