Collaborative Learning 2.0: Open Educational Resources

Collaborative Learning 2.0: Open Educational Resources

Alexandra Okada (The Open University, UK), Teresa Connolly (The Open University, UK) and Peter J. Scott (The Open University, UK)
Release Date: March, 2012|Copyright: © 2012 |Pages: 378|DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-0300-4
ISBN13: 9781466603004|ISBN10: 1466603003|EISBN13: 9781466603011
List Price: $175.00
20% Discount:-$35.00
List Price: $175.00
20% Discount:-$35.00
Hardcover +
List Price: $210.00
20% Discount:-$42.00
(Individual Chapters)
No Current Special Offers


Current advances and convergence trends in Web 2.0 have changed the way we communicate and collaborate, and as a result, user-controlled communities and user-generated content through Web 2.0 are expected to play an important role for collaborative learning.

Collaborative Learning 2.0: Open Educational Resources offers a collection of the latest research, trends, future development, and case studies within the field. Without solid theoretical foundation and precise guidelines on how to use OER and Web 2.0 for collaborative learning, it would certainly be very difficult to obtain all the benefits that these “user-generated content, resources and tools” promise. The purpose of this handbook is to understand how OERs and Web 2.0 can be deployed successfully to enrich the collaborative learning experience and ensure a positive outcome in terms of user generated knowledge and development of skills.

Topics Covered

The many academic areas covered in this publication include, but are not limited to:

  • Collaborative Learning
  • Continuing Professional Development
  • New media environments
  • OER in higher education
  • Open Educational Resources
  • Personalization interfaces
  • Social Media
  • Social Networking
  • Virtual Worlds
  • Web 2.0

Reviews and Testimonials

An impressive array of chapter authors use case studies and analyses to dig deeply into understanding how to effectively support learners and other users as they engage in individual and collaborative development and learning using [Open Educational Resources]. [...] This book provides a powerful introduction into how ideas and activities such as these and more are changing the way that we think about schooling and learning.

– Marshall Smith, Director of AcrossWorld and former Director of International Affairs at the U.S. Department of Education.

Organized into four sections each with their own introduction, the chapters range from narratives and case studies to analytical empirical works, sharing theory and practical writings, focusing on the widening participation and open educational resource communities; the production, reuse, and recreation of open educational resources; sharing user-generated content; and social learning, rich media, and games. [...] This volume is geared for those in higher education, although some of the knowledge might also cross into lower schools such as fostering OER communities of practice with teachers, digital storytelling, peer-support, and collaborating.

– Sara Marcus, American Reference Books Annual

Action research, case studies, personal reflection on experience and formal reports, combined with such diverse topics as the study of architecture, engineering, professional development for teachers, open laboratory networks and learning a foreign language, are brought together in this text, ensuring that any reader with an interest in OERs will find the book thought-provoking.Collaborative learning 2.0: open educational resources is a useful resource for anyone wishing to explore the potential of OER and to gain insight into recent developments and experiences.

– Helen Nitschke, Australian International School, Australian Library Journal

This collection (...) does deliver a wide-ranging review of the ideas and activities currently driving OER and how they are changing the way educators are thinking about teaching and learning.

– David Mason, Victoria University of Wellington, Online Information Review, Vol. 37, No. 4

Table of Contents and List of Contributors

Search this Book:


This collection of chapters deals with a broad range of issues relating to OER, Web 2.0 tools, and collaborative learning. The approaches of the chapters are as diverse as their content, ranging from narratives to analytical empirical work. After a brief summary of each chapter and section, the editor concludes the preface with a few high level remarks.

Section A:  Widening Participation and OER Communities

Andy Lane writes that OER by themselves are not enough - there needs to be better collaboration between the stakeholders if OER are not to be seen as a way of simply widening the audience for Higher Education knowledge, rather than widening participation in learning more generally.

Susan D’Antoni tells the story of the UNESCO OER community, which discusses OER from a variety of perspectives and with unbridled enthusiasm. One participant commented it felt like “the whole world was around the table.” (This editor recalls this discussion with fondness, and yes, it certainly felt like the whole world was leaving messages in my Inbox.)

Lisa Petrides, Cynthia Jimes, and Carol Hedgspeth describe how knowledge sharing and collaboration can be seen as indicators of learning in OER communities.

Finally, Giovanni Fulantelli, Davide Taibi, Manuel Gentile, and Mario Allegra describe an Open Learning Object model and how it has evolved over the course of three projects, with an emphasis on teacher communities of practice in the project contexts.

This section posits answers to a number of questions about OER and community that are, to my mind, still open questions. Are OER produced by a community necessarily better than OER produced by an individual? Are OER produced by an individual or institution second-class citizens compared to OER developed under wiki-like community models? How many of the benefits of open source really apply to open educational resources? How much of the open source model can be applied directly to the production of educational materials (Benkler (2005) has specifically argued that critical parts cannot)?

Section B: Producing, Reusing, and Recreating OER

Alexandra Okada and Scott Leslie discuss the OER Flow, an open and flexible framework, and demonstrate how helping people to create OER and, in particular Compendium maps, can aid the potential of reusability.

Ivana Marenzi and Wolfgang Nejdl present LearnWeb2.0, a searching, rating, and commenting tool used in the context of two Content and Language Integrated Learning courses, one in Germany and one in Italy.

Freda Wolfenden and Alison Buckler describe an empirically based approach to understanding and representing the OER adaptation processes as it occurs in the Teacher Education in Sub Saharan Africa consortium.

Najat Smeda, Eva Dakich, and Nalin Sharda describe a model for collaborative, constructivist digital storytelling using freely available Web 2.0 tools.

Alexandra Bujokas de Siqueira, Danilo Rothberg, and Martha Maria Prata-Linhares demonstrate the use of Web 2.0 tools to create open courses focused on emergent subjects of the media literacy among in-service teachers, and issues relating to assessment in these environments.

Finally, Israel Guitterz Rojas and colleagues present the design and implementation of an application prototype that permits teachers and course developers to manage and share open assessment resources.

This section discusses what is, to me, the core issue surrounding OER – reuse. It is incredibly important to clearly understand the differences between simple reuse (like embedding a verbatim copy of an OER), revising an OER (like adapting a British-made OER for reuse in Brazil), and remixing an OER (combining multiple OER in to a new OER). While they have much in common, these three activities are separate and distinct, and each has its own unique technical, pedagogical, and legal considerations.

Section C: Collaborative Learning and Web 2.0

Josh McCarthy pushes the boundaries of OER by characterizing a scheme for using social networking sites to connect students with industry professionals for mentoring as an open educational resource.

Aileen McGuigan explains how traditional VLE’s like Blackboard stifle collaborative learning, and how purposefully designed environments using Web 2.0 tools like blogs effectively support collaboration.

Giselle Ferreira and Tina Wilson reinforce the importance of tutors and facilitators as distance learning students use Web 2.0 tools and OER.

Sibren Fetter, Adriana Berlanga, and Peter Sloep show the potential of Ad-Hoc Transient Groups (AHTGs) for providing peer support and facilitating the community side of formal and informal learning.

Joseph Corneli and Alexander Mikroyannidis compare crowdsourced and traditional education, observing that the crowdsourcing model has room for most of the roles found in the traditional education setting (accreditation and assessment being the open questions here).

Finally, Pradeep Kumar Misra writes about the potential power of OER to engage ageing individuals in the lifelong learning process.

This section reminds us that there is still a terrific need for humans and human interaction in the learning process. While the Internet is primarily a communications medium, Internet-based courses have historically been exercises in downloading rather than communicating. Web 2.0 tools, which are inherently social in nature, present opportunities for collaborative learning as expansive as the first generation of VLEs was restrictive.  

Section D: Open Tools, Rich Media, Social Learning, and Games

Rebecca Ferguson and Simon Buckingham Shum examine the meaning of open in terms of tools, resources, and education, and go on to explore the association between open approaches to education, the development of online social learning, and a tool called SocialLearn.

Martin Wolpers and colleagues demonstrate that OER are spread across numerous repositories that do not interoperate and do not support collaborative learning, and then describe a tool called MACE designed to overcome some of these challenges in the architectural domain.

Andy Lane and Andrew Law discuss the approaches and evidence required to guide the joint development of rich media in a way that both serves the BBC, the OUUK, the Higher Education sector and the wider community.

Christophe Salzmann and colleagues present the challenges in deploying remote and virtual laboratories as OER, as well as a review of trends in using Web 2.0 technologies to broader adoption and ease of development or remote labs.

Finally, Teresa Connolly and Elpida Makriyannis describe OERopoly, a board game that acquaints players with a variety of OER projects, tools, technologies, and communities of practice.

The final section of the book is a grab bag of OER, Web 2.0 tools, and collaborative learning. Ranging from remote labs to board games to online social sites, the section demonstrates the wide variety of ways OER is integrating into the broad complexity of educational research.


As you enjoy the chapters in this collection, I invite the reader to carefully consider the difference between online educational resources that use a traditional copyright license (not OER) and online educational resources that are openly licensed (OER). I found that throughout the chapters several authors attribute benefits or challenges to OER that are really benefits or challenges of not OER online educational resources – that is to say, challenges or benefits that have nothing to do with being open. I believe the field will benefit significantly from greater clarity of thought regarding this difference. The following chapters provide an excellent context in which to explore this and other important issues related to OER.

David Wiley
Brigham Young University, USA


Benkler, Y. (2005). Common wisdom: Peer production of educational materials. Retrieved from

Author(s)/Editor(s) Biography

Alexandra Okada is a Research Fellow at the Knowledge Media Institute of the Open University, UK. She is also a guest Lecturer at Getúlio Vargas Foundation FGV Online Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and the University of the Arts London, UK. Her current research focuses on Content Development for Reuse and Adaptation Strategies in the ICOPER and OPENSCOUT projects. Both projects are a consortium of European Institutions whose aim is to provide mechanisms to ensure European-wide user cooperation to access a critical mass of integrated educational content. Her postdoctoral research in Knowledge Mapping focused on the uses of knowledge media technologies to foster open sense making communities in the OpenLearn project from 2006 to 2008. Dr. Okada holds a BSc in Computer Science, a MBA in Knowledge Management and Marketing and a MA and PhD in Education. Her publications comprise more than 50 papers in international conferences and academic journals, 20 book chapters and 5 books.
Teresa Connolly is a Project Officer in the Knowledge Institute of the Open University, UK. She has extensive professional experience in research and teaching in the areas of Geographic Information Systems (GIS), Academic Practice, Educational Technology and Open Educational Resources (OER). Currently Teresa is working on the Responsive Open Learning Environments (ROLE) project funded by the European Community. Previously she worked as a Lecturer in OER on the OpenLearn project and has researched and developed a number of innovative OER study units related to psychology, project management, Welsh history and OpenLearn Scotland. Currently she is developing a visualisation of the global OER landscape in conjunction with the UNESCO chair in OER, Athabasca University, Canada.
Peter J. Scott is the Director of the Knowledge Media Institute of the Open University, ( KMI is a 70-strong Research and Development Unit on the OU campus in Milton Keynes, which explores the future of learning and the boundaries between knowledge and the media we use to work with it. Peter’s own research group in the institute, the Centre for New Media, has 15 of these folk and prototypes the application of new technologies and media to learning at all levels. Peter’s current research interests range widely across knowledge and media research. Three key threads at the moment are: telepresence; streaming media systems; and ubiquity. In June 2008 he coordinated the launch of The Open University into the Apple iTunes U. portal, which is currently at 27 Million downloads (October 2010). He has a BA (1983) and PhD (1987) in Psychology. Before joining the Open University in 1995, Dr Scott lectured in Psychology and Cognitive Science at the University of Sheffield. He has a textbook in each of these subjects, with a large range of associated teaching multimedia support applications. He is the coordinator and scientific director of STELLAR, the EU’s 7th Framework Network of Excellence in Technology Enhanced Learning.

Editorial Board

  • Andy Lane, The Open University, UK
  • Patrick McAndrew, The Open University, UK
  • Vijay Kumar, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA
  • Jutta Treviranus, University of Toronto, Canada
  • Marcus Sprecht, Open Universiteit, Netherlands
  • Carlos Delgado Kloos, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid,  Spain
  • Bernd Simon, Wirtschaftsuniversität, Austria
  • Philip Schmidt, University of the Western Cape, South Africa