What will Open Education look like in ten years time?

I’d be interested to hear your thoughts on this question.

What do we need to do to enable that vision?


I hope one aspect of “open” that will develop is an increased ability for students to study in ways that work for them. Currently there can at times be a tendency for educators to take the approach that “this ought to be studied online” (even though practically that may not work for some students), or “this is best presented in a video” (some won’t take it in best that way).

This can also apply to where we put the emphasis when delivering content. We discussed in a previous thread generalisations about adult learners. I’ve also seen generalisations based on gender and other characteristics in the past, and broader ones such as “students like practical applications more than theory”. None of these are universally true, and just making it personal for a minute, as a learner I don’t conform with the typical generalisations about adults, about women or indeed many of the ones on student preferences… If we can move away from a “one size fits all” approach, that would increase our openness.

Another aspect of open I’d like to see in ten years’ time is a more flexible approach to adult learners taking up appropriate areas of learning from different levels - which will be school-level (though not school-based) learning in some cases.

An aspect of openness often discussed is portability of credit. I think there is a tension there - to make credit totally portable you have to massively reduce institutional autonomy on curriculum. My personal take is that we would lose a lot if we did that.

Forms of assessment are often considered quite a big deal for openness too. But we don’t often think (in my experience) about the scheduling. Should we have a system where the learner paces themselves and can take the assessment when they are ready? Or if that degree of flexibility is infeasible, something that at least allows more than just one pace?

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India"s success with school education makes the number of aspirants for tertiary education too large for conventional institutions. The new education policy ( draft) of India therefore suggests that every University will be a dual mode University. Given the scale of operation, in the Indian context, within the next 10 years:
use of ODL will increase massively:
Dual mode may make mobility between conventional and distance mode, and credit transfer realities;
whether adequate training for distance education will be provided to teachers of all universities is to be seen.

So an issue of training in distance education is a priority? For all in HE? or do you see it being more for particular ‘champions’ of open learning and distance learning?

Thanks Cath; I’d be interested in people’s thoughts on pacing and flexibility of assessment. In an earlier discussion there was mention of recognition and transferability of assessment and credit.

This blog post might be of interest to contributors to this forum:

I also like to see it and i am currently working on about the possibilities of technology enhanced learning methodologies to cater the needs of working adults.

Thank you for this link Cath.

Hallo Cathy,
From the way I have seen the information is spreading on topic at hand, am seeing a situation where old people will take a center stage in wanting to learn through open initiative.
Having just attended the workshop and the launch in my country on the 24th June, 2019, I have noticed that teachers and government through the Directorate of distance education, which is also incharge of open education have the passion.
Right now am conducting training on the use APTUS and thereafter in the afternoon the ICT will be will be again introducing the same APTUS to the senior education officers at provincial level.
All what is just needed is to support one another.

Open Distance eLearning (ODeL) should provide learners with diverse and flexible learning opportunities, such as:

  1. Competency-based education

  2. Employable personalized learning pathways / multi-institutional pathways with lifelong learning opportunities for reskilling the workforce

  3. Open micro-credentials

  4. Open Learning Passport

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Welcome Indira and thank you for a helpful schematic. Which of these areas in the schematic do you think will develop most in the next ten years?

@c.halliwell, all areas are achievable in 10 years, provided leadership (both political and academic) has a vision and adopt a mission-driven approach towards reforming and transforming education.

Let me start with Indian scenario.

  • In India, UGC and AICTE have issued the Credit Framework for Online Learning Courses through SWAYAM Regulations, 2016 advising the Universities to identify courses where credits can be transferred on to the academic record of the students for courses done on SWAYAM. Wishing for a similar policy from the Distance Education Bureau so that the ODL institutions recognize students’ micro-credentials earned from MOOCs offered by multiple institutions on SWAYAM / edX / Coursera / FutureLearn etc.

  • By making better use of technology, ODL institutions can adopt Competency-based Education and recognise prior learning and skills, rather than making learners wait for the semester-end / term-end examinations.

  • Aggregating big and multimodal data from different sources enables institutions provide personalized and flexible / multi-institutional pathways.

But, institutional readiness and preparedness are vital to embark on such initiatives. Institutions should ensure that all the stakeholders have a shared understanding and the competencies required to plan, implement, monitor and evaluate and scale-up such ambitious initiatives.​

Great! I hope there will be an opportunity to discuss about those during the conference. See you there. :slightly_smiling_face:

Thanks everyone for your contributions here. I look forward to continuing these discussions at PCF in Edinburgh.

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Great! Do we have separate time slot to discuss about these during the conference?