Open or shut case?

Martin Weller makes the case for teachers and students to adopt an open philosophy. I don’t work in H.E. so I don’t have the pressure of needing to come up with original work or to spread my ideas – but as a teacher in F.E. it would seem to me a good idea for me to swap ideas, strategies, approaches and resources with other practitioners. And I can see that being exposed to other people’s thoughts and opinions must surely be a good thing.

In a way, Martin Weller’s final point is the main area of overlap with Anne Adams’ look at some of the potential disadvantages of open. He suggests that by being open you reach different audiences. I agree with that (e.g.students enrol on my e-course who would not be able to attend a classroom based course) but Adams’ point that we shouldn’t force openness on students also chimes with some of my students’ response when urged to attend online tutorials. She talks about students maintaining anonymity by turning cameras to the wall.

This is really interesting. Students tend not to face the wall in classroom-based teaching so why should they when on line? To what extent should students be able to pick and choose what they do when on a course?

Another point: Martin Weller chose to deliver a podcast accompanied by a photo of himself. I would like to hear what people think about that strategy. Is a photo less distracting than a video clip of the speaker?

A final remark: I feel I have had more contact with a professor (Martin Weller) on this module and the previous ones than I ever had with my professor of German way back in the last century. That must be a good thing!


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