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Pathways to Openness in NWL Research: The Case of Open Data

Juliana Elisa Raffaghelli,

Open University, Catalonia, Spain

Intended Audience

This workshop deals with the issue of Open Science, with a focus on applying Open Data to research in networked learning (NWL). The workshop targets both researchers and practitioners interested in the use of raw Open Data coming out of NWL research.

Workshop Description

Open Science is an approach promoted by the European Commission that has been developing internationally for about ten years. In the field of research on NWL, however, the difficulties for opening up research have led to intrinsic, ongoing debates. A subtle aspect of this situation relates the poor appropriation and utilisation of scientific research products in the pedagogical field by potential users (stakeholders in the education and training system). As a matter of fact, educational data extracted from Learning Management Systems and Social Networks pose ethical problems as well as data literacy challenges both for the researchers (making data readable and usable) and  the end users (reading and using data). Therefore, the specific case of Open Data (a relevant and innovative part of the Open Science scheme) should be discussed as a resource for NWL research. Data produced in this field is not limited to educational data-mining procedures, but encompasses a variety of research methodologies that yield diversified types of data, which in time implicates diversified ways of treating, sharing, and using them. Learning some of these principles and tools, and discussing them in the context of our current practices as researchers in the field of NWL, could be a starting point toward unraveling problems and coordinating efforts for further action.

Accordingly, the workshop will be organised in two simple phases:

A conceptual introduction will provide the basis for understanding and discovering the principles, policy context, and existing practices relating to openness in overall research.

A “hands on” activity in which participants will apply the above concepts to their respective NWL practices and research; participants will discuss both practical and deontological implications of their findings.



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