2. Hans Põldoja
Head of Studies, Associate Professor of Educational Technology
Tallinn University, School of Digital Technologies
Aalto University, School of Arts, Design and Architecture (2016)
Tallinn Pedagogical University (2003)
10. Open education movement
• 2001 — Creative Commons
• 2002 — UNESCO adopts the term Open Educational Resources
• 2008 — Cape Town Open Education Declaration
• 2012 — 1st World OER Congress and Paris OER Declaration
• 2017 — 2nd World OER Congress and Ljubljana OER Action Plan
• 2019 — UNESCO Recommendation on OER
12. Wider perspective on open education
• Open educational resources
• Open online courses (MOOCs, etc)
• Open learning environments
• Open pedagogy: personal approaches to learning and assessment
• Open data and learning analytics
• Thinking outside the institution
13. Three examples from Tallinn University
• Open learning environments
• Learning contracts and Open Badges for personalized
learning and assessment
• Open study information system
17. Course format
• Course blog + learner blogs
• Additional Web 2.0 and social media tools (Twitter, SlideShare,
• Open enrollment
• Open educational resources
• Assignments through blog posts
• Feedback and discussion in comments
ts of using blogs
• Supporting learners to develop and express their ideas
• Supporting collaboration and group work
• Getting feedback from others
• Enriching the learning environment
• Promoting new educational practices
• Motivating learners
(Goktas & Demirel, 2012)
19. From disposable assignments to renewable assignments
educational resources that provide a lasting benefit to the broader community of learners.
We might consider a continuum of criteria that distinguish disposable assignments from renewable
assignments, as indicated in Table 1.
Criteria Distinguishing Different Kinds of Assignments
The artifact has value beyond
supporting its creator’s
The artifact is
The artifact is
X X X
X X X X
Thus, in determining whether a particular approach should be labeled OER-enabled pedagogy, it matters
whether openly licensed resources are a vital part of the practice. We propose the following four-part test
(Wiley & Hilton, 2018)
20. Challenges in blog-based courses
• Coordinating and following the course activities
• Creating and sustaining the learning community
• Designing content and activities
• Feedback and assessment
(Väljataga et al., 2011)
ljataga, T., P
ldoja, H., Laanpere, M. (2011).
Open Online Courses: Responding to Design
Challenges. In H. Ruokamo, M. Eriksson, L. Pekkala,
& H. Vuoj
rvi (Eds.), Proceedings of the 4th
International Network-Based Education 2011
Conference The Social Media in the Middle of
Nowhere (pp. 68-75). Rovaniemi: University of
Proceedings of the NBE 2011
Open Online Courses: Responding to Design Challenges
Centre for Educational Technology
Narva road 25, 10120 Tallinn, Estonia
Tel: +372 6409 355, Fax: +372 6409 355
Open education and open educational resources movement as a recent trend in higher education focuses on providing free access to a
wide range of educational resources and online courses. However, such a narrow approach fails to acknowledge the transformative and
innovative opportunities openness can offer in higher education. The authors of the paper take a wider perspective to the concept of
openness in formal higher education. In addition to open technology, content and knowledge sharing openness in course design is an
important dimension to consider. Although open online course design solves many educational problems and challenges, at the same
time it also creates new ones. This paper discusses about the re-occurring course design challenges that facilitators face while designing
and running open courses. Through a multiple case study a variety of design responses to the design challenges is analyzed and
Keywords: open online course model, open educational resources, pedagogical design, multiple
The concept of openness has multiple interpretations and dimensions in the context of higher education. Among
others, it has been used by proponents of open classroom approach in 1970-ties and by distance education
enthusiasts while establishing open universities”. The purpose was to solve a number of educational problems
and challenges, for instance, to improve access to existing study programmes and attract more (or better)
students following Huijser, Bedford, and Bull’s (2008) claim that everyone has the right to education. In
general, openness in education is attributed to a barrier-free access to education in terms of time, affordability
and admission requirements being freely available through the Internet.
A recent trend is the open educational resources (OER) movement (Atkins, Brown & Hammond, 2007), which
provides free access to a wide range of educational resources and online courses. OER and its importance has
been widely documented and demonstrated (Downes, 2007). The key tenet of open education is that “education
can be improved by making educational assets visible and accessible and by harnessing the collective wisdom
of a community of practice and reflection” (p. 2) (Iiyoshi & Kumar, 2008).
The notion of openness in education is clearly triggered by the opportunities technological development offers.
In addition to growing access to Internet, the latest evolution of digital technology and Web has fostered a new
culture of creating and sharing open content in online communities. It has been possible due to the blurred line
between producers and consumers of content allowing shifted attention from access to information toward
access to other people (Iiyoshi & Kumar, 2008). In the light of ongoing technological development, there are
educators who are exploring ways to expand the notion of openness in education beyond public sharing of
educational content. Iiyoshi & Kumar (2008) point out that with the concept of openness we might tend to grow
our collections of educational tools and resources and miss the transformative and innovative opportunities
“openness” can offer. One of the emerging practices in this direction is the open online course model.
ldoja, H., Duval, E., & Leinonen, T. (2016). Design
and evaluation of an online tool for open learning
with blogs. Australasian Journal of Educational
Technology, 32(2), 64–81. http://dx.doi.org/
Australasian Journal of Educational Technology, 2016, 32(2).
Design and evaluation of an online tool for open learning
Tallinn University, Estonia
Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium
Aalto University, Finland
Blogs are used in higher education to support face-to-face courses, to organise online
courses, and to open up courses for a wider group of participants. However the open and
distributed nature of blogs creates problems that are not common in other learning contexts.
Four key challenges related to the use of blogs in learning were identified from earlier
research: fragmented discussions, a lack of coordination structures, weak support for
awareness, and a danger of over-scripting. The EduFeedr system has been designed to
address these issues. In this paper, the authors present their evaluation of its design and
effectiveness in a total of 10 courses. The results indicate that learners find the EduFeedr
system useful in following discussions and in comparing their progress with other learners.
The coordination and awareness issues are seen as more important than the fragmentation
of discussions and a danger of over-scripting.
Blogs are used in higher education to provide a space for reflection, a forum for discussions, a portfolio of
completed assignments, and for opening up courses for a wider group of participants. While some recent
research has focused on the pedagogical aspects of using blogs in higher education, Sim and Hew (2010)
suggest that one focus of future research should be the development of web technologies that will
enhance the conversational and interactive aspects of blogging. Our study focuses on designing and
evaluating an online tool that aims to address some of the issues that impede the use of blogs in online
and blended learning courses.
A blog is a website where the content is comprised of posts that are displayed in reverse chronological
order. A typical blog is a personal website that is written by a single person; however it is also possible to
have several authors. Readers can become engaged by writing comments on blog posts. Syndication
technologies such as really simple syndication (RSS) and Atom enable readers to receive new posts and
comments automatically. All blogs and their interconnections are often referred to as the blogosphere.
The blogosphere can be seen both as a social network and as an ecosystem.
The possibilities for using blogs in learning became evident soon after blogs emerged (Oravec, 2003;
Williams & Jacobs, 2004). Sim and Hew (2010) identified six major applications for blogs in education:
(a) maintaining a learning journal, (b) recording personal life, (c) expressing emotions, (d)
communicating with others, (e) assessment, and (f) managing tasks.
Kim (2008) suggests that the use of blogs may help to overcome various limitations of other computer-
mediated communication systems, such as difficulties in managing communication, passiveness of
students, lack of ownership, instructor-centeredness, and limited archives of communication. Previous
studies show that reading other blogs and receiving feedback on one’s own blog posts were the more
effective aspects of using blogs in learning (Churchill, 2009; Ellison & Wu, 2008). Blogs are useful in
disciplines that require students to discuss, write, reflect, and make comments about content or ideas
(Cakir, 2013). Blogging has been found particularly beneficial in teacher education because it can
motivate learners, foster collaboration and cooperation, promote different instructional practices, and
enrich the learning environment (Goktas & Demirel, 2012). Teachers who acquire these competences
during the blogging assignments can later apply these methods in their own teaching.
26. Learning contract template
• Topic: What is the topic I wish to learn about?
• Purpose: What is the purpose of my task? Why do I wish to learn about or learn to do a
• Resources: What kind of technological, material and human resources do I need? How can I
get access to these?
• Strategy: How do I intend to go about learning this particular topic/task? What action may be
involved and in what order will these be carried out?
• Outcome evaluation: How will I know when I have completed the task/topic successfully?
How shall I judge success?
ection: How well did I do? What has worked? What has not worked? Why? What remains
to be learnt? What are my strengths and what are my weaknesses? What shall I do next?
• Making the data about the organization of studies available
for teaching stuff, students and other interested parties
• Improving the organization of studies and supervision through
the availability of data
• Improving the decision making processes and involving a
larger group of stakeholders through the availability of data
• Class Hack. (n.d.). Open Badge Anatomy (Updated). http://classhack.com/post/
• Goktas, Y., & Demirel, T. (2012). Blog-enhanced ICT courses: Examining their effects
on prospective teachers’ ICT competencies and perceptions. Computers &
Education, 58(3), 908–917. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.compedu.2011.11.004
• Plourde, M. (2013). MOOC (massive open online course). https://et.wikipedia.org/
• Wiley, D., & Hilton, J. L. (2018). De
ning OER-Enabled Pedagogy. The International
Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning, 19(4), 133–147. https://
• “My Instagram network, visualised” by Andy Lamb is licensed under CC BY
• “badge collection” by tommydgnr8 is licensed under CC BY 2.0
50. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0
International License. To view a copy of this license, visit
School of Digital Technologies