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Open learning: concepts, practices, and opportunities

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Open learning is changing the way that people can access education and opportunities to train, whether for professional development or personal interest. Open learning opportunities are characterized by courses and resources available for free and virtual. They are intended to minimize many of the traditional barriers of studying and learning. 

What does open learning mean?

Since the 1970s, open learning emerges along with the open education movement. Open Education has proposed to question and eliminate what s requirements potentially exclusive in the formal school system, for example, entrance examinations, registration fees and other criteria rest rictivos . The opportunity to study as a fundamental right for all people is considered, regardless of their age, gender, income level, experience level, geographic location, or any other factor.  

Open learning emphasizes this same philosophy, taking another step with emphasis on opening the same learning process, the acquisition of knowledge and skills, without depending on being in person in a traditional classroom or program of study.  In recent years, open learning has been importantly related to massive online courses ( MOOCs ). However, there are many modalities and learning resources that can fall into this category. P ou can include academic and scientific research studies published in accordance with the  ACC that open, and other platforms serving to provide quality information and good practices in a massive, open and freeway through the web. In this way, people can study at their own pace asynchronously, allowing each one to choose when they interact with the course, with the flexibility of times in balance with work, family care, or other obligations. 

Accessible, flexible and agile training options

Today, open learning is not only valuable as an alternative to more traditional training opportunities. In the context of the fourth industrial revolution, continuous learning is almost imperative. Professionals from all areas are looking for ways to constantly update their skills, at the pace of technological changes. In fact, the entire education industry is transforming itself towards more flexible and accessible models, seeing the advantages of making its content available to a larger and more heterogeneous audience, also serving a growing demand for more agile options. 

Good practices in open learning

It is important that open learning products are designed with good quality, to facilitate a good and effective experience for your user that strengthens the acquisition of new information and skills. Open learning options allow each trainee to create different learning paths, according to their interests and needs, that have access to a multicultural and more egalitarian environment than in face-to-face courses, since in the virtual environment it is easier to maintain anonymity and therefore biases and discrimination are minimized. The content can be presented in an accessible and fun, encouraging and motivating the process of apre n disease in front of a diverse audience.  

Before developing a knowledge product, it is essential to perform a needs analysis that allows identifying what the objectives are and then the most appropriate solution. This will allow knowing if it is more appropriate to develop a MOOC or other open-access initiative. The answer may even belong to another field of action, such as the development of a communication campaign to raise awareness about a particular topic. 

In this way, it is very important to know the audience. While by definition open learning is freely accessible for everyone, you should think about what the target audience, and how to impart knowledge to satisfy your needs. In addition, it is important to keep in mind that despite having a productive aimed at the masses,  learning is individual  from the point of view of the audience.  

Another important variable to consider is the adaptation of content to make them accessible, since open learning must also be inclusive of people with different abilities.

The future of open learning

Among the new trends, there is a paradigm shift from moving from one-way learning to a more constructivist approach where students generate their own knowledge. For this, interaction and knowledge sharing are two important pillars. 

In that sense, one of the challenges is to create a balance between personalizing the learning experience and creating a sense of community that facilitates collaboration among participants.  

On the other hand, gamification is also presented as an innovative tool to encourage people to achieve better learning outcomes.  

Similarly, learning pills are increasingly gaining ground as one of the most attractive formats among e-learning offers. Through attractive, short and precise content, they transmit knowledge encapsulated in independent units. Within this world of “microlearning” or microlearning, MOOCs evolve into MOOCs “Nano Massive and Online Open Courses.” These seek for students to develop a competition based on the knowledge provided in a few hours of content. 

 

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