Activity 4: Learner-centred open education

The three main priorities that I have chosen to list below revolve very much around a learner-centred approach. In my job, I guide teachers with regards to the design and delivery of e-learning activities, and I focus very much on educational design, how to scaffold learning processes, motivating and engaging learners. I find that many students are quite new to the idea of learning online, and it takes time for them to see the point and fully engage.

I use Gilly Salmon’s five-stage model and her e-tivities concept (http://www.atimod.com/e-tivities/5stage.shtml) which help teachers design focused e-learning activities that more or less “script” the actions and interactions of students with other students and with text books, online resources etc. This helps set the scene and make learning objectives, demands and expectations transparent to students. However, not all students cope equally well or are equally motivated to engage in the e-learning activities. The fixed framework might be demotivating and students might lack the necessary digital skills to participate online.

In formal education, some choices have been made by the teacher which can help simplify the (virtual) learning environment, but:

How do we best support the learner in open education and how do we create truly open access to all?

My three main priorities:

  1. Digital literacy and technology: Opportunities and barriers with respects to engaging in learning activities online. How do we make it simple, yet enriching to participate in open education?
  2. Types of open education: Models of delivery, educational design, learning theory and pedagogy. What seems to engage learners and best facilitate learning processes?
  3.  Types of learners: Any particular type of learners that benefits the most from open education? What about the other types of learners? How do we cater to their needs?
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