As we finish EDCI339, it is worth thinking about where we started and where we are now.

We began the course with a very typical closed model of distributed learning using CourseSpaces (Moodle), some articles to read, a blog post, and a quiz. Within a few days, though, we moved the course content and interactions out of CourseSpaces and into WordPress, an open platform where your work is a contribution to the wider open community, rather than a post with a primary audience of one person.

I got you started organizing yourselves into learning pods knowing that in a course this short (only 3 weeks), there is no good way for you to interact with each other if it is a whole group conversation. There is no way to follow the posts of up to 44 other learners and also do the work of making sense of it all for your context. Furthermore, and to pull back the curtain a bit, there is no good way for me to provide meaningful feedback to each one of you. It usually takes 10-12 or so hours of my time to fairly assess 30 blog posts and to provide feedback, and that is in addition to teaching 2 other courses and my day-job work.

I write that not to complain, because I do enjoy teaching this course very much, but to show that it would be impossible for me to keep up with the workload if I were assessing everything on my own.

This is why the learning pods are so important in this course. The learning pods are where you are able to discuss issues among yourselves and bring me in as needed, which many of you did.

I hope this has modelled for you a course structure that, as Tess mentioned in her post

amplif[ies] the perspective and voice of students

If you are going to have a voice, then I need to step back and get out of your way. What I have seen so far in your posts and in your pod project is a group of highly engaged and motivated learners who have done an excellent job of digging into the sometimes confusingly overlapping structures of open and distributed learning. You did it, though, and that is the whole point...YOU did it.

It may have felt a bit isolated in this asynchronous environment, but the course is structured specifically to reduce that through the learning pods and opening up the course to the web, where there is a vibrant and rich community of people at all stages of their journey with open learning. I trust that your learning pods were a microcosm of that community.

For some of you, my feedback on your work has led to you revising and resubmitting, and this has meant that you have been able to engage in the process of learning, and that is very good. Others of you didn't need this opportunity, and that is entirely expected. I'm grateful for all of your work.

Wrapping up

As you finish the requirements of this course (and maybe other courses too), here are some final tips based on questions that have come in in the last few days.

you need to have completed all four individual posts and published them on your own blog under the category edci339.
you need to revise and expand on ONE of those posts for me to assess as part of your portfolio. Expanding on your post might include finding another scholarly, peer-reviewed article or two on the topic from the library, or maybe engaging with the open community on Twitter about the topic, and then revising your post to include a broader perspective. This post should be 500-700 words. If you have already published your final post, you can continue editing it...I will never know.
make sure there is a link to your pod project in the menu of your own site, and that there are links to your individual sites on your pod project site.
For your portfolio, instead of four 50-word reflections on the optional activities, please include a reflection on the TwitterChat (search for #edci339). Details are in my previous post. This reflection can be included in your revised post if you prefer. The rubric that I use for grading is published in the course syllabus, on the last page. For a more visual representation, please see this page.

The official course end date is Tuesday, July 28 (tomorrow). Please make every effort to ensure your work is complete by then (end of day Pacific time), but let me know if you will be prevented from doing so.

Things to do by July 28

Publish Individual Post #4
Read Wiley, D. & Hilton, J. (2018). Defining OER-enabled Pedagogy. International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning, 19(4).
Revise and polish one of your four individual posts for inclusion in your portfolio.
Prepare your portfolio for submission.
To ensure that I can find your portfolio, please create a menu item with the following sub-items:

  • top item should be a blank custom link (enter a # in the URL field) with the label Portfolio.
    • sub-item 1 should be your revised and polished post, including a link to the original post.
    • sub-item 2 should be a link to your pod project.
    • sub-item 3 should be your Final Reflection.

Writing Prompt for Individual Post #4

After completing the activities and readings for Topic 4, please create a new post on your own blog and respond to one or more of the following prompts, based on your exploration of Twitter as a tool for open education:

Whose voices are amplified?
Whose voices are suppressed?
What is being shared (articles, links, conversations...)?
How does an 'open' platform like Twitter help learners and educators? [Twitter is open in that it is free to access on the web. It is most emphatically not open in how it does business.]
How can Twitter harm learners and educators?
How can Twitter be used to increase access to education?
In what ways does Twitter support OER-Enabled Pedagogy?

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