From Open Content Repositories to Open Sensemaking Communities

Simon J. Buckingham Shum, The Open University

The Open Content movement is concerned with enabling students and educators to access material, in order to then learn from it, and reuse it either in one's studies or one's own courses. The core efforts to date has focused on enabling access, e.g., building the organizational/political will to release and license content, and in developing open infrastructures for educators to then publish and reassemble it.

The key challenge in the next phase of the open content movement is to improve the support for prospective students to engage with and learn from the material, and with each other though peer learning support, in the absence of formally imposed study timetables and assessment deadlines. This presentation reports on tools for e-learning and collaborative sensemaking developed at the UK Open University which are now being considered as candidates for open content learning support.