As I mentioned in one of my earlier blogs knowledge is of no use if it remains in oneself. This has to be shared to be useful to oneself and others. A sense of satisfaction when you know you have helped someone, reminds me of a graduation ceremony when your student walks across the stage and you sit there gleaming full of pride. A moment when you have every right to say “I had a part in your success”. I would imagine a moment for a lecturer which brings all the satisfaction they need in the world.
According to Open Education and Future (2010) defined education as “the sharing of information between two people and often the best or most successful educators are those who share the most completely to the most students”. It can be further stated that, openness is the only means of education and this could take the form of sharing of texts or sharing via Open Education Resources (OER). Sharing through OER is more accessible for all to use, always available and available to more than one user at a time unlike textbooks if borrowed, need to be returned before someone accesses it, (Open Education and Future, 2010). This enhances teaching in the classroom as the student reach through an online resource is far greater than “old fashioned” hard copy.
In preparation, lecturers should be willing to share information with their students for the purpose of imparting knowledge. Some are reluctant and depending on the institutional policies around protecting intellectual property, lecturers maybe even more reluctant to share. Certain institutions require that anything used within the institution becomes property of the institution – this could create a barrier for sharing as one wants to protect their thoughts and hours of preparation in enhancing a student’s experience through learning.
According to Butcher (2015), lecturers may be reluctant to share due to the fear of exposing themselves to peer review or peer scrutiny. This can be an advantage as peer review or peer scrutiny will often lead to improved quality of work being presented to students.
Lecturers are also aware of the acknowledgements that need to accompany online resources shared and sometimes this becomes easier not to use something that one has to take the time to reference. The video provided on Creative Commons was insightful and makes sharing easier for lecturers.
As much as digital learning is becoming common practice, this remains a challenge for lecturers to include all students is this type of learning. Lecturers need to be aware of their audience to maintain equity of delivery in cases where not all students are able to access digital resources easily. This could be for various reasons. Especially in South Africa where a large part of our student population comes from historically disadvantaged backgrounds, there is a great divide between those to have uninterrupted access to a digital platform and those who do not. Academic literacy also plays a huge role with online learning and are our students ready for this? The remains a challenge for lecturers as this often hampers learning and how much lectures share with students online as much time is being spent on computer literacy rather than actual learning. One could argue that we are teaching a generation of students who are “techno savvy” – they are an online generation but are they ready to learn on an online platform or are they comfortable only on a social online platform? They are also a generation who lack discipline and give into social norms easily. Do the two match up and are lecturers able to achieve desired outcomes of learning? This poses a challenge for lecturers as learning and teaching online requires the discipline to access and perform daily, students want to be taught and become reliant on lecturer engagement rather than being led by an online facilitator who has limited interaction. In addition, online engagement does not force a student to engage making this difficult for student/lecturer relationships to be built.
Generally in life, people are often selfish with their knowledge and their thoughts. People sometime hold back on their thoughts which create barriers in communication. Lecturers being more generous with feedback will create a knowledge base for students without any teaching taking place, a student merely learning from feedback provided.
Acknowledging a person’s work adds credibility to an individual. It almost becomes a moral/ethical issue to do so however this is often acknowledged when one uses information that is written but people tend to use each ideas often and this gets used without acknowledgement. How often do you engage with individuals who repeat your exact idea which you have just shared with them to someone else and they take it as being their own? Surely the question of sharing and openness should acknowledge the spoken word too.
Openness and sharing should apply in all aspects of life and not only education. McShane (2013) stated
“I, me, and mine…”
“We, us and ours…”
If we all used this approach, the world would be a better place.
Butcher, N., 2015. A basic guide to Open Educational Resources (OER). [e.book] Available through: unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0021/002158/215804e.pdf. [Accessed 24 October 2016]
McShane, K. 2013. Campus theme. [Personal Interview]. 2013.
Open education and the future. 2010. [Video online]. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rb0syrgsH6M. [Accessed 24 October 2016]