Read the FutuOER Publications


What is the future of Open Education? Commissioned as a starting point for a conversation at the Open Education conference in 2016, these broadly solicited papers explore possible visions of open education in 2036.

The “open education” conversation of the last few years has been consumed with the hype of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) and the use of Open Textbooks and Open Educational Resources (OERs) as the savior for spiraling college costs. However, these discussions obscure an underlying opportunity for Open Education-one that is not driven by a vendor’s interests nor governed by the constraints of higher education’s traditional models–to focus on demonstrated learning and mastery for the betterment of oneself whether in formal or informal settings.

Combining longstanding approaches from instructional design, psychology and learning science with new affordances provided by advances in technology and data science afford us an opportunity to build the better mousetrap when combined with the core philosophy of the “open education movement.” Recent conversations have focused around OER 2.0, but these are mired in the world of today-politics, limitations and hype-to really consider what a truly innovative and game changing innovation might be possible with Open Education. This panel discussion will explore what we believe is truly possible with the understanding, tools and resources at our disposal.

One of the strongest benefits of the “open” of today (whether they be traditional OER, MOOCs, Open Textbooks or anything open) is the scale at which educators, administrators and policy makers at a wide range of institutions are really beginning to pay attention to “Instructional Design 101” in the way they design and construct learning experiences. (Yes, they should have been doing this all along!) Whether they are driven by cost considerations, or the hype of MOOCs many faculty are looking at their courses with fresh eyes. In examining their instructional practice, more and more faculty find the need to rethink the way they’ve been teaching. This is an incredible opportunity to use open-educational resources, practice, pedagogy, data and more-to build a true next generation learning experience. What if we dare to dream? What does education look like in 20 years if we can side-step existing constraints, use a true open approach and leverage new scientific and pedagogical advances?

At the core of the matter are the following questions: What have we learned or do we know about how “open” can amplify effective learning experiences? And how do we realize these things in next generation of Open Education?

We begin with what we know includes things such as: competencies; learning outcomes; analytics; the power of scale; interactive, feedback loops; limitless formative assessment included in or linked to content; generative learning; linking digital with hands-on/physical; and so on. And continue with what’s possible with creative integration and innovative approaches to open education.