Connecting dots for digital learning and teaching

Open Participatory Learning Infrastructure (OPLI) #OER

The OER report published in February 2007 by Atkins, Brown and Hammond (2007) at the request of the Hewlett Foundation shows the evolution of OER movement. The report presents the next phase of the project, that will aim at consolidating understanding, technology, and incentive from multiple threads of activity into an Open Participatory Learning Infrastructure (OPLI): (download the report : Hewlett_OER_report)

The OER initiative has nurtured a culture of sharing, not only within individuals, but also within major institutions of higher education. It has helped shift faculty perspectives from this courseware is mine to this courseware is for (open) mining. The next phase is to nurture a culture of learning in which both intellectual capital (content) and human capital (talent) spiral upward, together.

The conditions now exist, we believe, to consolidate understanding, technology, and incentive from multiple threads of activity into an open participatory learning infrastructure (OPLI).

A socio-technical initiative to form an open participatory learning infrastructure is critical to this culture of learning. By open participatory learning infrastructure we mean the institutional practices, technical infrastructure, and social norms that allow a smooth operation of globally distributed, high-quality open learning. We include the word “participatory” to emphasize that the focus is not just on information access, but on the role of technology in supporting the social nature of learning. An OPLI can leverage diversity of use, radical repurposing of content, and critical reflection. This perspective is consistent with collaboratories in science and humanities communities and the social software and the Web 2.0 movement more generally.

Such an infrastructure supports diverse ecosystems of people and learning resources that could have profound implications for preparing people for a rapidly evolving knowledge-based world, one demanding creativity, innovation, and entrepreneurialism from us all. The OPLI should provide participatory architectures for emerging visions and concepts such as the meta-university, the university in and of the world, “learning to be” sooner rather than later, and global-scale massification of higher education. It also extends across level and age: K–12, higher education, and lifelong learning.

Science Collaborator: Open Participatory Learning Infrastructure for Education (SCOPE)

OERAs an innovative approach to faculty professional development, SCOPE was an NSF-supported exploratory project led by BioQuest that investigated the development and use of Problem Spaces with respect to 1) their utility as a focus for faculty teaching scholarship; and, 2) their potential impacts on students’ biological problem solving skills. Introductory biology faculty from disparate institutional settings collaboratively developed online curricular resources and strategies to support students’ work on contemporary scientific investigations.

The SCOPE Project is an opportunity to participate in the construction and exploration of novel approaches to undergraduate biology education. We use the idea of a Problem Space as a curricular and pedagogical resource to support collaborative curriculum development and student driven scientific investigations. Problem Spaces link together existing e-science resources, web-based productivity and communication tools, and open educational resources in ways that promote communities of inquiry.

World Association of Young Scientists – Science, Remixed.

OERIn 2004, with the help of TWASISESCO and the Moroccan Ministry of National EducationUNESCO gathered about a hundred and twenty young scientists in Marrakech representing about ninety countries. This conference resulted in the launch of the World Academy of Young Scientists (WAYS), an initiative aimed to empower young scientists worldwide, promote scientific excellence and collaborative practices.

At WAYS, we’ve created a global social network designed and optimized to meet with the specific needs of researchers where they can promote their work, seek help, share information, look for job opportunities and develop knowledge and relationships. The platform also serves the needs of science groups or associations by providing a turn-key package including essential functions such as hosting, maintenance, member database management, document archiving etc. By offering state of the art services and tools designed to ease the daily research and provide career opportunities, the platform is an aggregator of profiles, interests and resources.

Open Textbook Initiative

MEROT Open Textbook Initiative

College Open Textbooks Community

Open Access Textbooks



OPLI seeks to enable a decentralized learning environment that:  (1) permits distributed participatory learning; (2) provides incentives for participation (provisioning of open resources, creating specific learning environments, evaluation) at all levels; and (3) encourages cross-boundary and cross cultural learning. It should be the way of 21st century learning with all technologies already available.


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“Tell me and I will forget, show me and I may remember, involve me and I will understand.” -------- Chinese Wisdom "Games are the most elevated form of investigation." -------- Albert Einstein
"I'm calling for investments in educational technology that will help create digital tutors that are as effective as personal tutors, educational software as compelling as the best video game," President Barack Obama said while touring a tech-focused Boston school (year 2011).
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