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Welcome to FOS! A great opportunity to learn with people from around the world

Dear friends,

This might be a new way of learning to you. On this page we provide a few thoughts that will help you get the most out of our time together. Please see your engagement as a start of a journey and an opportunity to join this learning and development community. FOS is supported by facilitators. So please reach out if you need help.

If you just arrived here, it might feel a little bit disjointed, disorganised, and even chaotic. This is not so unusual! Remember, we learn the most when we are not in our comfort zones.

We hope you’ll stay for the whole course with us, but it’s entirely up to you. We’d love you to be busy and involved, but we know some people like things a bit quieter and that is absolutely fine too.

You can jump right in if you want – follow each of the FOS topics day by day or pick one that is useful for you. Each topic page will set out a scenario available in alternative formats for the day’s theme and suggested activities.

Visit the suggested topics tab and let your creativity flow!


Responding and reflecting: We encourage you to be brave and share your thoughts about teaching and learning with smart devices and social media with others. Do this via the FOS community spaces in Google +. Also consider using a portfolio to capture your thoughts, discoveries and learning and connect with others.

Sharing: Consider learning with a learning partner! Share your learning ‘nuggets’ via Twitter- Send a Tweet and a link to your blog post, photograph, drawing, poem, audio file, video, screencast or anything else you wish to share. Remember to include the hashtag #FOS4L or @FOS4L- that way we’ll all find each other. Please do check the guidance about using social media and the information about ethics too.

We hope to introduce you to new ways of learning, but also tools and social spaces where we can share and learn with others. Some of these may be familiar. Take a look at our Tools tab for suggestions.

Remember you are not alone! If you feel lost, shout out and ask for help. If you’re from one of the partner institutions, you might want to check who are your main contacts. If not, we’ll all chip in anyway – raise a question in Twitter and include #FOShelp. Our team of volunteer facilitators will respond as soon as possible.

Your commitment: Don’t feel you have to be present everywhere. Settle where you feel challenged. We learn most when we are not in our comfort zones. Engage in conversations, explorations and experimentations or simply listen and learn and consider reaching out and connecting with others.

We recommend:

  • For the days you decide to engage: read the topic page and consider engaging with the scenarios and some of the activities that are most relevant to your situation.
  • Consider connecting on Twitter and join the activities there.
  • Take the opportunity to establish presence in social media spaces but only if this is ok with you. No need to be everywhere, all the time.

Check out the Resources tab where you will find useful papers, ebooks, reports and other resources. And add your suggestions for helpful resources (especially on Curation day – Wednesday) so that this bank can grow further.

… and if you would like to learn with others in a small group… keep reading this section.

An evidence-based cross-boundary collaborative open learning framework for cross-institutional academic development (Nerantzi, 2017) has been developed as a key output of a phenomenographic study and it will be the first time we will be using this in practice. The framework has three dimensions:

  • learning engagement patterns
  • learning needs
  • design consideration

You can see it below. As a learner, we would like you to consider the patterns and your needs in the context of learning with others in a small group.

learning engagement patterns alternative version-02
Cross-boundary collaborative open learning framework for cross-institutional academic development (Nerantzi, 2017) available under the following Creative Commons licence: Attribution – Non Commercial – Share Alike 4.0 International

Research has shown that individuals move between the two patterns, immersive and selective collaboration depending on a range of factors, circumstances and priorities and find both of them equally important. See what works for you in a specific moment in time and identify how best to engage so that you get what you want out of the course. Your group facilitator will be there to help you get started learning with diverse peers as this has shown to increase motivation and interest in each other and the course.

Register? – this is a registration free course. However, please complete the survey to claim your FOS participation badge. You can sign up for email updates from the home page by clicking on following FOS4L. You can also follow @FOS4L and #FOS4L on Twitter.


FOS provides a rich opportunity for open learning and development. No one can predict where this will take us. However, we can guarantee it will be an adventure and you will come away with something new and exciting that you will be able to use in your practice.

Enjoy the journey!

The FOS team

Nerantzi, C. (2017) Towards a cross-boundary collaborative open learning framework for cross-institutional academic development, PhD thesis, Edinburgh Napier University: Edinburgh.



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