Logo for the OU open course blog in Open Education

Having enjoyed the ELearning & Digital Cultures MOOC organised by Edinburgh University, I was keen to follow this up with more ‘open’ learning online. It seems I am not alone.

The seven week Open University – Open Education H817 course seems so compatible, and the timng is so good it is tempting to think that the two online courses were planned to run back to back.

My first impressions, without starting on any of the course reading is that the OU’s communication tools need some oiling.

The profile page for each student is not working so is you want to ‘meet’ any fellow course members you currently have to join the Google+ community.

Also, after enrolling, I was expecting to receive a ‘welcome to the course’ e-mail but it seems that the organisers having worked this into the system. The forum page also looks a bit clunky. If the idea is to build a strong sense of community, then they’re not yet up to speed.

It’s early days yet and as the course does not officially start until March 16th, I’m not going to jump the gun and be hyper-critical. The real acid-test will be in the course content itself so I’ll reserve judgement at least until I’ve sampled this.

One hundred hours study is quite a commitment but the advantage for me is that it links so well with my work teaching ‘blended’ English language courses. I have plenty of opportunity to gauge how the theory ties in with the practice.

The broad course aims are to

  • understand the issues in open education
  • be able to critically appraise the evidence around open education
  • have experienced what it is like to participate in an open course.

In the course introduction is the statement  that “It is through the process of sharing the outputs of these activities through blogs and forums, and reflecting on the experience of other learners that learning occurs for much of this course”. 

In this spirit I hope to be sharing and reflecting more on this blog.