Sunday, March 19, 2017


Openness means in My  Practice

Theoretically, the meaning of "openness" includes four dimensions including the possibility of access by “anyone” with “no cost” from “any place” at “anytime." For example, if recourse is open there is no limit on the number of users, it should be able to access from any place at any time for free.
Some resources can fulfill these four dimensions without any limitations. For example, a course created in Wikiversity. In addition to above for dimensions as users, in Wikiversity resources bring another dimension that open development and therefore anyone can openly contribute to building the content. The following diagram illustrate those dimentions.

But, In practice, we say something is "open" although there are limitations in one or more dimensions. For example, we say MOOC courses are open, but there are limitations of course registration time. 

In my practice, openness brings two main challenges. The first is producing quality materials and the second is managing the copyright issues. If I want to open my teaching materials, I should satisfy with the quality. Although quality is a challenge, it helps to improve the quality of my works. It motivates to produce quality materials. For example, I should have more confidence to share teaching materials openly rather than just presenting in a classroom or sharing in closed systems such as Learning Management Systems(LMS).

But, the second challenge, the copyright issue is more critical[i] . For example, I should verify all the content are complying with copyright laws. The decision making of prevention of copyright issues may be complex in some cases. For example, Copyright Society in Sweden filed a case and won against Wikimedia for publishing photos of Swedish public sculptures and other public artworks without getting permission from the artists[ii]. In general, I use contents from textbooks for my presentations. But, it is not clear about the legal aspect of sharing that kind of materials openly even I used the textbook as a reference. Also, the copyright laws may be different from country to country and may be frequent changes and therefore should have a sound knowledge of the context and latest updates.
Finally, I would say, I am happy to share my resources if I am satisfied with the quality and copyright conditions. 

How to find and use openly licensed resources

The easiest way is to search in the creative common site[iii]. It gives you an option to select sources such as Wikimedia Commons and other open resources. Also, the advanced google search is easy to use.  But, it is tricky to find exactly open resources and sometimes, the result may include non-open resources.

When you find a resource, check the original license and conditions. Then follow the terms of the license accordingly.
Here is a tool to create a reference to Creative Commons resources.

A short descriptive video

Advantages and disadvantages of open and closed technologies

Open technologies are very popular today and getting more popular. When compare with closed technologies open technologies includes the right of reuse, redevelopment, and redistribution without paying the owner.  The concept of open technologies is broad. It may include simple tools such as apps and also complex systems such as LMS. Therefore, it 's hard to discuss pros and cons of open technologies as a whole, but my opinion has illustrated in the following table.
Here, I stated only advantages and disadvantages of open technologies. Advantages of open technologies can consider as disadvantages of closed technologies vice-versa.   For example, free use is an advantage of open technologies and therefore it can consider as a disadvantage of closed technologies.

Open technologies
·      Free use
·      Ability to customize, redesign
·      Re-distributable
·      Affordability issues (one-time fee/timely payment required)
·      Flexibility issues- cannot change
·      lack of documentations and user manuals
·      Lack of dedicated support team
·      Lack of quality
·      More technical knowledge required for installation and maintenance

Implications of different open course and MOOC formats in relation to my learning experience on this course.

In my opinion, ONL171 course has designed as a cMOOC.  xMOOCs follow "constructivist" approach which instructor design the flow and cMOOCs follow "constructivist" approach[iv] which learning goals tend to be defined by the learner. Also, in cMOOC focuses on knowledge construction and creation and puts much emphasis on creation, autonomy, and social network learning[v]. In the main group and especially in the PBL group we define goals, make connections and collaborate with autonomy. Therefore,  I think ONL171 is a cMOOc course.

We conduct two PGL group meetings per topic. Those meetings motivate group members to be active participants. Also, the FISH model helps to plan out group works. We use collaborative tools for our learning. The connectivity part has properly designed to keep members active. For example, I had issues about participation due to a busy schedule during last two weeks, but I survived since group members are connected, and my team members helped a lot for my survival.

[iv] A. Littlejohn, “Understanding massive open online course,” CEMCA EdTech Notes, pp. 1–12, 2013.

[v]  P. Wang, “The latest development and application of massive open online course: From cMOOC to xMOOC,” Modern Distance Education Research, vol. 3, pp. 13-19, 2013


  1. Thank you for a very interesting post! I had not heard of the distinction between cMOOCs and xMOOCs and will definitely research these concepts further. Do these MOOCs always follow a constructivist approach?

  2. Hi Dominique
    It is difficult to say yes or no as a straight answer. But, in general cMOOCS design to construct knowledge through connected activities as the name implies.
    For example, include more activities such as, participants should write and essay after following a seminar. Then peers review essays. Then, there should a followup mechanism and more effort requires. The instructor guide on the side.
    xMOOCS also can design based on constructivist approach but more weight give for instructor led activities. For example, after listening to a seminar, participants should complete an MCQ assessment. Say, "sage on the stage".

    Please check this link

    Thank you

  3. Yes,the concept of c and x-MOOCs are useful when you want to decribe a MOOC but I wonder if c and x can be used as endpoints on a (one dimensional) scale? Not everybody agree, see Conoles categorisation on

  4. Thanks for sharing Ranil. I can relate to the two challenges you raised quality and copyright issues. We all aim to produce quality content that will benefit our learners. To me, my worry sometimes is I'm not sure if the quality that satisfies me meet the standards of others especially when we put it in the open.


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