Striving Toward Openness: But What Do We Really Mean?

Vivien Rolfe, International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning, Nov 30, 2017
Commentary by Stephen Downes
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We may be working toward openness, but "evidence shows that these ambitions are far from mainstream, and levels of awareness in institutions is often disappointingly low," writes Vivien Rolfe. To get at the reasons why, she strives to "explore the voices often unheard, those of the teachers and professional service staff with whom we are engaging." The formalization of openness as being related to open resoures may serve to lessen the emphasis on open practice. But this is the level that speaks to practitioners. "Those interviewed who were university lectures spoke of openness and how it had enhanced their teaching practice. For them, this related to the widening of pedagogic choice and providing flexibility in lectures and laboratory classes, and not being confined within the digital platforms offered by the institution."

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