Title : The Network is the Class

Group Name: Table 1

Description of title: A model for open education resource and learning

Overview of OPERL model

The Open Education Resource and Learning model is based on the concept of a borderless world where learning takes place in a collaborative, student-led and distributed environment. Distributed here includes space (geography) and time. There is no longer the need to meet physically to perform complex tasks, such as learning in education. Nor is there a need to come together at a specific time to participate in the living and learning process. This is a society where choice is primary and collaborative construction of new knowledge and meanings are emphasized. Indeed this is the very culture of learning that has given rise to and continues to push the boundaries of this technologically advanced world. Electronic networks are ubiquitous, and human interaction is increasingly dependent a convergence of communications technology such as the cellphones, smartphones, the internet, etc.

This rich environment is a result of the student-centred learning environment, and in itself promotes even more student-centred learning interaction. This multiple intelligence model has broken the monolithic model of learning and development that use to characterise prescription-based learning, where it is assumed that there is a finite way of doing something, that knowledge is must be centralised.

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Scenario Impact

Attitudes, Expectations, Political Support
  • Students' with different learning styles and ability can choose to learn differently (i.e. hands-on practice-based learning, case-based learning, problem-based learning, etc.)
  • Students schedule their own learing in both synchronous and asychronous environments
  • Learning has become dependent on the collaborative process
  • Learning occurs in a 24/7 timeframe. There is no more day and night where learning is concerned

Goals, Functions, Equity

  • Recognition of different learning styles and pace
  • Acknowledgement that learning groups cannot be formed based solely on age - ability and interest matter more
  • The goal of learning is not to obtain certification, but gain competence and expertise which can meaningfully be accorded through the process of peer validation
  • Students who have gained an area of expertise are expected to play an increasingly role in facilitating the same area for other students
  • Learning is a process and underpined by the organic growth of networks

Organizations and Structures

  • Students are spread out and learning in different spaces and times
  • Students are learning through a dynamic and organic network structure - networks are constantly formed around learning communities and archived electronically in vast digital knowledgebases
  • The physical classroom no longer exists as all learning has moved to the home and into the virtual environment

The Geo-Political Dimension
  • Governmental involvement does not extend beyond a regulatory capacity
  • Society is affluent, high-skill, and technologically advanced
  • Networks are formed in reaction to any chaos and conflict in society
  • Democracy, diversity and choice prevalent but inadvertently excludes those not technologically-savvy

The Teaching Force
  • The role of the student and teacher are combined, with students both teaching and learning from other students
  • The traditional role of the "teacher" has disappeared and is replaced by professionals who act facilitators that moderate the learning models and materials
  • Peer teaching and learning has become the dominant model of validation of learning
  • The ubiquitous ??? has taken over all the all-encompassing learning tool

News Stories

A day in the life of John
Ng Peoy Kiong

A day in the life of John in the year 2015
John is a 17 years old student who is pursuing a Diploma in Education at Ngee Ann Polytechnic :
John wakes up late at 9.45am. He panics as he needs to sit for an Accountancy exam. He rushes to the bus stop and checks his schedule for the day on his iPhone :

Accountancy Exam at Block 1 Hall 4
Online Modules Selection
Strikeforce Meeting@Mac
Thailand Community Service Meeting
Thai Language Lesson in VW
Online Wiki Assignment
Counterstrike Battle with Army
John was lucky as he manages to reach the exam venue at 10.05am. It was an easy exam and John manages to complete it half an hour before the time allowed. Having half an hour spare, he logs in to Facebook and chat with his close friends to find out what modules they are planning to select for next semester. John decided to select Photography, Business Management , Mobile Robotics and Sociology for the modules that he will be taking for next semester.

John meets up with his Strikeforce team members, Max, Tom, Peter and Bryan at McDonald for lunch to plan for their Counterstrike gaming strategy against their arch rivals at night. After lunch, John links up with his overseas friends over internet to discuss about their Community Service Project in Thailand where they are planning to re-build an orphanage. At 4pm, John logs in to Second Life for his Thai Language lesson to prepare for his community service project :


After his Thai Language lesson, John quickly logs in to Wikipedia to complete his wiki write-up on “Basics of Java Programming” created for his Computer Programming module. Things did not work as planned in their Counterstrike battle with “Army “. Although they fought a grueling six hours battle, they eventually lost the battle against their arch rival. It was a big letdown to end the day with a lost battle !

Scenario Outcomes :

1. Students are spread out and learning in a network environment
2. Student-centric learning is evident and student can choose to learn differently
3. Learning has become dependent on the collaborative process
4. The physical classroom has moved into the home in to the virtual environment

Story title : A day in the life of a 16 year old - The year is 2020. (10 years from now)
Author: Tan Sim Bee
Brian is a 16 year old kid. He wakes up late and he has missed the morning class at
8. He put on his 3D personal device, he does a quick view of the class at 8. He speaks to himself and short message is sent to his tutor. Minutes later, a voiced message of the assignment appears.

While waiting for the train to arrive, he speaks to a mouth piece. A draft copy of his whole assignment appears on his personal 3D device. He makes a few ammendments and submit his assignment using voice input. He meets his tutor
and get a feedback of his assignment from his tutor.

In the afternoon, all classes are virtual. A glimpse of Brian's virtual class (next page)
so Brian heads to his gym and order his lunch while on his way, again using his personal 3D device.

Brian's school - prefabicated, ecological and organic.
(Below is the image at: www.flickr.com/photos/el_artifice/3848744640/)


This is Brian !!!! in his 3D personal device
(Below is the image at: www.masternewmedia.org/.../)
Brian virtual classroom
(Below picture from a virtual class I attended at http://www.nci-sl.org/blog/)

Story Title: 2025 - Education Jenny
Jenny is an 18 year old student in the Open Polytechnic, only the Open Polytechnic does not have a fixed physical location, no building at all, and certainly no lecture theatres. That's not all. She doesn't even carry around a textbook anymore, something that her brother used to do 10 years back and found difficulty recouping any value from once his course was over. Instead, she carries around a re-sizeable, multi-functional, high-powered, learning slate system, simply called RUTHLESS.

No, Jenny's day is spent in the ether. Her learning occurs in the ether. Her life is mostly virtual, except when she goes down to the pubs and parks with her network of friends. That is still very physical, very personal. Jenny learning is done largely on the ultra high speed intelligent internet. Students in her class meet online during certain scheduled hours, where she is joined by students from other institutions and even students overseas who speak and understand a different language. This isn't problem because their online conversations and discussions are facilitated by a universal translator that simultaneously converts what are spoken and written instantaneously. There is no questions that each and every student is engaged in the discussion. The interesting thing about this class is students are all not necessarily of the same age. There is Abdullah M, a 14 year old male who lives to the north in the Malaysia, and Siew Ken, a 25 year old from Hong Kong, and Dave from Canada, who is 35, among a total of 12 students in this goup. There is stricitly no teacher because everyone contributes to the discussion, to varying degrees. Because classes start on a particular topic for the day, every student needs to research the issues. Coming together, a moderator from among the group is appointed to guide the discussion.

All discussion is documented online in a wiki, which allows other groups to pick up the issues and contribute further to the knowledge. The 'classroom' never sleeps as the material is worked on subsequently by other students in another part of the world. Such collaborative sychronous / asynchronous learning allows the greater amount of learning from the greatest number of people, thus enriching the learning which was never possible before.

To the extent that a student can subsequently moderate the discussion, he will have mastered the objectives that the group has agreed to as they explore the issues.

Story title
Story title

Scenario Outcomes

1. Student-led and Distributed Learning is a gradual process
2. It is heavily dependent on the availability of advance technologies
3. Participants in the learning process must be confident about interacting and creating knowledge.
4. Societies are open and tolerant of chaos


Lim Shee Chee, Ng Peoy Kiong, Tan Sim Bee