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WELS students lead innovative knowledge-exchange showcase

Close up on the exterior of the Jennie Lee building at the OU's Milton Keynes campus

PhD researchers from The Open University’s Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies (WELS) are leading a cohort of doctoral scholars whose research in the field of open world learning will be presented at a free-to-attend online event on 9 February.

As learning practices continue to transform due to the impact of digital, innovative, network technologies, open learning can provide unprecedented access to educational information for learners, globally. Despite this, opportunities for access to formal and informal learning remain a complex and considerable barrier.

PhD students at the OU have been researching these barriers to access in the context of open learning, while taking part in the award-winning Open World Learning programme (OWL), at the OU’s Institute of Educational Technology. This research will be presented during the online event and in an open-access book published from Routledge.

Discussing the open world learning research area and the content of the book, Professor Bart Rienties, Programme Lead for the Open World Learning programme, said:

"Open world learning seeks to understand access to education, structures, and the presence of dialogue and support systems. It explores how the application of open practices and educational technologies can be used to create opportunities for open and high-quality education."

"The book brings together a range of innovative uses of technology and practice in open world learning from over 385,000 learners and educators, across more than 130 unique learning contexts, globally."

"The book also considers the enablers and disablers of openness in learning, ethical and privacy implications, and how open world learning can be used to foster inclusive approaches to learning across educational sectors, disciplines, and countries."

The event, which will take place on Wednesday 9 February 2022 (13:00-15:00 GMT), will feature a panel discussion, a series of break-out presentations, and a round-table conversation in which the Doctoral Scholars will share insights on the social impact of their research and future of open world learning.

Register here to attend the free OWL knowledge exchange event.

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