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ERIC Number: EJ840797
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008
Pages: 10
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 19
ISSN: ISSN-1365-893X
Finding Your Way into an Open Online Learning Community
van der Baaren, John; Schuwer, Robert; Kirschner, Paul; Hendriks, Maaike
Journal of Interactive Media in Education, 2008
Making educational materials freely available on the web can be seen as a noble enterprise in itself but as a way to address the call for people to become lifelong learners. The world is rapidly changing, requiring us to continuously update our knowledge and skills. A problem with this approach to lifelong learning is that the free materials that are made available are often both incomplete and unsuitable for independent learning in an online setting. The OpenER (Open Educational Resources) project at the Open Universiteit Nederland makes more than 20 short courses, originally developed for independent-study, freely available from the website For our research we start from an envisioned online learning environment now under development. We then apply backcasting to select research topics and experiments that form steps from the current to the ultimate situation. This paper reports on two experiments that are an extension to standard forum software and the use of student notes to annotate learning materials: two small steps towards our ultimate open learning environment. (Contains 3 figures and 1 footnote.)
Institute of Educational Technology, The Open University. Walton Hall, Milton Keynes, MK7 6AA, UK. e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Netherlands