We need a place to share visions, practices and perspectives on the way education is changing. This is the meaning of the Open Education Studio: a space to spread out innovation in education.
The Open Education Studio will be driven by your thoughts and experiences. The Studio is an open place where teachers, educators, practitioners, entrepreneurs, publishers, industry or policymakers will “speak freely and candidly” and tell the truth about their practices, ideas and desires, frustrations, expectations, and so on .
To kickstart the conversation, we’re launching the Open Education Studio with four provocative articles.
In “Peace education in a digital era” Ronit Kampf explores the use of games to promote peace education and responsible citizenship. Gameification seems to be the new “learning styles” - a silver bullet to solve all issues of motivation and engagement. But will it end in the same way as learning styles - a fad refuted by science? Or are there principles which can guie us to make games effective sites of learning, and scenarios where they are more appropriate?
In “MOOC credentialisation” Gabi Witthaus et al present the main findings from the OpenCred study of the Institute for Prospective Technological Studies. MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) have moved from the fringes of higher education to the centre of the stage, and are changing the face of formal and informal education. Yet, one sticky issue remains unclear: how will learners connect their MOOC participation to their formal learning and professional development? How will they gain recognition for their efforts and achievements? In short, how important is accreditation of MOOCs for learners, educational institutions and employers, and what are the mechanisms to support it?
In “How teachers can contribute to innovation in the classroom” Ferry Boschman et al turns the spotlight on teachers as innovators. Educational design is the foundation of effective innovation, teachers are the primary agents of innovation. The logical conclusion is that we need to see teachers as educational designers, and build their capacity as such. This may sound obvious, but it actually calls for a major shift of mindset - on the part of the teachers themselves as well as the system in which they work. This paper shines a light on teachers’ design thinking and practices, through careful observation of their engagement in collaborative design tasks.
Finally, in “Do we really know how to design a MOOC for professional learning?” Allison Littlejohn and Colin Milligan connect the themes of the two previous papers, and offer some insights into the design of effective MOOCs. Despite the growing popularity of MOOCs, most of them are based on a conservative, linear, transmissional pedagogy. This is despite decades of evidence to the increased effectiveness of active, collaborative, adaptive and connected pedagogies. The problem is that even those who are aware of the theories of learning - find it hard to apply them in practice. In response, Littlejohn and Milligan bring the theory down to earth, and provide practical tools for designing effective MOOCs.
Where do we go from here? That’s up to you! Engage with the papers, respond to them, challenge them, connect them to your experiences and insights. We promise to acknowledge your comments, and so have the authors. Tell us what you like, and what you don’t. Tell us (in the comments on this article) where you would like us to take you - which topics interest you, what formats of conversation. Share your wildest dreams with us!
We would like to take this opportunity to invite you to join our initiative, and contribute an article to launch a specific conversation on the Studio. We will publish three types of contributions: original papers in thematic issues, reviews on key topics - responding to key publications, and adaptations of pre-published papers highlighting issues and implications for practitioners. The first type will be peer-reviewed and we urge you to join our mailing list to receive the calls for papers, the other two will be reviewed by our editorial team. For these we welcome your submissions today! Please email your contributions to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Your article could be an abridged version of an existing article or an original contribution. It shouldn’t exceed 2500 words and must respond to a precise challenge for the practitioners. All papers, unless specifically requested otherwise, will be published under a CC-BY-NC-ND licence.