Friday, 10 May 2013

Open Learning Experience: H817

I thought it was going to be like a house party and it was!

Activity 25: Reflecting on openness

In March,  I published a post about my expectations concerning the open section of the H817 module. I compared it to a house party where different groups assemble and reassemble in various parts of a house: free to talk about what interests them and to come and go as they please. It's all very seamless, relaxed and without apparent effort.

Despite having had years of experience with distance learning and working with digital tools in  formal learning environments, I also needed a week to two before I felt comfortable with this form of open learning. It wasn't so much the numerous communications channels that disturbed me,  but the fact that I couldn't decide where I wanted to be and with whom I wanted to communicate. So I took a moment to step back and reflect on the whole situation. Then I jumped right back into the house party loaded with energy and motivation. 

What have I learnt from this experience?

Being selective is the key. Follow paths that are of interest, communicate with diverse groups and don't let yourself drown in the sea of information. Let it lap at your toes, walk in knee deep or swim in it, but  make sure you're in control. It's about making conscious decisions and remaining focussed. I found that the content acted as a catalyst for discussions which often branched off into other directions and this is where it became interesting. 
        It's certainly not a form of education that will suit everyone, but that's not the intention of the developers of such courses. I'm in favour of alternative educational methods. If we don't experiment we won't have models to learn from and improve on.

This type of learning suits me and I'll definitely take part in other courses that are designed in the same manner when I have time. It's been an exceptional learning experience. I've created a short video here to illustrate visually how I experienced this course overall. 

Source You Tube: H817 Open Learn (Patricia Daniels 2013)
Music courtesy of Tim Terry: Party

Tools used in the creation process:
- iMovie
- iPhoto
- Realtime Board
- Quicktime Player

Party- courtesy of Tim Terry
iLife sound effects
iMovie sound effects

Second Life


  1. Great video! Some excellent editing skills there. I laughed out loud when it went all funky. I'm glad you thought it was worth the plunge - sometimes education is about doing something uncomfortable.

  2. LOL. Thanks Martin and Nuala. I think a few of us went in with sweaty hands and pumping hearts and came out the other end feeling completely chilled :-) It's taken a few days to get back into more structured learning. Was an excellent learning experience. Thank you

  3. How talented you are, Patricia. I loved that you used SL and that you tell us how you did in the post like DS106 folk! I have also found it hard to get back into structured learning, I keep wanting to 'get out' and join DS106. I want to create stuff like your video all day every much to learn. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Thanks Mariana, Yes that would be a perfect world being able to let our creativity run free every day. You might be interested in watching this Ted Talk from Sir Ken Robinson about the education system and its influence on creativity.

  5. Excellent! Took a break from studying and enjoyed

    1. Thank you Cecilia. Taking breaks is so important. Even if it means just looking out the window for a few minutes. Good luck with the study.

  6. Thank you for such a well done and entertaining piece

  7. Thank you Deborah, I thoroughly enjoyed making this.