Combining knowledge mapping and videoconferencing for open sensemaking communities

Okada, Alexandra; Tomadaki, Eleftheria; Buckingham Shum, Simon and Scott, Peter (2007). Combining knowledge mapping and videoconferencing for open sensemaking communities. In: Open Education 2007: Localizing and Learning, 26-28 Sep 2007, Utah State University.


The Open Educational Resources (OER) movement has been growing rapidly, opening up new opportunities for widening participation (Willinsky, 2006). OpenLearn is an OER pilot project developed by the UK Open University (OU) [], and launched in October 2006, supported by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. OpenLearn has published 3371 hours in the LearningSPace and 5194 in the LabSpace of OERs designed specifically for distance learning (the OU’s core business), and covers a range of subjects from arts and history to science and nature. There are more than 300 units at all study levels from access to higher education, graduation and postgraduation.

Our current work is to investigate how these tools can be used to foster open sensemaking communities (Buckingham Shum, 2005) around the OERs, that is, the interpretative work that must take place around any resource for learning to take place. How can we support this critical activity in an OER context when learners must find and engage with peers themselves, if they do not wish to study alone?

This paper introduces the e-learning environment that has been developed after the first year of OpenLearn, focusing on the uses made of two sensemaking support tools, Compendium for knowledge mapping, and FlashMeeting for videoconferencing.

Viewing alternatives

Download history

Item Actions