A core goal in open education is to widen educational opportunities to include learners who might not otherwise be able to participate in higher education due to cost and social constraints. There is also recognition that open education creates informal learning opportunities for those with specific interests and needs. As a result, there remains great divergence in learners’ technology access, knowledge, skills and usage patterns. Open educational practices (OEP) often place emphasis on participation and sharing between distributed learners from diverse backgrounds, using Web 2.0 technologies. Participation in online, open education is therefore contingent on a range of digital literacies, support for which should be integral to curriculum design. ‘Open pedagogies’ are also emerging which recognise and develop learners’ digital literacies, foster peer learning opportunities, and which position learners as co-creators of their learning environment.
- Discuss the ways and extent to which learners are socially networked
- Identify digital literacies required for, and developed by, formal and informal open learning
- Explore open pedagogies and their implications for learning.