In November 2010, Simon Buckingham Shum travelled to Barcelona to present our jointly authored paper at OpenED2010. That presentation evolved into a chapter for Collaborative Learning 2.0: Open Educational Resources, ‘a collection of the latest research, trends, future development and case studies within the field’.
Ferguson, R. & Buckingham Shum, S. (2012), Towards a social learning space for open educational resources. In: Okada, A., Connolly, T. & Scott, P. (eds.) Collaborative Learning 2.0: Open Educational Resources. IGI.
This chapter examines the meaning of “open” in terms of tools, resources, and education, and goes on to explore the association between open approaches to education and the development of online social learning. It considers why this form of learning is emerging so strongly at this point, what its underlying principles are, and how it can be defined. Openness is identified as one of the motivating rationales for a social media space tuned for learning, called SocialLearn, which is currently being trialed at The Open University in the UK. SocialLearn has been designed to support online social learning by helping users to clarify their intention, ground their learning and engage in learning conversations. The emerging design concept and implementation are described here, with a focus on what personalization means in this context, and on how learning analytics could be used to provide different types of recommendation that support learning.