On September 23rd, 2016, I successfully defended my doctoral dissertation “The Structure and Components for the Open Education Ecosystem: Constructive Design Research of Online Learning Tools” at the Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture. I was honored to have Professor Emeritus Terry Anderson from Athabasca University acting as an opponent in the defense.
This research studies the design of online learning tools for open education. The dissertation is based on five articles and design case studies that explore open education from different perspectives: open educational resources, open learning environments, and assessment of teachers’ competencies. The underlying concept of the study is the open education ecosystem. The study explores the ways in which the design of online learning tools could benefit from the digital ecosystems approach. The design of online learning tools for open education presents wicked problems, that involve ill-defined requirements and contemplates the influence on and by the stakeholders and other components of the ecosystem. Firstly, to clarify the design challenges related to the open education ecosystem, this study summarizes a set of design challenges presented in design case studies. Secondly, it identifies and recommends a set of design patterns that address these design challenges. Finally, the study proposes the structure and components that are needed for the open education ecosystem.