Creating Open Online Courses with Learner Representative Partners to Widen Participation in Higher Education
Open online courses could provide stepping stones for audiences that are under-represented in higher education (HE). However, there are concerns that these instead proliferate forms of exclusion and do not address known difficulties for widening participation. We explore how organisations that represent the perspectives of particular underserved audiences for HE can act as ‘Learner Representative Partners’ to support the creation of appropriate courses and to highlight practices that exclude. Six course development processes where a university worked with different partners are analysed using interviews, documentation of resource use, and data on learner behaviour. The analysis utilises previously identified challenges to widening participation and collaborative course creation. Getting partners to directly engage in authoring the course was particularly beneficial but all partners prompted critical thought and greater understanding of the intended audiences. We suggest principles to support such partnerships effectively. These include adapting to a variable capacity of partners to contribute, to encourage reuse or creation of resources by partners, and to facilitate partners to feel confident in expressing their views.
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Motivations, Achievements, and Challenges of Self-Directed Informal Learners in Open Educational Environments and MOOCs Bonk, Curtis J; Lee, Mimi M (Commonwealth of Learning (COL), 2017-03)This research targeted the learning preferences, goals and motivations, achievements, challenges, and possibilities for life change of self-directed online learners enrolled in a massive open online course (MOOC) related ...
Ostashewski, Nathaniel; Howell, Jennifer; Dron, Jon (Commonwealth of Learning (COL), 2017-07)Since 2012 MOOCs have been heralded as a new way of learning outside of formal university programs of study and there has been much speculation regarding their impact. While MOOCs have provided millions of global learners ...
Newman, Mairette (Commonwealth of Learning (COL), 2019-03)In compiling over 180 cases of successful open and distance non-formal education (ODL NFE) interventions from across the developing world, the late Colin Latchem, author of Open and distance non-formal education in ...
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Wolfenden, Freda; Cross, Simon; Henry, Fiona (Commonwealth of Learning (COL), 2017-07)There is an urgent need to improve elementary and secondary school classroom practices across India and the scale of this challenge is argued to demand new approaches to teacher professional learning. Massive Open Online ...