Activity 1: Getting to know the open environment
Timing: 4 hours
Familiarise yourself with the open environment we are using for this open course by doing the following:
Look at the content of other units in the OpenLearn environment to get a feel for the navigation and the overall environment. You can explore any topic from the OpenLearn home page.
If you have not already done so, set up a blog, as mentioned above.
Register your blog with the course aggregator.
Post an introductory post to your blog, in which you explain why you’re studying this course and what your background is. Remember to tag it with #h817open (an explanation about tags can be found on Wikipedia ). The blog aggregator is not an OU-supported system, so it may take a day for your post to appear – please be patient. In the course we will also be using forums within the OpenLearn environment, so if you prefer you can use these instead of a blog.
Activity 2: Open education reading
Timing: 1 hour
Read Weller (2012), The openness–creativity cycle in education.
View Anderson (2009), Alt-C Keynote .
Activity 3: Representing open education
Timing: 4–6 hours
The two resources you’ve just read and viewed provide views on different aspects of what openness means in higher education.
Create a visual representation that defines openness in education by drawing on some of the concepts listed in Weller and Anderson (although it is not necessary to include all of them). You can use PowerPoint, an online tool such as Prezi or any other tool of your choice. You may like to share your tool of choice through the Week 1 forum so that others can decide what tool to use.
The key is to provide a representation that draws together the key concepts of openness as you perceive them. Save it in a form that is shareable, e.g. an image or an embeddable file from elsewhere (such as Flickr, Prezi, etc.).
Put your representation in a blog post, with a brief description of it. Remember to tag your post with the tag #h817open. Check that it appears in the course blog (it may take a while to appear).
If you have difficulty with visual representations, then you can alternatively create a representation in another medium, including text lists, or audio.
Activity 4: Identifying priorities for research
Timing: 3–4 hours
Imagine you are advising a funding organisation that wishes to promote activity and research in the area of open education.
Set out the three main priorities they should address, explaining each one and providing a justification for your list. Share this in the Week 1 forum and compare with priorities of others.
In this activity you are just expected to start thinking about these issues, and to use your own experience and intuition; you are not expected to research them in depth. You will build on this work during next week, and also for the assignment.
After sharing your list of priorities and examining (and hopefully commenting upon) those of two or three others, consider the following questions, which will give you some ideas as we move into the second week of the course:
Was there consensus about what were the key priorities?
Do you feel some issues would be more easily solved than others?
What would be effective ways to address some of the priorities listed?
1.6 Week 1 References
Anderson, T. (2009) Alt-C Keynote [online]. Available at http://www.slideshare.net/ terrya/ terry-anderson-alt-c-final (accessed 2 November 2012).
Weller, M. (2012) ‘The openness–creativity cycle in education’, Special issue on Open Educational Resources, JIME, Spring 2012 [online]. Available at http://jime.open.ac.uk/ jime/ article/ view/ 2012-02 (accessed 2 November 2012).