OPEN LEARNING: A Connectivist MOOC for Faculty Collaboratives

February 4-March 29 , 2018


Open Learning ‘18 launches February 4, 2018 … and you’re invited!

There’s a great deal of excitement in higher education around the word “open.” Open Educational Resources. Open Access. Open Pedagogical Practices. Open and Participatory Cultures. What do these terms mean, and how can they benefit your work? Good questions!

As part of Virginia’s ongoing “Faculty Collaboratives” effort, we are pleased to announce the second iteration of a free, online, and open learning experience focused on all these topics. It’s called “Open Learning ’18.” Somewhere between a course of study and an informal conversation, the experience emphasizes collegial, interactive, networked learning and sharing. Who is this for?

  • Are you open to new ways of motivating student learning?
  • Are you curious about open education, but haven’t really learned much about it before?
  • Are you interested in new modes of scholarly communication, including how to develop a public voice?
  • Do you have experience with some aspects of open education and want to learn about others?
  • Are you an expert already?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, there’s a place for you at Open Learning ’18.

In Open Learning ’18, we’ll explore all the “opens,” as well as the larger ideas that can connect them. Each week will feature both synchronous activities (such as webinars, Twitter chats, etc.) and asynchronous activities (readings, reflective blogging, resource sharing, and other ongoing conversations). Participants in Virginia, across the US, and around the world will work together as co-learners.  You don’t have to be an expert in open education; indeed, the majority of participants will not be. The goal is to build together an “innovation hub” that reflects and helps to sustain a dynamic conversation about how openness in education can support the learning we seek in active, student-centered pedagogies.

You can join us at a variety of ways.  To get the most out of the experience, you should register a blog at the main course site http://openlearninghub.net so your ongoing reflections about the course can be easily shared with other participants. Step-by-step directions are at the “Join Up” link on the main menu: http://openlearninghub.net/the-stream/. If you don’t have a blog, please consider starting one; participants’ reflections (including yours) will be invaluable resources for all of us, during the course and after. If we’re thinking about open learning, it makes sense to practice open learning and experience some of these practices first-hand, including the great opportunities for creative expression that come from writing on the web.

You’re also welcome to follow along and contribute in other ways:

  • By following our Twitter hashtag, #openlearning18, and contributing your own thoughts via Twitter.
  • Or by simply following the activity on the hub: http://openlearninghub.net.

We want to emphasize shared creation of content, not just consumption—but the course’s open design makes it possible for people to choose how and when they want to interact with course activities.  In addition, each week is (more or less) independent from the others, so if you miss the beginning it’s not too late to jump in anytime.  If you’re only interested in one topic, dive in there! You’ll get the most out of the experience, though, by participating in the whole course.

Open learning helps us understand, and practice, a richly rewarding way to contribute to the public good. It’s also a form of experiential learning, a high-impact practice. As with any community, there are important norms. We encourage passion and expect civility. And we also emphasize that the focus is on reflective responses and engagement, not right or wrong answers.

Please consider sharing this invitation with anyone at your institution who might be interested. If you have questions, feel free to contact the Hub Director, Dr. Gardner Campbell, at gardner.campbell@gmail.com.


Additional information


  1. To design and provide a helpful and stimulating learning experience for all participants that results in measurable improvement in the use of digital affordances and sustainable professional development connections across Virginia and other areas.
  2. To create materials that support development and stimulate further learning aligned with effective, innovative teaching and learning in higher education
  3. To align Virginia’s hub with the broader goals and ethos of the AAC&U Faculty Collaboratives project
  4. To achieve these goals within an open, sustainable, online framework for connected learning

The cMOOC will last 7 weeks, with a special pre-cMOOC opportunity devoted to developing a public voice. It will be Virginia-sponsored, but open to anyone. Provision will be made for participants to register on the hub website: http://www.openlearninghub.net.

Each week will be organized around at least these elements:

  1. An assigned reading or viewing resource (all OER)
  2. Two synchronous events. For example:

Guest speaker / presentation or interview / opportunities for Q&A and other interaction

Panel discussion

Twitter chat

“AMA” (“Ask Me Anything”)

3. Asynchronous participation–for example:


Hypothesis annotation

Discussion Forum



YouTube/Vine etc.

All materials will be added to site resources with a Creative Commons license and available for later consultation (retain, reuse, revise, remix, redistribute) (David Wiley’s “5 Rs” framework)