Introducing Personal Learning Environments to Informal Learners: Lessons Learned from the OpenLearn Case Study

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Presentation at the PLE Conference 2012 in Aveiro, Portugal.

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  • 1.Introducing PersonalLearning Environments toInformal Learners: LessonsLearned from theOpenLearn Case StudyAlexander Mikroyannidis & Teresa ConnollyKnowledge Media InstituteThe Open University, UK

2. The OpenLearn case study OpenLearn ( is a Moodle-based LMS,consisting of two distinct learning areas: LearningSpace andLabSpace. LearningSpace includes Open Educational Resources (OER)organised in standalone learning units, plus social software anddiscussion forums to enable collaboration and group work. LabSpace has an experimental and developmental nature; userscan submit their own content, as well as remix and reuse theresources available. 3. OpenLearn courses & tools 4. From LMS to PLEThis transition attempts to transform and improve the OpenLearnusers experience by: enabling individuals to build and personalise their learning environment gaining more control over their own learning by becoming self- regulated learners. offering further value to those users by supporting a stronger framework to foster learning communities.Image source: 5. An introductory course to PLEs Introduces the core ROLE concepts and demonstrates a selection of ROLE learning tools. Learning outcomes: Understand how widgets can be used to carry out specific tasks Outline how a Personal Learning Environment can be enabled Build your own Personal Learning Environment 6. An introductory course to SRL Learning outcomes: Understand thefundamental aspects ofSRL Outline a series of SRLexamples Assess your own SRLskills Understand how you canuse the ROLE tools toapply SRL to yourlearning 7. Social search widget: Binocs The Binocs widget allows search for a variety of content formats (e.g. videos, presentations) and content repositories (e.g. YouTube, SlideShare, Wikipedia). Search results are ranked according to users ratings. 8. Bibliography search widget: ObjectSpot The ObjectSpot widget searches through: Bibliographic repositories, such as Google Scholar, CiteULike, DBLP. Repositories of OER (Open Educational Resources), such as OpenLearn, Jorum, iTunes U. 9. Collaborative authoring widget: EtherPad The EtherPad widget enables real-time document collaboration forgroups of users. When multiple authors edit the same EtherPad documentsimultaneously, any changes are instantly reflected on everyonesscreen. 10. Lessons learnedSome emerging best practices that have proven to be successful inROLE:1. Accessible and easy to use tools, e.g. simple format, visibly understandable to new users.2. Multi-format introductory and guidance learning course materials, e.g. can be used face-to-face, at a distance, or in a blended delivery.3. Tools tailored to meet the needs of specific subject audiences, e.g. Designed for Learners studying x, y, z or Educators researching a, b, c.4. Effective evaluation and feedback mechanisms, e.g. so that user experiences can help modify or adapt tools.5. Support for SRL, e.g. through appropriate learning materials and tools like recommenders. 11. Whats next? Continue evaluating the usefulness of PLEs within a variety oflearning contexts and scenarios, both in informal, as well as informal learning. Evaluation of pedagogical models for self-regulated learning andtools for supporting learners in becoming self-regulated. Further investigate the potentialof PLEs in TEL and acquire abetter understanding of theneeds of various communities oflearners and educators. 12. Thank you! The ROLE project http://www.role-project.euThe ROLE courses