Toward Open and Liberal Learning?

Reading “Fifty Shades of Open” by Jeffrey Pomerantz and Robin Peek in First Monday http://firstmonday.org/article/view/6360/5460 one considers the parallel between the growth of fan fiction and the growth of *open* across the array of meanings the word carries.  It is a tempting if baffling parallel.  Wondering how to grasp a meaning of *open,* I thought of questions for Open Learning ’17.  What do the principles and practices of open learning share with liberal education and undergraduate general education—teaching, learning, and assessment in practice right now?  What utility in bringing together liberal education practitioners with open learning practitioners?  The Faculty Collaboratives project at AAC&U http://www.aacu.org/faculty has been supporting and nurturing communities of practice among educators for liberal and general education.  Why?  We want to offer the best possible college education to all students, no matter their program or type of institution they attend.  There is a focused and principled goal for the project.  We’re building networks and infrastructure for educators across states and state systems so that they can in turn do their best work in meeting and reaching all students.  We want to emphasize the learning and success of the large numbers of undergraduate students who have the most to benefit from higher education.  Students who have not been served well by public education are first in my mind and in the minds of many colleagues. Equity in student success is a great goal. That is the story I offered Gardner Campbell in the interview at http://www.gardnercampbell.net/blog1/?p=2638. I hope students will benefit if we do a better job of collaborating as educators across communities within and among states and state systems. As I see it, the experiment of Open Learning ‘17 will give us a chance to answer the questions above.  I confess I want to find stronger ties than I am seeing right now.  It is true that information literacy is one of the outcomes of the Liberal Education and America’s Promise or LEAP initiative http://www.aacu.org/leap.  Will we find richer points of convergence?

 

2 Replies to “Toward Open and Liberal Learning?”

  1. “What do the principles and practices of open learning share with liberal education and undergraduate general education—teaching, learning, and assessment in practice right now? What utility in bringing together liberal education practitioners with open learning practitioners?”

    Susan, you raise really profound questions here, questions we won’t be able to fully answer for some months, but here’s one thing to think about from an earlier post by Laura Goglia (@googleguacamole):

    “Connected learning emphasizes the power of making connections across contexts, disciplines, people, and time. By encouraging students to connect academic work to personal hobbies, passion projects, after school jobs, and community living, educators imply that those activities have educational value when framed and considered through a pedagogical lens. Although digital environments are not required for connected learning, they tend to enhance the magic, opening up an entire world of multimodal creativity, collaborative opportunities, and performance and sharing. Digital or analogue, connected learning helps students develop holistic learning lives: leveraging personal interests, contexts, and goals to create a personalized approach to learning that is relevant, impassioned, and meaningful to them.”

    1. It’s easy to identify liberal education outcomes in Laura Goglia’s @googleguacamole post:
      creativity, collaboration, application of learning through performance. The learning sounds integrative, bringing personal interest into the activities of applied and active learning. It appears that the connected part of it is both personal or individual and social.

      In other words, it’s easy to map this language onto the LEAP Essential Learning Outcomes. http://www.aacu.org/leap/essential-learning-outcomes

      That’s a good start.

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