Monday, April 26, 2010

Five tips for sustainable learning and teaching

Image: Walshy and the local evening paper by Supernan

I am motivated to post my five tips for sustainable practice so the participants in the Flexible Learning course can understand my perspective in this area. For me, sustainable learning and teaching is not so much about saving paper or turning off the photocopier (though these things are important), it runs deeper. So I will attempt to list my five tips about learning resources.
  1. Share ideas and resources with colleagues - this means I can learn from others and also pass on my knowledge and materials to the learning community to save others time and money;
  2. Use open educational resources (OER) wherever possible - provides access to shareable materials, reduces production/development time and enriches the variety of learning resources;
  3. License my work using Creative Commons by attribution on all the materials I produce - contributes to global resource bank and promotes sharing and collaboration;
  4. Store learning materials on open web-based platforms - improves access as learners can use the materials both during the course of study and also when they are in practice after their study is completed. It adds also to the bank of OER resources and invites critique on my work;
  5. Create learning materials using open and collaborative platforms and software such as WikiEducator - makes it easier to update material, reduces my workload as I do not have to re-develop materials when platforms change (e.g. Blackboard to Moodle LMS), invites collaborative learning and teaching and provides materials in an open environment.
There are lots more, e.g., associated with teaching practice and course design but for now I am sticking with the learning resource side of things. What are others' tips?


Andrea said...

I would be interested in your sustainable resource useage comment regading the individual who has to download everything -- Is that not one of thepurposes of online -- you don't have to print it out -- yet so many of my colleages do.
Your five tips sumarise my thoughts however I wonder what you think about this little problem.

Bronwyn hegarty said...

Yes exactly and that is why websites were organised with hyperlinking, and learning objects were developed so people could flip through them or work sequentially from electronic page to electronic page.

I am not a fan of learning objects but I am also not a fan of putting up a lot of pdf files which people have to download and print. Perhaps with the advent of the Kindle and the iPad, people will get more used to reading electronically.