Blog Archives

Exploring barriers to participation in open, online learning

The 38th Annual CALRG conference started on 14th June 2017. During the afternoon session OEPS presented ‘Exploring barriers to participation in open, online learning’.  Across the three-years of the project our work with partner organisations has enabled us to develop a deeper understanding of barriers to participation and to consider how the literature on widening participation correlates with that on digital participation, access and literacy.

The presentation shared our learning on these issues including the key barriers to participation identified during our action research:

  • Online platforms that look / feel like a university
  • Vast quantity of information available
  • Perception that online learning means individual learning
  • Past negative experience of online learning
  • Limited digital literacy
  • Distinction formal learning v. everyday self-directed learning

We also explained our participatory design, co-creation process for developing in new open educational resources and presented two case study examples of how we have incorporated these practices and findings into free open courses hosted on OpenLearn Create.  We made suggestions as to why other institutions might find participatory design of open educational resources useful and how the barriers to widening participation in open, online learning might be addressed including through contextualised pedagogy, focusing on learners, using trusted gate keepers / facilitators to engage learners, providing opportunities to share social learning and make connections between existing skills /digital literacy and online learning.

 

The slides for the OEPS presentation can be accessed on Slideshare.

All the presentation slides from the CALRG conference, conference papers and poster presentations are available on the CALRG website.

 

Pic credits:

‘Promise of open education’, by Anna Page, CC BY NC SA 4.0

‘Tackling barriers’, by CALRGatOU