Learning Journal – Open Education – Week 7

Before OpenU – H800 (replaced by H880) I hadn’t heard of open education. I was aware of open source software from being in IT. I work at a large university that considers intellectual property their life’s work. Funny though, when it comes to software they all want/expect everything free of charge 🙂

On starting at OpenU I would have really appreciated the Open Learn ‘Study at Open University’. I had no idea such a resource existed and it is so fantastic! I found studying online after being out of education for 25 years daunting and many times I thought I couldn’t cut it. I had the false assumption that having been on the helpdesk for 15 years I’d just pick it up – absolutely no.

Since then I have tried some open learning, a Moodle MOOC about Moodle by Moodle. I was blown away by how many people were on it over 10,000! from all over the world. I was too busy working full time and studying MAODE to keep up but still really really want to do it! It is free, open-source and I know how useful it would be to contrast it with other VLE/LMS I use at work. When I finish MAODE and look for a job I would be more fully informed and better able to evaluate them.

In my research for one module, I looked at free courses at Stanford because they are so famous. I was curious to see how good the content and materials would be. The options blew me away. All the usual suspects were there but loads of interesting creative ones; my favourite was one on the architecture of Rome. Video lectures created a human connection to the tutor, 3D images and maps of the city were all so engaging. In my opinion, these elements were essential to inspire and engage me enough to give up my free time and perseverance required to continue to self motivate.

I have also wanted to learn some coding to broaden my understanding of how all this works! After polling my clever colleagues Python was the recommendation. I have created a nagging reminder to look at a free one on Python on the MIT website…. but life is busy and it is not easy to fit all the possibilities! I am refurbishing my big garage into an art studio to offer small classes. Then there is the garden 😉

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