Open Learning Cultures have always fascinated me. And the question how to develp quality is my last year’s favorite when sitting together with colleagues and debating eductaion. Todayis a particular good day in that regards – because I have my new book in my hands – exacly on this topic. It is a full compilation, summary, analysis and inspiration of rsearch prioects on openess, social media in higher education and e-learning from the past 6 years.
Here is what it is about: Today we are seeing a new form of blended learning: not only is technology enhancing the learning environment but formal and informal learning are combining and there is self- and peer-assessment of results. Open learning cultures are challenging the old and long-practiced methods used by educators and transforming learning into a more student-driven and independent activity , which uses online tools such as blogs, wikis or podcasts to connect resources, students and teachers in a novel way.
While in higher education institutions most assessments are still tied to formal learning scenarios, teachers are more and more bound to recognize their students’ informal learning processes and networks. This book will help teachers, lecturers and students to better understand how open learning landscapes work, how to define quality and create assessments in such environments, and how to apply these new measures.
To this end, the book first elaborates the technological background for more collaborative, distributed, informal, and self-guided learning. He covers the rise of social media for learning and shows how an architecture of participation can change learning activities. These new paradigms are then applied to learning and education to outline what open learning landscapes look like. Here he highlights the shift from knowledge transfer to competence development, the increase in lifelong learning, and the importance of informal learning, user generated content, and open educational resources. He then shows how to manage quality by presenting a step by step guide to developing customized quality concepts for open learning landscapes. Finally, several methods dealing with assessment in these new environments are presented, including guidelines, templates and use cases to exemplify the approaches.
Overall, I argue for assessment as an integral part of learning processes, with quality assurance as a method of stimulating a quality culture and continuous quality development rather than as a simple controlling exercise.