The Structure and Components for the Open Education Ecosystem - Constructive Design Research of Online Learning Tools

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School of Arts, Design and Architecture | Doctoral thesis (article-based) | Defence date: 2016-09-23
Degree programme
130 + app. 82
Aalto University publication series DOCTORAL DISSERTATIONS, 175/2016
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.
Supervising professor
Leinonen, Teemu, Associate Prof., Aalto University, Department of Media, Finland
open education, digital ecosystems, design patterns
Other note
  • [Publication 1]: Põldoja, H., Leinonen, T., Väljataga, T., Ellonen, A., & Priha, M. (2006). Progressive Inquiry Learning Object Templates (PILOT). International Journal on E-Learning, 5(1), 103–111
  • [Publication 2]: Leinonen, T., Purma, J., Põldoja, H., & Toikkanen, T. (2010). Information Architecture and Design Solutions Scaffolding Authoring of Open Educational Resources. IEEE Transactions on Learning Technologies, 3(2), 116–128.
    DOI: 10.1109/TLT.2010.2 View at publisher
  • [Publication 3]: Põldoja, H., Duval, E., & Leinonen, T. (2016). Design and evaluation of an online tool for open learning with blogs. Australasian Journal of Educational Technology, 32(2), 64–81.
    DOI: 10.14742/ajet.2450 View at publisher
  • [Publication 4]: Põldoja, H., & Väljataga, T. (2010). Externalization of a PLE: Conceptual Design of LeContract. In The PLE 2010 Conference Proceedings. Barcelona: Citilab. Retrieved from
  • [Publication 5]: Põldoja, H., Väljataga, T., Laanpere, M., & Tammets, K. (2014). Web-based self- and peer-assessment of teachers’ digital competencies. World Wide Web, 17(2), 255–269.
    DOI: 10.1007/s11280-012-0176-2 View at publisher