Topic 2 – Open courses

We are becoming more and more accustomed to digital tools being a part of our everyday lives. Digitization entails both risks and opportunities. One such opportunity is open courses.

The population is increasing and there is a growing need for education. One benefit of using open courses can, for example, be an opportunity for poor countries to enable more citizens to get an education (Psaromiligkos, et. al 2016)

Open and free education as the potential to broaden the traditional system for education. With the use of digital tools free courses can be published and eliminate obstacles like economic constraints, geographical distances and temporal differences (ibid.).

One of the obstacles with open courses might be the use of material in educating that are copyrighted. My experience is that teachers may not be aware that the material they use are not legal to use and this gets an even bigger problem when the material goes public. A way to avoid this problem can be to educate teachers about what is legal and not to use. As Psaromiligkos et. al (2016) writes there are lots of images, text, and videos that are allowed to use and have creative common license.

There are problems or concerns connected to open learning. As raised in our ONL group, automagical grading would suit an online course but then multiple choice question is the first thing that comes to mind. Many of the courses I teach need to have the students write a longer text or have an oral presentation for me to be able to check that they have reached the ILO:s. For the moment being my conclusion is that open courses are mor suitable for courses that can be tested using multiple choice question. I can also see an opportunity to make some of my lectures open and maybe available on Youtube. Of course, provided that my material is not copyrighted. I can also make my material as licensed with creative common license.

When looking for literature and articles the term Massive open online courses (MOOCs) keeps coming up. This is open course that can have thousands of students, are often higher education courses and have automated assessment (Topor & Budson, 2020). Topor and Budson (2020) offer 12 tips when creating an MOOCs course. Here are three of the tips:

1. Try a MOOC course yourself before developing one.

2. Create a supportive environment for your students to interact with

3. Create an evaluation strategy for after-course reflection and improvement

Open courses is something to consider as a complement for todays teaching with enrolled students.  

Psaromiligkos, Y. & Kytagias, C. & Salmon, I. & Liomas, I & Patrikakis, Charalampos & Litsardaki, M & Xanthopoulos, T & Sort, A & Garofalaki, M & Gewrgakopoulos, I. (2016). Developing Open Courses in Piraeus University of Applied Sciences. 10.13140/RG.2.2.32848.05123.

Topor, D. & Budson, A. (2020) Twelve tips to present an effective webinar. Medical Teacher 42:11, pages 1216-1220.

2 kommentarer

  1. Hi,
    Interesting points on open learning! What is your experience with MOOCs? Have you tried them as a learner? If not, why?
    As for open courses, once I found a “headless” course on the internet. There was no teacher, the students had to find out the tasks themselves, complete them, and then give peer feedback. Enrollment was open. Many students complained of the chaos, but many others enjoyed it. Perhaps it is possible to set up an open course with assessment other than multiple choice, but then it requires more work and creativity from the teacher. What do you think?

    1. Hi Judit, I have no experience of MOOCs but I am interested in in taking a course. I think the MOOC course must be very structured to work. I am sure it is hard to reach a high level of quality.

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