Extending open space technology for blended learning



This paper presents a pedagogical strategy for the exploration of blended-learning in higher education. A key component is the adoption of Open Space Technology (OST) to group students according to their motivation for the topics to be studied and tasks to be performed, rather than following their personal affinities. We have developed and tested the strategy throughout two academic years. In the first year, we explored OST in its regular, face-to-face, approach. Although the results were good, we felt that learning could be further improved with a period of on-line discussion after the face-to-face session. With this in mind, in the following year we explored a combination of face-to-face and on-line activities, in what we called blended-OST (or b-OST). We concluded that this approach could lead to a deeper discussion of the proposed tasks, to the emergence of additional possible tasks, and to the participation of students who tended to shy away from expressing their opinions orally. The data collected shows that the involvement of the students increased in the second year. In our view, the use of blended-OST has contributed to the creation of a better learning context. The students' opinions, collected after the course, also support this view.


b-learning; OST; student participation; motivation; higher education


Higher Education


10th IEEE International Conference on Advanced Learning Technologies, July 2010

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