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Self-directed learning and guidance in non-formal open courses
Ponti, Marisa

PublishedApril 2014
JournalLearning, Media and Technology
Volume 39, Issue 2, Pages 154 - 168

Digital media and open educational resources (OER) are said to redraw the boundaries between learners and teachers, by weakening the centralization of expertise and the distribution of subject-matter authority. This paper presents the findings of an ethnographic study of how the use of OER mediates the relations between self-directed learners and facilitators in two online open courses offered at a non-formal educational organization. Findings highlight the different role played by OER in mediating the relations between learners and facilitators in the two courses. In one course, early-stage learners encountered difficulties in repurposing OER and needed help to move to a more advanced stage of conceptual understanding. In the other course, well-read participants used OER to develop an affinity space in which the facilitator was a fellow learner. The findings suggest that OER are better viewed as artifacts-in-interaction rather than resources to be delivered as they are to learners. Although facilitators at P2PU do not play the role of academic teachers, it is argued that the influence of OER on the facilitator role can have implications for that of the academic teachers as well.

Keywords facilitator · non-formal education · open education · Open Educational Resources · self-directed learning

RightsCopyright © 2016 Informa UK Limited
Other informationLearning, Media and Technology
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