Resources and technologies
In the development of open courses an array of open source technologies and social media tools has been appropriated and extended to provide open course platforms. Depending on the open course model, these allow learners to register and participate in a course without being enrolled in a specific educational institution. Open courses often support learners’ own preferred tools – such as blogs and microblogs – and harvest their contributions into a common reader within the course, following the personal learning environment (PLE) model. This also means that the course expands with the content generated by learners. Open content licensing (such as Creative Commons licensing) allows for the integration of relevant open educational resources (OER) within courses, and if licensed accordingly, the open course itself may become an OER for future reuse, remixing, reworking and redistribution.
Given the profusion of open tools and open content, open courses depend increasingly on learning design strategies to deal with abundant content, resources and tools. Curation, the focus of Task 1, is the process of discovering, evaluating, organising, adding informed commentary and redistributing a collection of resources for learning. In terms of open course design, curation is also essential for the evaluation and selection of tools to support learning. In this micro course, the toolset includes the WikiEducator platform and our Wiggio group site. This choice resulted from the evaluation of multiple tools and hosting options, and our commitment to the free, open principles of the OER Foundation which provides WikiEducator. A further important factor in our evaluation of resources and tools was adherence to accessibility guidelines and support for mobile devices. In addition to the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) guidelines, we drew on the Lighthouse accessibility resources which include detailed text legibility and colour contrast guidance.
- Survey the open technology landscape, identifying key open educational resource (OER) repositories and tools
- Distinguish open licences to guide the reuse, reworking, remixing and redistribution of OER.