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Markus Deimann (FernUniversität in Hagen) - Assessing the effects of Open Education on Learning, Performance and Bildung: methodological considerations

17 April 2012

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Robert Farrow
18 April 2012

Germany is a bit of a blind spot in the OER landscape, and is not part of the UNESCO community.  However, in Germany there is a tradition of openness going back to the Enlightenment which, it is contended, has a natural affinity with the OER movement.  

OER can catalyze educational practices, but we don't have enough evidence about the impact on learners and we also lack a consistent methodology.  P2Pu and MOOCs are peer-based learning models which are very different to traditional learning; no assessment, no evaluation, no prescribed goals and no curriculum.  Informal learning is hard to detect, capture and demonstrate.  What we need is a way of understanding self-regulated learning.

Existing learning theories can't really explain the transformations that are taking place in educational practice, and tend to be focused on predefined, closed and controlled contexts.

Bildung goes beyond learning, focusing on the whole human being:

  • There is a translation problem with Bildung
  • It's typically self-directed
  • Not the same thing as measurable competencies, but often measurable competencies are used in relation to Bildung
  • Bildung is a politically charged term
  • Prange (2004) put Bildung back on the agenda
  • Humboldt: Bildung is the interaction between the world and the individual
  • Klafkl: Bildung as Self-determination/Solidarity/Co-determination
The internet is the new space for Bildung and culture, offering new manifestations of identity, participation, self-expression and ethical relation (e.g. MUDs, MOOCs).  How can we understand what's happening in these contexts?  Studies will be less controlled, more 'open', and it will be harder to know whether meaningful learning is taking place.  Bildung provides new tools for thinking about and understanding what is happening in open education.

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