The Key to Sustainable and
Effective Open Education
Wherever we look, around the globe or in our own backyards, we can see
that more and better education is needed. But the scale of the problem cannot be
tackled through our traditional technologies for teaching. When you measure
student numbers in billions, staff-student ratios of 1:30 make no impact at all. So
the problem of scale is challenging”
Laurillard is here talking about the various programs, in Europe and the US, but also more on a global level, that have committed us to targets with regard to increasing the penetration of education. To attain our targets, the number of educatords will need to rise hugely, and rapidly, and in a marketplace of billions, it seems conventional methpds won’t cut it.
This speaks to my sense of a cMOOC for edtech in a resource poor environemnt. And it occurs to me, as an aside, that I have to specify what I mean by resource poor. I mean low in funbding, locations, conventional resources, but high in participant motivation, learning strategies, and resourcefulness. A cMOOC relies on it#s participants resources, and costs little to set up.
The argument is
that we need technology to achieve the educational reform we dream of, but that
we have to do it through the teaching community. An essential part of the open
education movement will be “open teaching.” The teaching community will need
learning-design tools and environments that will enable them to develop the new
pedagogies afforded by digital technologies, use the open education resources
becoming available, and achieve high quality teaching on the large scale.”
Many teachers and lecturers have embraced technology to assist their own
pedagogic ambitions for their students, but most have not. The powerful drivers of
their behaviour as professionals do not drive them towards use of technology—
assessment methods, inspection criteria, promotion criteria, and funding flows
continue to be directed towards traditional teaching—and yet these are the
determinants of classroom practice”
In addition, here, Laurillard arguies thAt bottom up processes – where decisions and funding have been devolved to small, localised projects, have been successful drivers for TLE, but their very natire means that they will not alter the top down drivers (assessment, qa, funding, curriculum) and will not generate ;larger change. They are small, fragmented, and don;t have a unified policy and curriculum thrust. ,My MOOC idea fits firmly in the localised, small, bottom up category. Better to explicity accept and project this, with acknowledgement of the limitations.
We also have
to prepare for what this means for teachers and lecturers, and how they could drive
system change “bottom-up.””
In engaging educators in a bottom up process, this is part of what we need to engage with. If there is a need for TLE, and a desire and need for that to be directed and supported in a top dpown fashion, it also needs the bottom up pressure, and direction from teachers engaged in this way.
Teaching must become
problematised, innovative and professional, taking research as its model. If lecturers
were to conduct the process of teaching as rigorously as they conduct their
research, then they would expect 1) support for some personal development in how
to teach, 2) the means to build on the work of others to design their approach, 3)
the means to experiment and reflect on what the results imply for their design and
their understanding, and 4) the means to articulate and disseminate their
This is OPEN TEACHING. And bears a similarity to networked learning amongst a COP of educators. Is it an idea to build this in explicitly, as an idea, and practice. James Dalziel, 2005, also calls it Open Source Teaching.
Dalziel, J. (2005). LAMS community launch [electronic version].
LAMS Foundation News, 6. Retrieved month
day, year, from
This is related top, but distinct fromk my aims, but the relation is enough ti note. a cMOOC relies on few resourdces to achieve a broad reach. It’s a use of technology so that the efforts of a few can be shared by, and engaged with, by many.