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Activity 4: Identifying priorities for research

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Language: Knowledge sharing and openness in education are the key features of internationalization of education. However, there is a number of cultural barriers such as language, which funding organization must consider to widening accessibility and maximizing learners’ participation (Stacey, 2007). Most of the open education resources such as books and research papers are not translated in languages used in the third world countries such as Urdu and Hindi. Thus, language gap is widening gaps in learners’ access to online resources (Cobo, 2013).If funding organization invest in translating books and other resources in most of the languages, it will expand the network of learning


Copyright: Most of the Open Educational Resources are copyrighted under Creative Commons. However, still, rise in pirated and plagiarized content highlight loophole in the copyright laws (Pena, n.d.; Prasad and Rao, n.d.). It is significantly affecting the accessibility of quality content. Funding organization must provide awareness and ensure copyright of resources from multiple sources. Further copyrighted laws of each country should also be taken in a loop.

Cost:  According to Miao, Mishra and McGreal “OER development can take different routes, such as creation, adoption, adaptation and curation” (2016, p.5). All these require the cost. There are three types of cost which mainly affect OER 1. For producer: the cost of a server, where OER is kept; 2. For the author: the cost of publication; 3. For institutes, learners and practitioners: cost to adoption, adaptation, and access quality and updated content. In order to provide support to all of these, the financial organization must adopt a model, which can overcome cost barriers for all the stakeholders.



Miao, F., Mishra, S. and McGreal, R. (2016). Open Educational Resources: Policy, Costs and Transformation. UNESCO and Commonwealth of Learning.

Prasad, R. and Rao, J. (n.d.). OERs: Issues and Challenges of Copyrights, Licensing and Access. [online] Available at: http://oasis.col.org/bitstream/handle/11599/2634/PDF?sequence=4&isAllowed=y [Accessed 23 Mar. 2018].

Pena, H. (n.d.). Higher Education: The Success and Challenges in Open Education Resources (OER). [online] Available at: http://eprints.rclis.org/13743/1/pena.pdf.Cobo, C. (2013). Exploration of Open Educational Resources in Non-English Speaking Communities. The International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning, [online] 14(2). Available at: http://www.irrodl.org/index.php/irrodl/article/view/1493/2482 [Accessed 23 Mar. 2018].

Stacey, P. (2007). Open educational resources in a global context. First Monday, [online] 12(4). Available at: http://firstmonday.org/ojs/index.php/fm/article/view/1769/1649 [Accessed 23 Mar. 2018].

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Activity 3: Representing open education

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Edited by Munir Sadruddin, Wednesday, 21 Mar 2018, 07:27

I read the following book and webpage to derive the meaning of openness in education:

Weller, M. (2014). Battle for Open- How openness won and why it doesn't feel like victory. London: Ubiquity Press.

Bates, T. (2018). What do we mean by 'open' in education? | Tony Bates. [online] Tonybates.ca. Available at: https://www.tonybates.ca/2015/02/16/what-do-we-mean-by-open-in-education/ [Accessed 21 Mar. 2018].

Below given is my representation

Openness in education means empowering others with open access to knowledge and skills. It supports ownership of learning. These resources/ courses are available to the larger audience, which support transformative production. However, one needs to have the accessibility to technology in order to avail open learning resources.  For me, it a complicated term because, at many instances, this word is not integrated well into open education/learning system. Example, a good number of open resources lack accountability and reputation. Financial barrier still prevails to retrieve many credible books and research journals.


Dr. Munir

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My experience with open education

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During the last module of MAODE, I learned and improved a lot- both as a learner and practitioner! The course strengthened my critical thinking and research skills. It has connected me to diverse learners, whose viewpoints on my posts helped me to improve my writing skills.  I also learned how to work collaboratively with others. I received lots of appreciation, social as well as moral support. Vigorous participation in weekly activities supported my learning and teaching practices in many ways.  

I was a bit hesitant to own blog due to security reasons in Pakistan. But this course has familiarized me with technicalities and offered me a secure platform to express my opinions with others. Participation in OU live discussions enhanced my team building skills. I implemented few of the learnt technologies in my professional life as well. By reading research papers and articles, I learned how to give evidence-based responses during TMA and EMA.

I also did few online certificate courses from Edx platform. The certificates I earned helped me both personally and professionally. The only think it lacked was interactivity and engagement with other learners.

I am not in favor of open access publication, because of quality and cost factors. I once decided to publish my article with SAGE Open, but they asked for the charge. I published two of my papers in other open access journals, but they lacked quality. In my viewpoint, most of the open access publication platforms is not much reliable.

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Activity 13: Significant new technologies

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How long used for educational purposes

by my organisation

by me

Adaptive Learning Technologies



Mobile Learning


1 year

The Internet of Things

2 years

5 years

Next-Generation LMS

We are still using outdated LMS and it only serves the purpose of uploading and downloading resources.

1 year

During the last module, I used asynchronous discussion forum within LMS and found it effective for my students. But the management did not show the willingness to adopt this practice across the university due to strict laws related to speech sensitivities in Pakistan

Artificial Intelligence



Natural User Interfaces



I would be adopting the following technologies at my university

Adaptive learning technologies: I read about this term in the report as well as online. It can be used to track students’ progress (expertise as well as areas of improvement) as well as to facilitate their learning needs. In our university, we cannot track students’ progress at large because of the manual grading system. We have a larger number of students and each teacher check assignments, quizzes and tests at their convenience. It makes harder for practitioners to trace students’ progress or to guide them accordingly. We have lots of teachers who are trained in IT but they are not using the most out of technology.  Kara & Sevim (2013) highlighted its significance for the similar purpose. “Adaptive learning systems can monitor each learner’s knowledge construction process simultaneously and present scaffoldings and provide immediate feedback in accordance with each learner’s expectations. Interactive tutor in the system helps students to excel each skill, give short quizzes about the content, keep individual score and offer additional help (p.112).” Learners can also trace their progress online through adaptive technology system in an online course (Heo & Joung, 2004), but in my institutional context, it can be successfully used in the blended-learning environment.

Mobile Learning: Most of our university students have access to mobile and internet. During the last module, I conducted one activity, where learners used mobile for research purpose. It was a successful attempt. But learners mostly use mobile for chatting than for productive purpose. I want to initiate mobile learning among students to improve their listening and communication skills.

Mobile technology is useful for language learning. Demouy and Agnes (2010) successfully used mobile devices for French language programme. Similarly, Zhang (2010) highlighted the positive impact of mobile technology on improving listening skills of English as Second Language Learners.

Most of the students studying in our university belong to the rural background and lack vocabulary. I will be using mobile technology to send them one vocabulary each day along with one audio file to improve their listening skills.  In return, each student will use the vocabulary in a sentence and will share the audio with others on a dedicated Whatsapp group (initial plan).

Natural User Interfaces (NUI): I read about a model for an online educational game using natural user interface, which can potentially improve the physical, emotional, cognitive, and social development of learners (Shapi'i & Ghulam, 2016). NUI has been successfully used for medical learners, but I our university can potentially test a prototype and then use it for the future teacher learning by creating virtual learning environment using NUI.

References (IN APA)

Shapi'i, A., & Ghulam. S. (2016). Model for Educational Game Using Natural User Interface. International Journal of Computer Games Technology. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2016/6890351

Kara, N., & Sevim, N. (2013). Adaptive Learning Systems: Beyond Teaching Machines. Contemporary Educational Technology, 4(2), 108-120. Retrieved from https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EJ1105533.pdf

Heo, H., & Joung, S. (2004). Self-Regulation Strategies and Technologies for Adaptive Learning Management Systems for Web-based Instruction. Retrieved from https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED485141.pdf

Demouy, Valérie and Kukulska-Hulme, Agnes (2010). On the spot: using mobile devices for listening

and speaking practice on a French language programme. Open Learning: The Journal of Open and Distance Learning, 25 (3), 217-232

Zhang, Y. (2016). The Impact of Mobile Learning on ESL Listening Comprehension. 3rd International Conference on Advanced Education and Management. Retrieved from dpi-proceedings.com/index.php/dtssehs/article/viewFile/4290/3928

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Activity 11: Connectivism

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Seimens combines key features of learning theories with technology and proposed a new theory of learning for the digital age. He gave the rationale that all the previous learning theories were developed before the age of technology. Today, the trajectory of learning is rapidly changing. Technology is used by the learners to organize and meet social and learning needs. Learners expand knowledge through digital interactions with people and resources. Institutions are adopting digital practices to keep abreast with new developments. 

Siemens’s theory highlights the importance of building and maintaining external connections with others (human and non-human) for continual learning. It underlines the importance of recognizing new information and connecting it with other knowledge pool. Decision making and critical thinking are at the forefront of connectivism. He states that “Creating, preserving, and utilizing information flow should be a key organizational activity”. However, if/how learners utilize information appropriately?

Quaid-e-Azam the founder of Pakistan said, “The world is moving so fast that if you do not educate yourselves you will be not only completely left behind but will be finished up.” Rocha (1998) expressed that “the capacity to form connections between sources of information, and thereby create useful information patterns, is required to learn in our knowledge economy.”Today, young people have access to technology but are they making the most out of it?

Driscoll (2000) defines learning as a gradual process of improving human performance through digital interactions. But technology brings many challenges to the forefront such as the issue of the validity of resources. 

The cycle of knowledge begins with the individual and shift towards the network. Brown highlights the example of Maricopa County Community project. I also did the same activity and linked senior citizens with my university students. It helped them to learn from their experiences. It further strengthened the concept of social responsibility among learners. 

Rise of social networking and the availability of abundant information on the web can be shared around the world almost instantaneously. But what about the availability of unreliable data? What about growing piracy? Above all, what about the security issues on social networking in some countries, where free speech and online sharing of all sort of educational content is under the surveillance? Are learners willing to take ownership of learning in this digital age? Does this theory apply to those learners, who do not have access to technology? These and many other questions are yet to be explored.

We not only need knowledge through connectivity but also learn to seek “Actual Knowledge” and to learn to build better connections.

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Activity 9

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Edited by Munir Sadruddin, Saturday, 17 Feb 2018, 15:50


a.       I saw the video of Operant conditioning experiment conducted by Skinner. Pigeon behavior was shaped by controlling the environment. I argue that if the environment is controlled, then a child might not behave same in other environments. I like the idea of giving children schedule of reward as reinforce strategy. But we need to give more intrinsic rewards than extrinsic one to the learners.

Behavior is not a static characteristic. It changes by time, situation and experiences. We can shape behavior by rewards. But for consistency in changing behavior, we need to design sustainable strategies such as constant encouragement and exposure to multiple learning environments.

 I am not in favor of isolation strategy of Skinner to change behavior!

b.      In Thorndike’s ‘trial and error’ theory, he proposed that learners learn a lot of new things from trials and errors.  Also, behavior changes because of its consequences. But providing reward all the time is not a good option. It might attach behavior changes with expectations or reward all the time! If children will not receive reward, they might get demotivated! Further, new habits are also developed by situations.


According to Ausubel, learners must be taught directly through organizing materials. I am not in support of his idea. I am the proponent of Bruner’s idea of discovery learning approach.

According to Bruner “learners should be given opportunities to discover for themselves relationships that are inherent in the learning material.” So true! He proposed the teaching strategy called scaffolding, where the teacher demonstrate how to solve a problem and later give ownership to the learners to master the task, while teacher play the role of a facilitator/ supporter. In my viewpoint, it gradually shifts learners from DEPENDENCIES TO IN DEPENDENCIES.

Advantage: develop critical thinking skills, when pair diverse learners; observation is key to success; moving from simplified to complex tasks.

Disadvantage: difference of learners with regard to skills and level of competencies.

We must give opportunity to learners to take ownership of finding relationship that are inherent in the learning material.


Piaget studied how knowledge develops from birth to adulthood. Although the stages he describe is the foundation of constructivism. But I argue, why he associated development with restricted age bracket? Children are sharper today because of increasing interactions with environment and because of availability of more learning opportunity at early ages. He did not focus on this domain.  What if a child is disable or a slow learner? Children discover new things now only by knowledge but participation!

Vygotsky focuses on social construction of knowledge [learning process] and on the role of language. Learning happen with interaction with environment. The more you interact the more you learn. All children have different abilities to accomplish tasks either independent or with the help of others guidance.


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New blog post

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Edited by Munir Sadruddin, Sunday, 4 Feb 2018, 13:27

I was introduced to blogging during H800. At first, I was not comfortable writing blog. But gradually I found it useful in many ways. Initially I kept my blog personal, but gradually I started sharing it with other classmates. I not only managed blog on OU website but also created external blog. I have the following tips for the students from my personal experience

1. I raised critical debates, clarify concepts and share my standing point with confidence (Downes, 2006). You can also use blog for the same reason!

2. It helped me to collect others viewpoints for EMA. You can use blog to collect viewpoints from the classmates for TMA and EMA.

3. I collected web links at one place and shared with my classmates

4. I wrote reflective journal. You can also maintain a personal journal/diary as blog

5. I shared my personal endeavors with others such as social activities.

6. I also used it for some activities in the module H800.

7. You can setup blogs to share your learning practices with global communities

Drawbacks: I received few replies on OU blog. At some point, I felt disengaged to continue writing blog on OU website, but my tutor encouraged me to keep on writing personal reflective diary. I advise you not to lose hope! Take it as a learning challenge for your personal growth and development. You can either keep your blog personal or share it with others, its up to you. 

I also advice new students to keep blogging and engage other participants by sharing blog link on the discussion forum. Try to actively comment on others blogs too. Make different folders for managing different types of educational blogs

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I would be grateful if you all can share your viewpoints about asynchronous discussion forum uses for learners and practitioners. Can you share its strength and weakness according to your experiences, please?

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My Write-up

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Please visit http://dailytimes.com.pk/letters/09-Dec-16/state-of-children-rights

It is about the state of children rights in Pakistan. I am sure you all will like it

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ACTIVITY 2C: ‘OER is reducing the digital divide’

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OER is reducing the digital divide, and making resources accessible to the larger audience, because these resources are available free of cost, which help in cutting the cost of education, but in my personal opinion, OER cannot completely replace the conventional resources and classrooms. In Pakistan, most of the public schools do not have the accessibility of the basic facilities like books, so we cannot think of using technology for accessing resources, unless providing the basic educational resources to the children. Weak technological infrastructure may also hamper its use. It is good that globally, instructors have the facilities to use these materials, but teachers must be trained to incorporate these resources and bear the additional workload, beside the routine work, to use OER. Also, let the teacher decide, if he/she want to use OER or not. Further, there remains a question on the quality of the available resources. I always wonder why the resources are available free of cost? Is it for the social benefits, or for marketing the organization?. Obviously, no one works for free, so there must be some potential benefits for the organizations, in addition to providing the social benefits. The OER resources on all the areas are unevenly distributed. I tried to search for OER on Islamic teaching methods, but I did not find any.  Also, you may not be able to find updated resources all the time. Culture and ideology of every country has great influence on the content, so this might be a challenge too.

OER has potentially reduced the cost of higher education due to disruptive technology (Anderson and McGreal, 2017). It also supports the concept of lifelong learning, and expand the access to learning for everyone by bridging the gap between non-formal, informal and formal learning, but there are many social, legal, economic and technological barriers attached to the use, produce and share of OER (Hylen, 2007). Many people do not have access to technology to use these resources. Also, if the technology is available, many are misusing these freely available resources. In Pakistan, pirated books are available, printed out of the OER materials. It has now become a business industry to use OER for this purpose, with no check and balance from the government.  Thus, the issue of open content and copyrighted of the material is at the forefront of OER.

OER can be implemented worldwide, but technological infrastructure, particularly in the developing countries, along with awareness and training of teachers on the proper utilization of resources is required to turn this idea into the reality.  Also the role of institution is crucial.

The questions raised in week 10a were, ‘What are learning institutions for?’  and ‘[open learning will] smash the structure of the modern university’. The demand of the conventional classes will remain the same forever. Although open access to resources are providing more access to teachers and learners towards free resources, but OER cannot replace institutions. Challenges like quality assurance, etc remain at forefront.

There must be a global policy for OER. Also, quality must be ensured. In addition, if we want to implement OER worldwide, we must first do the 'resource mapping' and 'technological mapping' of the countries 


Hylén, J. (2007). Giving knowledge for free. 1st ed. Paris: OECD.

Anderson, T. and McGreal, R. (2017). Disruptive Pedagogies and Technologies in Universities. Educational Technology & Society, [online] 15(4), pp.380-389. Available at: http://web.a.ebscohost.com.libezproxy.open.ac.uk/ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?vid=11&sid=1f99fbc3-f1e1-43ca-a95e-e917ff0761e7%40sessionmgr4008&hid=4204 [Accessed 23 Apr. 2017].

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A2a: Looking at global figures

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The latest data is available on the same webpage, so I would like to comment on the below given data. Table 1, shows that there has been a tremendous growth in the technology usage in Africa, followed by Middle East, Latin America and Asia. From the pie chart it is clear that most of the Internet users in the world are from Asia, followed by Europe 49.6% of the world have access to technology as compare to 46% in 2015. The things are changing overtime, with increase growth rate of accessibility to the technology and its usage, specially in the third world countries. But I doubt the data collection and analysis methods. If they only relied on the data available online, then may be the statistics presented is the deceptive one.

                                                             World Internet Users and 2017 Population Stats

MARCH 25, 2017 - Update

World Regions

( 2017 Est.)

% of World

Internet Users
31 Mar 2017

Rate (% Pop.)


Users %



16.6 %


27.7 %


9.3 %



55.2 %


45.2 %


50.2 %



10.9 %


77.4 %


17.1 %

Latin America / Caribbean


8.6 %


59.6 %


10.3 %

Middle East


3.3 %


56.7 %


3.8 %

North America


4.8 %


88.1 %


8.6 %

Oceania / Australia


0.5 %


68.1 %


0.7 %



100.0 %


49.6 %


100.0 %

NOTES: (1) Internet Usage and World Population Statistics updated as of March 30, 2017. (2) CLICK on each world region name for detailed regional usage information. (3) Demographic (Population) numbers are based on data from the United Nations - Population Division. (4) Internet usage information comes from data published by Nielsen Online, by ITU, the International Telecommunications Union, by GfK, by local ICT Regulators and other reliable sources. (5) For definitions, navigation help and disclaimers, please refer to the Site Surfing Guide. (6) Information in this site may be cited, giving the due credit and placing a link back to www.internetworldstats.com. Copyright © 2017, Miniwatts Marketing Group. All rights reserved worldwide.

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Education Accessibility Quality and Inequity

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Universally, there is a challenge of accessibility, quality, and inequity. Regarding cost, I think it is the barrier to overcome these challenges. Education, no doubt is one of the solutions to increase accessibility, but it also carries many challenges like the issue of privacy, quality, etc. Availability of the technological infrastructure and adaptability of the people is also critically important. Regarding universal primary education, this common phrase has only reaped quantitative gains, i.e., more enrollment, poor quality and no assurance of sustainability. In Pakistan, there was an admission drive last year. Results: more enrollment, low quality, and now, ghost students.  Quality of learning can affect conventional as well as technology based classroom as well.


Daniel et al (2006) shared that open and distance learning and ICT has improved accessibility, improved quality and cut cost. I agree, but not in case of Pakistan. In Pakistan, during the recent years, the cost of distance education has increased with no quality improvement. Technology based distance education is not yet functional due to social and cultural barriers. In conventional classrooms, ICT equipment are available in private schools, but most of the children go to public schools, where the students are not even familiar to the term ICT. Education for All an SDG failed in many countries including Pakistan. EFA Goal 2 states “Ensuring that by 2015 all children, particularly girls, children in difficult circumstances and those belonging to ethnic minorities, have access to, and complete, free and compulsory primary education of good quality.” During the past three years, many girls schools are blown up in the conflicted areas by the extremists. We can’t trust the data presented in the fabricated reports. Technology in education has potential, but we need infrastructure and resources, as well as need to see the current social, cultural and political scenario.

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Supporting Human Rights Initiatives!

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Pakistan is facing human rights challenges since decades. Due to social and cultural barriers, along with multi-layered ideologies, education is under attack. Education, particularly in the conflicted-areas are badly affected due to extremism. The recent attacks on educational institutions have churned human values and are creating anger and promoting radicalization among youth. The curricula and textbooks are also fueling hatred due to integration of negative elements. In all these and many other veiled circumstances, I founded Global Forum for Teacher Educators, which aims at promoting human rights awareness among youth and women teachers of disadvantaged communities with an aim to shape their positive attitude towards global issues and save them from radicalization. In the future, I plan to use the medium of distance and online education to reach masses to carry out my work at large scale.

Visit my page: http://globalforumforte.wixsite.com/gfte

Together we can and we will!

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