Effective Didactical Practices in Open Education

This course is part of the programme
Master in Leadership in Open Education (Second Level)

Objectives and competences

The aim of the course is to give an overview of the theoretical basics of learning and teaching, while also enabling students to master specific pedagogical, didactic and methodical approaches to the OL and to be able to choose appropriate approaches according to learning objectives and specific context.

Students will develop:
• In-depth knowledge about the specific pedagogical, didactical, and methodological approaches in the context of OL and the ability to critically assess pedagogical and didactical approaches in the existing OL courses;
• Knowledge and understanding of the broad landscape of learning theories, psychology of learning, competency and skill development and contemporary and emerging approaches in OL context;
• Profound knowledge and skills to critically evaluate various solutions and approaches in OL and to match them properly with the OL strategies and learning goals;
• Ability to construct OL solutions based on effective didactical approaches and reasonably utilizing the best affordable technologies.


Students should:
• have general understanding of the scope and importance of pedagogy, didactics, and methodology in education;
• be familiar with the open education (OE) ecosystem, actors and basic Open Learning (OL) processes;
• be able to use communication and collaboration tools, and should be prepared to work in interdisciplinary teams.


• Effective pedagogical practices.
• Pedagogical methods, didactics and methodology. Pedagogical principles applied in OL, didactics for OL, and methodology used in OL.
• Theories of learning, theories of knowledge, psychology of learning, cognition and cognitive processes, learning styles, and influence of cultural and historical backgrounds on learning.
• Matching proper approaches to learning goals, individual, group and organisational learning strategies.
• Model of learning objectives based on taxonomy for learning, teaching and assessing. Taxonomy of educational objectives (knowledge dimension, cognitive process dimension).
• Concepts of openness and transparency in learning, cooperative and collaborative learning, personalised learning; motivational approaches, competences and skills.
• Innovative approaches and best practices in OL.
• Assessing, evaluating and validating proper approaches with respect to the defined OL strategy and OL learning goals.
• Business and organisational learning, including competency and skills development in relation to the organisational business strategies, organisational principles and global innovation, and market and business trends.

The following topics will be explored in more detail:
1) General learning theories and methods
2) Psychology of learning
3) Education goals, instruction and assessment
4) OL applied learning theories and methods
5) Pedagogy for OL
6) Didactical approaches for OL
7) Methodology for OL
8) Student centered and self-regulated learning
9) Data interaction for learning
10) Life-long and life-wide learning
11) Discipline-based cases for e-learning
12) Technology Enhanced Science Learning
13) Case studies and critical assessment
14) Innovative approaches and practices.

Intended learning outcomes

At the end of the course, students will:
• have a good overview of the theoretical bases of learning and teaching
• master the specific pedagogical, didactical, and methodological approaches for OL
• master the selection of proper approaches and relate them to learning goals and individual/group preferences in OL
• be able to evaluate, validate and critically assess the pedagogical, didactical, and methodological value of OL, taking into account various possibilities and limitations
• be able to reflect on personal performance in implementing OL with proper methods and approaches.


Beetham, H. & R. Sharpe, R. (Eds.) (2013). Rethinking Pedagogy for a Digital Age: Designing for 21st Century Learning (2nd Ed.). Routledge.
Clark, R.C., Mayer, R.E. (2016). e-Learning and the Science of Instruction: Proven Guidelines for Consumers and Designers of Multimedia Learning (4th Ed.). Wiley.
Rao, K., Edelen-Smith, P. & Wialehua, C. (2015) Universal design for online courses: Applying principles to pedagogy. Open Learning: The Journal of Open, Distance and e-Learning, 30(1), 35-52. doi: 10.1080/02680513.2014.991300
Teräs, H., & Herrington, J. (2014). Neither the frying pan nor the fire: In search of a balanced authentic e-learning design through an educational design research process. The International Review Of Research In Open And Distance Learning, 15(2), 232-253.


• Interim presentations, seminar, tutorial; peer- and self-evaluation. • Final exam: The assessment of theoretical knowledge and a practical session on applying proper approaches to an OL course

Lecturer's references

Veronika Dolar has a Ph.D. in economics and has over 17 years of experiences in the field of education. She has been teaching at numerous universities and colleges in the United States including University of Minnesota and St. Olaf College in Minnesota, at Cleveland State University, Kent State University, and Case Western Reserve University in Ohio, at Long Island University, and State University Of New York (SUNY) at Old Westbury College in New York where she is employed as an Assistant Professor. She collaborates with the University of Nova Gorica as Adjunct Professor. She has published numerous peer-reviewed articles in the field of economic education. She has received teaching awards and in May 2020 she became the winner of the SUNY Effective Online Practices Award Program for the project titled Use of PhotoVoice Project in Urban Economics. In addition, she is extremely involved with the Open Educational Resources (OER) movement. She was asked to serve at the SUNY OER Advisory Council and was a SUNY OER Faculty Champion. She is currently a co-chair of the Ad Hoc OER Faculty Committee at SUNY Old Westbury. Professor Dolar received Creative Commons Certificate for Educators Course and participated in Pedagogy Foundation Fellowship, focused on weekly reflection within a collaborative space to explore and implement evidence-based instructional practices using OER within Faculty Guild’s professional development platform. Professor Dolar is an active member of Creative Commons Global Network, Creative Commons Open Education Platform, and Open SUNY Online Teaching Community. She has also given numerous lectures and presentations on the teaching and learning with Open Educational Resources and about application of the open pedagogy. She has also participated, first as developed, and later as a mentor at the Open Education for a Better World (OE4BW) – online international mentoring program.

Selected bibliography:

• Dolar, V. (2019). Online Open Educational Resources (OER) Course: Environmental and Health Concerns in Food Consumption and Production, Open Education for a Better World under UNESCO’s auspices

• Dolar, V. (2018). Nutrition, calories, and food prices. SUNY Open Assessment Anthology, 2018.

• Dolar, V. (2018). Does Instant Feedback on Online Homework Assignments Improve Student Learning in Introductory Economics Classes?, Journal of Economics and Economic Education Research, 19(2), 1-15.

• Isoldi, K., & Dolar V. (2016). Chapter 11: Blending Better Beverage Options: A Nutrition Education and Experiential Workshop for Youths, In Areej Hassan (Ed.), Pediatric Behavioral Nutrition Factors: Environment, Education, and Self-Regulation, Apple Academic Press.

• Dolar, V. (2016). Are we Teaching Outside the Box? A National Survey on Teaching Minimum Wage in Undergraduate Economics Classes, Forum for Social Economics.

• Isoldi, K., & Dolar V. (2016). Cooking Up Energy®: Improvements Following Participation in an Afterschool Cooking and Nutrition Education Program, American Journal of Health Behavior, 40(5), 634-644.

• Buttet, S., & Dolar, V. (2014). Design and Use of Rubrics in Undergraduate Economics Classes. Perspectives on Economic Education Research, 9(1), 36-55.

• Dolar, V. (2013). The Treatment of Minimum Wage in Undergraduate Economics Textbooks Revisited. International Journal of Pluralism and Economics Education, 4(2), 157-182.