1. openED 2.0
Designing for participatory learning
In open educational environments
Start: November 2009
Duration: 33 month
Supported by: LifelongLearningProgramme, European Commission
Prepared by: Andreas Meiszner
1) Develop experimental approaches for participatory learning and
teaching within open educational environments
2) Implement and test those approaches by means of 3 consecutive pilots
to promote continuity, community building and evolutionary growth
3) Develop a sustainability framework and revenue models, to be
implemented and tested alongside the pilots, to assure financial self-
sustainability for such scenarios
4) Analyze the results & benchmark them against initial assumptions
5) Evaluate the project, disseminate outcomes and take the results further
to the wider community
3. What it is about and what it is not about
It is about finding new ways on how to organize collaborative learning,
sharing and knowledge production within a participatory web 2.0 world
using technology for the sake of its usefulness and bringing together the
It is not about designing complex socio-technological systems for the
sake of technology hoping that it would become a killer application to
revolutionize education as we know it
The idea is to start simple, to see what works out and what not, and to
develop it further step by step based on the experiences gathered
4. Workplan, Milestones &
• WP 2 – Organizational framework in place March 2010
• WP 8 – Course Promotion & materials ready April 2010
• WP 3 – Course content in place June 2010
• WP 4 – Course environment in place June 2010
• WP 5 – Introduction training for course team June 2010
• WP 7 – Quality assurance strategy / assessment framework June 2010
• WP 9 – Sustainability framework & revenue models June 2010
• WP 6 – Pilots; 3 overlapping rounds July 2010 – Feb. 2012
• Review of 1st pilot round, evaluation & re-design ???
• Review of 2nd pilot round, evaluation & re-design ???
• Review of 3rd pilot round, evaluation & re-design March 2012
Note: Sustainability framework including revenue models (such as assessment &
certification of free learners against fees) to be in place and piloted during the 3
7. Deliverables, Lead partner & Deadlines
8. Decissions to be taken during Kick-off meeting
9. Agreement must be found on:
What is the precise focus group of the course?
How will the course be organized in detail?
Which tools / environments will be used?
Which contents will be used?
Link with original course or other educational provider?
Sustainability framework – legal clearance needed for ???
Internal collaboration spaces
Virtual project meetings & timing
Date for next meeting: forecast May/June 2010 in Athens, Greece
Objectives & Details
11. WP1 – Project Management (SPI)
Effective management of the project warranting a good and active
communication between all the partners and stakeholders in order to meet the
Establish adequate mechanisms to coordinate tasks, partners and
Collaboration with and consideration of stakeholders’ feedback;
Project coordination from a technical, pedagogical and administrative-
financial point of view;
Coordination during all the phases of negotiation, preparation, analysis,
research, development of products, reports, or local workshops, to guarantee
that all partners will have a clear idea of the tasks needed to be done during
the relevant period of time and the effects that they need to produce;
Controlling and monitoring project’s activities and performance
12. WP2 - openEd organizational framework (SPI)
The framework will build on the structure of the current course in place.
It will identify and outline needs for adjustments and changes to be given as
a free/open course within cross cultural and multilingual settings.
This includes ways of interaction, collaboration or interplay scenarios
between the various stakeholders, between humans and technology, the
integration of open access content sources as well as available free and open
web based tools and spaces, or external and well established online
The framework will be revised and adapted after each pilot round to meet
actual user expectations and draw on the lessons learnt.
13. WP2 - openEd organizational framework (SPI)
This WP builds upon three key resources: the partners’ experience in educational
provision; results of prior pilots, and previous research on such type of novel
The framework will introduce a hybrid approach that builds upon the way learning
and knowledge creation at the participatory web takes place, in particular within
the Open Source communities.
This is to say that on the hand the openEd course environment will be open for
participation of any individual interested at the subject (inviting in), and on the
other hand it will make use of well established online communities and spaces at
which students will engage as part of their project work (sending out).
This combination of ‘inviting in’ and ‘sending out’ is what we like to call a hybrid
One objective of the hybrid approach is to provide the foundation required for an
evolutionary growing learning ecosystem (to establish continuity) where learning
processes and outcomes have the potential to become learning resources for
future students and therefore connecting content to discourse; providing all
stakeholders with a central meeting and collaboration point, yet promoting
engagement within the wider virtual world.
14. WP3 – openEd learning resource framework (The OU)
To provide instructional and learning materials that are freely available and of
good quality. This will include the adaptation of currently used (instructional)
materials and identification of new ones suitable for this course.
To adapt the course H809 to fit with the needs of the academic and
enterprise partners and networks involved in the project.
To localize content where appropriate (including freely available resources, or
15. WP3 – openEd learning resource framework (The OU)
Adapt instructional materials and translate them where appropriate
Identify available content sources and integrate them into the openEd course
environment in a pedagogically sound manner
Develop supportive structures for existing learning resources and user
Adjust and restructure the content at the end of each pilot round so it
corresponds to the organizational structure and development stage of the
openEd environment and collaborative learning activities.
16. WP3 – openEd learning resource framework (The OU)
The web is rich in good quality sources, including open access journals and
open educational resources. The objective is to identify and integrate an initial
set of those sources into the course, which then would be enriched over time
by further sources that learners bring into the course environment as part of
their learning activities. Furthermore, learners’ discourse associated with the
course resources and the outcomes of the learning activities have themselves
the potential to become learning resources for future learners. Another
common characteristic of the web is that language barriers are often
overcome by individuals acting as knowledge brokers taking content across
language domains. The openEd project aims to build on those characteristic
and leverage them to an educational setting.
17. WP4 – openEd technical (support) framework (AUTH)
To provide a comprehensive technical framework that supports a seamless
interplay of the different involved virtual environments: the openEd course
environment and the external learning resource and collaboration spaces.
• The objective is not to develop a comprehensive all including technological
solution, but to carefully consider adjustments of existing ones to facilitate the
learning experience, yet being open to changes and enhancements to allow a
'best of breed'.
Mapping of existing environments and approaches
Set up of course main environment
Identification and implementation of bridge functions to external spaces
Provision of (technical) user support during the three pilot rounds
Review of the technical support framework at the end of each pilot round and
adaptation / modification as identified
18. WP4 – openEd technical (support) framework (AUTH)
Since one of the objectives of the openEd hybrid approach (see WP2) is to
allow a ‘best of breed’ it is not intended to establish a single unified static
course environment, but to optimize and assure an interplay of the course
main space and the external ones involved in order to provide learners with a
certain structure and guidance to support them within their learning process
and to allow them getting familiar with the diversity of the web and to become
capable to use the web autonomously in the future for their personal learning
needs. The web provides a myriad of well established spaces with new ones
emerging each day. The course environment must take this into consideration
and must be open to changes and to take advantage of outside spaces and
communities. The project will make use of a wide range of free and open
available tools and environments, focusing on pedagogical approaches and
the identified principles that proved to work out for learning at the web and in
open source settings in particular (e.g. self-studying,
project/problem/case/inquiry-based learning, collaborative learning, reflective
practice or social learning).
19. WP5 – openEd learner support framework (IBM)
To provide a comprehensive learner support framework for the different type
of learner such as students, practitioner, free learners outside of formal
To develop a virtual support framework (through e.g. forums, chats, VOIP
sessions), including some type of mentoring or tutoring, within the involved
To provide an initial training for learning facilitators
To design and implement a community based support system
20. WP5 – openEd learner support framework (IBM)
Drawing on the case of open source communities one can learn that almost
all projects suffer the one of the two challenges: either too few or too high
participation rates. Most projects probably face too low participation rates.
This is because a project / product does not attract enough volunteering
participants to create a critical mass. Prior experiences with the course H809
such as enrolment numbers, types of students (ranging from undergraduates
to adults), and their diverse geographic origin suggest that demand exists
across countries and professions to attract participants beyond the partners’
own regular learner population. Too high participation rates on the other hand
can’t neither be predicted nor avoided within such an open educational
scenario. In the worst case this might have an impact on the quality of. e.g.
provided support. For example, the first ever global open course (D. Wiley,
2007 – US) had app. 60 participants, meanwhile the second ever global open
course (G. Siemens & S. Downes, 2008 – CA) already counted app. 1.600
participants – this indicates the potential reach and growth open courses
might have and implications on learner support provision.
21. WP6 – openEd course pilots (The OU)
To run 3 consecutive pilot course rounds within the openEd environment
implementing and testing a hybrid approach.
To evaluate the applicability of such approaches to support free/open
learning provision within cross-cultural and multilingual settings. Particular
attention is to be paid to factors such as: the evolution of content and
communities; the speed of innovation; the quality of learning provision and
To build on earlier experiences (e.g. Wiley & Siemens/Downes - see WP5)
and to go one step further towards an open participatory learning ecosystem
that provides the potential for evolutionary growth of learning resources,
communities and learning spaces.
22. WP6 – openEd course pilots (The OU)
Students will be provided with an initial instruction on what is expected from
them and the general time frame to reach these objectives, but will be free to
select a concrete focus area, to establish teams and to draft their own day to
day roadmap and to organize group meetings, chats, etc. Students are further
expected to present their project results at a public virtual space (e.g.
slideshare, scribt) and will be given the chance to explain and defend those
results to a virtual audience (e.g. chats or video-meetings). Besides a focus
on the course subject the openEd pilots aim to: • create a culture of collective
inquiry • encourage learners to take an active role in their own learning
process • embed learning in collaborative activities • support learning using
innovative educational technologies • establish the routine recording of
discussions and decisions • create the expectations that these records
become artifacts that help future students in their learning process • foster a
spirit of continuous improvement and building upon the work of others
Note: the second pilot round coincides with the lecturing time of the original
H809 course. The project therefore will consider and evaluate cross-over
23. WP7 – Quality Assurance (AUTH / The OU)
Given the openness of the pilot course, it is not totally clear - at this point in
time - how and in which directions this course will develop once it is started. It
is therefore of utmost importance that there is a continuous and very close
monitoring of how the project develops. Problems and directions that could
endanger the success of the project must be identified early enough to
counter or compensate them.
To ensure that the project meets its objectives, produces high quality output
and achieves an impact on public and policy, monitoring is defined within this
Workpackage. In collaboration with the leaders of the other WPs, a project
performance assessment will take place at critical milestones, coinciding with
the completion of each pilot round.
Subjects of these evaluations are the requirements specifications, the
framework of learning resources, the technical (support) framework, the
learner support framework, the sustainability framework, the development and
outcome of the 3 pilots, the dissemination and the exploitation of the project.
24. WP7 – Quality Assurance (AUTH / The OU)
Main criteria for the performance assessment are usage and user- feedback,
expert feedback (e.g. from associated networks), identified problems, lessons
learnt, the monitoring of learning community dynamics (e.g. if the community
starts to organise itself, people take on responsibility, and the like),
publications and workshops / conferences where openEd is presented or
mentioned, the adoption of openEd principles through third parties, or the
feasibility to further operate the course after the project period ends.
The pilots will be assessed regarding user feedback, technology use and
community dynamics, including a survey at the end of each pilot round on
participants' feedback on their learning experiences, processes, and
25. WP8 - Dissemination (SPI)
Tasks involved include:
T1: Dissemination Strategy
• Identification of stakeholders
• Identification of events in which partners will participate
• Timetable of events
T2: General Dissemination Tools such as:
• Project Brochure & 'Catalogue of benefits'
• Press releases/newsletters: at different stages in the project,
• Targeted mailings to key stakeholders that can be addressed through the partners
• Publications of results through e.g. journals, conferences, etc.
• On-line promotion:
T3: Project / Course Website
T4: Support actions for piloting
26. WP9 - openEd sustainability framework (SPI)
To develop a sustainability framework that would allow the provision of
free/open courses, such as the one piloted, in a self-sustainable manner -
including underlying revenue and funding models.
To develop a sustainability framework
To implement and test new revenue or funding models
27. WP9 - openEd sustainability framework (SPI)
The openEd approach offers – potentially – a number of benefits such as
(1) providing formally enrolled students with a broader range of educational
artifacts and real life learning and collaboration opportunities, or to gain key
and soft skills ‘on the fly’,
(2) students and free learners outside of formal education equally benefit from
such a rich and inclusive learning opportunity,
(3) the opportunity to develop service based revenue models around such
types of free/open learning provision, or
(4) reduction of in-house training cost for businesses that make use of such
educational provision and the opportunity to identify new employees through
their participation (e.g. students or free learners).
28. WP9 - openEd sustainability framework (SPI)
Based on those scenarios – and analogue to the open source business model
– the project will:
Develop and test a sustainability framework.
Service based revenue models might include for fee assessment and
certification of free learners outside of formal education, tailored sessions for
enterprises against fees, 'in kind' contributions of partnering institutions
benefiting from synergies (e.g. support provision, infrastructure or learning
resources), or sponsoring and partnership models analogue to e.g. Google's
Summer of Code.
Ideally the developed sustainability framework would be in place by the end
of the 3rd pilot round to allow a seamless continuity of learning provision. This
would depend however on the lessons learnt from the 3 pilot rounds and
conclusions drawn from it.
29. WP10 - Exploitation (SPI)
The project will elaborate an exploitation plan that will give clear indications
who will use which of the project's results for which purpose, and how such
free / open courses might be self-sustainable maintained at the project's end.
Exploitation will include, but not be limited to:
(1) targeted mailings to key stakeholders that can be addressed through the
partners existing network for pilots and results addressing the different target
(2) the development and testing of a sustainability framework (see WP9)
(3) collaboration with stakeholders from associated networks, such as OLnet,
the NESSI ETP or European Learning Industry Group to analyze ways to take
the outcomes and results of this project further or to mainstream them.
(4) Publications of results through e.g. journals or conferences and associated
30. Thanks for your attention!