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Learning contract for an Open PhD in Leadership in Curriculum Development and Instruction with a focus on Open Courseware Development, Business Management, Educational Technology and Open Learning[edit]

After taking some courses in a PhD in Curriculum and Instruction and engaging in a process of starting a dissertation proposal a few years ago,I decide to engage myself in the alternative route to pursue my educational and professional goals. This choice came after my research in alternative education as an educator and it came out that I used the benefit of this research to fulfill my educational goals. My research in alternative education led me to the field of Open Education, Open Educational Resources, Open Courseware and Open learning. There I found dedicated educators committed to use open learning resources to fulfill their educational and professional goals. Those interested in fulfilling their educational goals engaged in open master's and PhD degrees. I decided to complete my PhD using open learning resources and I joined a few people also interested in an open PhD. I took open courses, MOOCs, attended various online seminars, curated and read various articles and resources about open learning, used a variety of social medias, participated in an Open PhD group and used my blogs Open PhD Exploration and Alteredzine to report my Open PhD learning activities and projects. Using Wikiversity and P2PU to work with the PhD group I decided to design a learning contract that will help me to achieve my educational goals. I am doing the Open PhD concurrently by working on other projects such as Open Popular University, teaching and tutoring online at New Direction Education Services. Open Popular University and online teaching are considered for me as experiential learning in the Open PhD plan. The process used in the Open PhD has been:
1. Taking open Courses: open courseware courses, MOOcs, self-designed courses
2. Publishing articles in open education, open educational resources, open courseware and other subjects relevant to the field on my blogs and social medias.
3. Curating educational resources
4. Using a personal learning network
5. Applying the learning content in projects such as Open Popular University, other open educational projects and online teaching
6. Working in a book on Open learning.

This process will continue by working on a thesis based on the field of open learning, a report of one of my open education projects (this report may be included in the thesis). I am contemplating using Action Research or other research methods for my thesis. It will end by publishing the thesis, report and the book.

I am considering to write a thesis using Action Research by investigating a problem in the field of open learning and using Open Popular University as a model to solve the problem.

Example of problem: Many asynchronous open learning sites don't offer to the self-learner who wants to obtain a degree by himself or to learn something useful learning methods and a fully developed curriculum associated with open learning resources to learn in a self-directed way and focus too much on delivering content.

Question: What are the effective methods and model of resources that an open learning site can offer to the self-directed learner who wants to obtain a degree in a field by himself or to learn a course so that he can learn the content usefully and be a competent learner.

Population: Asynchronous learning sites that offer courses that stand alone and courses that can be grouped to obtain a degree

Sample: Some best learning sites that represent the population.

Reformulation of the problem: Due to the high costs of attending universities some experienced professionals and other type of self-learners are willing to learn by themselves either to obtain a degree by , to learn a course or to develop themselves professionally or for other purposes. They lack the methods and resources to help them learn by themselves effectively. Some asynchronous learning sites don't offer them learning methods, a fully developed curriculum and support to reach their educational objectives.

Question: How to provide them effective support, learning methods, a fully developed curriculum assocaited with useful resources that allow them to obtain a degree by themselves. to learn a couse effectively, to use different learning methods (digital or not) in order to be a competent self-directed learner?

Sample: High School and College students who want to suplement their courses or learn new things, professionals and other learners who want to obtain a degree by themselves or to learn for their own personal objectives.

N.B. Open Popular University may be willing to develop its own courses using volunteers. But for now it will concentrate on using courses from other open coursewarw repository. Open Popular University is essentially an asynchronous learning site.

Learning contract. Definition[edit]

A learning contract is a document a learner creates to compare current abilities with desired abilities, and determine the best strategy for bridging the gap. I develop each of the following rubrics to make up my learning contract.

Professional and learning goals[edit]

My professional goals are to develop myself professionally in areas I practiced for a number of years and new areas I just entered, other areas I studied but haven’t practiced, etc. I studied Civil Engineering and I am doing some activities in one of my blogs dedicated to earthquakes. I am interested in developing Open Popular University, New Direction Education Services, other educational projects and ventures. I’d like also to perform permanently individual activities I started online such as writing in blogs and social media, curating articles and publishing books. My academic learning goal is to finish my PhD and continue to learn for the rest of my life. I’d like to finish the PhD using my own curriculum and get the amount of learning recognized by an university that can assess the learning and award a degree. If not, the open PhD can serve as way to be a Researcher, an open digital scholar and to develop skills in entrepreneurship, open education, open learning, leadership, online teaching , educational administration, curriculum development, instructional design and digital literacy.

Learning history. Identification of knowledge, skills, abilities from prior educational institutions and experiences.[edit]

In this section are listed my educational background, professional and informal experiences.

Formal learning[edit]

My Educational background includes two diplomas of end of secondary studies (first and second part baccalaureate) with a specialization in Math, Physics and Science, undergraduate courses in Human Sciences, a bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering, a major in Math and Science, graduate studies in Educational Administration, a master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction, doctoral studies in Curriculum and Instruction and currently an Open PhD designed to meet my educational and professional goals.

Formal courses completed during previous doctoral studies in Curriculum and Instruction:

1. Culturally Responsive Leadership (Acquisition of the new book)
2. Qualitative Research
3. Quantitative Research
4. Applied Action Research
5. Doctoral Personal Learning Plan
6. School Law
7. Education and Society
8. Education and Finance.

Other coursework and requirements are:

1. The Culturally Responsive Curriculum
2. Developmentally Appropriate Curriculum
3. Reaching All Students
4. Curriculum Supervision and Evaluation
5. Qualifying paper
6. Learning Theory 1
7. Critical issues in Education 1
8. Research on Best Practice 1
9. Dissertation Proposal Development
10. Dissertation Writing 1
11. Dissertation writing II
12. Dissertation Writing III
I was in the half of the program. This program will be compared to some progressive and by publication PhD programs

Informal learning[edit]

The most recent informal courses I took are Online Teaching at Adult Resource Literacy Institute (UMASS, Boston), Edstartup 101 (Entrepreneurship in Education), ETMOOC (Educational Technology and Media, Instructional Design, Critical Lessons for Entrepreneurs, Foundations of Business Strategy, Product Development. Other courses are: Educational Leadership for Adult Education Administrators, Open Educational Resources and Web development at P2PU and Small Business Administration. I researched the topic Open Learning in order to present a book as part of my fulfillment for the Open PhD. I have also read several articles on Open Education, curated in Open Education, DIY learning, Open Education Daily, Open Education Magazine, Collected and my blog Open PhD Exploration. I have also written articles about several educational topics on the Open PhD Exploration blog . I have also published on Slideshare, Collected, Scribd some educational resources. I shared several articles on the Open Popular University Facebook page, its twitter page, L, New Direction Education Services Facebook page, LinkedIn. Twitter, Google+ and Quora. I read and collected articles on the following topics for my Open PhD and other educational purposes in Diigo: Open learning, DIY learning, Edtech, Entrepreneurship, Research, Social Media, Storytelling, Web 2.0 tools, Writing Resources, Reading/Study technique, MOOCs, Self-improvement, Science, etc. I use Stumblepon to collect sites on different topics: Alternative health, Construction, DIY culture, Health, Leadership, Maths, Philosophy, Psychology, Relationships, Science, Seismology, Self-improvement, Technology, Social Media, etc. I use also Delicious and Yahoo bookmarks to collect articles in several areas of interest. I use iGoole to collect articles in topics of different interests . I use also Google alerts, Google News and Google Reader to collect articles from different sites. I also publish and use You Tube, Pearltrees and Dropbox for my educational endevours. I also subscribed to many interesting educational sites such as I set up Twitter and Facebook lists in different topics such as Civil Engineering, Science, Health, Alternative Medicine, Open Educational Resources, etc. I set up a presentation in Google for my Educational and Professional portfolio, which is also created in Pathbrite.

Other topics I am interested in are published in my blogs. In the Haiti Reconstruction blog I publish articles related to topics such as: Cholera, News Analysis, Building Construction, Paraseismic Construction, Culture, Dossier, Earthquakes, Economics, Environment, Construction Management, Seismic Vulnerability, Movement of the earth, Natural disasters, Reconstruction, Haiti mining resources, Haiti earthquakes, World earthquakes and Structures. The Haiti Reconstruction blog is associated with the curation sites Haiti Reconstruction magazine and Haiti Environment and Health magazine.In my blog Alterzine are published articles related topics such as: Behavioral studies, Health, Science and Reflections. Alterzine is associated to the curation sites Alterzine magazine and Alterzine blog most popular articles . In Alteredzine are published articles related to the following topics: Learning Theories, Study of Behavior, Self-improvement, Calculus, Algebra 2, Open Educational Resources, OpenCourseWare. Alteredzine is associated with Alteredzine magazine, Alteredzine blog most popular articles In Open PhD are published articles related to: Research, Open Educational Resources, Open Courseware, Open Education, Open Learning, Web 2.0, Free Education, Free University, Edstartup, Educational Media and Technology, Instructional Design.

Informal Courses

1. Educational Technology and Media (ETMOOC)
2. Edstartup 101 (Entrepreneursip in Education)
3. Online teaching
4. Instructional Design
5. Open Educational Resources
6. Web Development
7. Educational Leadership for Adult Education Administrators
8. Small Business Administration
9. Critical lessons for Entrepreneurs
10. Foundations of Business Strategy
11. Product development in Social media

I will add to this list other courses. I will list other sef-designed courses and courses taken at the master's level.

Background summary

Experienced educator with knowledge in K-12 education and administration, curriculum and instruction, alternative,open and adult education
Math teacher certified
Long time experienced and trained educator in math, physics and science.
Tutor in different academic subjects including Math, ESL, French and Spanish. Visit my site New Direction Education Services at
Experienced and trained educator in adult education subjects: ESL, Math and GED test preparation
Skilled in math course design. Open courseware editor at Open Popular University. For free learning visit the site at
Open education supporter
Interested in regular and online teaching, tutoring and math content development positions. I am an experienced educator in Math, Science,Physics, French, ESL and Spanish. I tutored and I taught these subjects. I designed and published also math online courses. See a current online math course at Notions of limits.
. I published math tutorials and articles in study skills related to math and other subjects in my blog Alteredzine at For math content development I designed and published a course in Mathematical Analysis and Probability.
Interested in educational entrepreneurship and ecommerce.
Interested in writing and publishing. I designed and published a Course in Math and Probability.
I am currently writing articles, blogging in Open Education, Math, Science, Seismology, Building Construction, Paraseismic Construction and started a book writing project.
Volunteered in the board of directors of several community organizations.
Fluent in English, French, Kreyol and Spanish.

Specialties and interests

Primary and secondary education, math education, adult education, open education, Curriculum and Instruction development, theories of learning, study of human behavior, educational entrepreneurship, tutoring, online teaching, blogging, freelance writing. web curating,, open learning development, Informal science education with emphasis on natural disasters ( I designed a blog following the Haiti earthquake to educate on formation of earthquakes with an emphasis on paraseismic construction), seismology, building construction, paraseismic construction, environment, etc.

Professional experiences[edit]

Open Courseware Editor at Open Popular University Dec 2010-Present
Tutor in Math, French, ESL, Spanish at New Direction Education Services September 2006-Present
Educator in Math, Science, French, ESL and Spanish in the Massachusetts Public Schools September 1994-Present
Educator at Center for Educational Development 1996-2004
Educator at public and private schools outside U.S in Math, Physics, Chemistry, Science,Social Studies 1975-1993
Volunteered at the board of Directors of several community organizations 1994-2008

Educational and Professional Portfolio[edit]

Educational and Professional Portfolio

About me

Peer-to-Peer University


Skills and knowledge development[edit]

In this section are identified the knowledge, skills, abilities to reach professional and learning goals. Overall my goal is to contribute to the improvement of the human condition. Knowledge can be a waste if it is not applied and useful. When knowledge is applied it develops habits. I am interested in tools, skill development before acquiring knowledge. Tools, skills and knowledge are not necessary acquired by spending thousands of dollars in educational institutions in top of time, energy spent and family commitments and leisure sacrifices. I want to be a self-directed learner very competent in literacy, digital literacy, research, business management including project management, leadership, curriculum development, instructional design, educational technology social media marketing, open and emergent learning, open learning development, etc. I want to develop time management skills to manage my personal life , work and projects. Once one has the tools it becomes easy to acquire knowledge. I will continue to acquire knowledge in Leadership, Business and Project Management, Curriculum development, Human Relations, Human Behavior, Research, Educational Technology, etc.

Experiential learning[edit]

My online educational activities in Open Popular University and online teaching are specifically integrated in this open PhD. My offline work is also integrated. The focus of this PhD which is Open learning is more demonstrated in Open Popular University and my online teaching.

Domain of study or research[edit]

My domain of research is focused on Open learning. I define Open learning primarily as the ability to learn independently using physical and human resources such as libraries, study circles or groups, electronic resources such as radio, television, computer, compact discs (cd),digital video discs (DVD), the web. ipads, cellphones, etc. My research is mostly focused on independent learning using the web resources such as personal learning networks, web 2.0 tools and open content (open educational resources, open courseware, open journals, etc).

Details of the contributions[edit]

My contribution will be focused on how to learn independently using mostly the web resources and is best demonstrated in the site of Open Popular University. The thesis will be published in the form of article or as-is in my blogs, different social medias such as Twitter, LinkedIn, Quora, Google+,, an academic social media site, etc, and open journals. It will be peer-reviewed and supervised by a mentor. I will seek the help of professors, educators, researchers, mentors, other PhD students, the current Open PhD group for input from all the stages of my work.

Research Methodology[edit]

I took research courses at the master's and doctoral levels. My first action in this OnPhD was to review the research methodologies in my blog Open PhD Exploration. I will review them again when I am in the stage of designing my thesis. I was mostly focused in Quantitative research design in my previous doctoral work. Lately I became interested in mastering all types of research designs. I researched different alternatives in lieu of thesis such as writing and publishing articles structured or not around a thesis, building a website, writing a book. I will seek the input of educators about the alternative research methods. In quest of something practical I became interested in Action Research. I can combine Action Research, an alternative and a traditional research method in my thesis to satisfy my desire of knowing the traditional, alternative and action research methods.


Objectives should be SMART:
-Specific ( Detailed description )
- Measurable ( How will you know you've achieved it )
- Attainable ( Is your objective reasonable? )
- Action-oriented ( Use an action verb )
- Result-oriented ( phrase with end result in mind)
- Time-phased ( include a deadline)

1. Refine the plan for the full operation of Open Popular University
2. Attract students, profesionals, educators to participate in the development of Open Popular University
3. Attract financial resources and volunteers for the operations of Open Popular University and other open educational projects

  Apply the refined plan for Open Popular University

4. Refine the plan for tutoring face-to-face in Math, French, ESL, Spanish a

  Design a marketing plan and find help in carrying out the plan

5. Refine the plan for tutoring online in Math, French, ESL, Spanish a

  Design a marketing plan and find help in carrying out the plan

3. Refine the plan for online courses in Math, Open Learning, etc that can benefit online students

  Design a marketing plan and find help in carrying out the plan

4. Design and apply a plan for other services: translation, article writing, online course design in New Direction Education Services
5. Design and apply a plan for writing and publishing books
6. Design and apply a plan for blogging
7. Design a plan for curating interested topics
8. Design and apply a plan for Continuing Courses in New Direction Education Services
9. Design and apply a plan for a Math Academic Center
10.Design and apply a plan for online stores
11.Integrate the Center for Educational Development in New Direction Education Services continuing courses: a program for adults in Math and ESL
12.Be able to understand people's behavior, group, societies and the world.
13.Be a competent project manager and administrator
14.Write and publish my thesis.
15.Write and publish the book related to the OnPhD
16.Find a supervisor for the PhD thesis
17.Validate this Open PhD by using a portfolio, seeking recognition from open educational institutions and organizations

Deadlines for meeting the objectives

Let's put a deadline for 2017 for the accomplishment of the OnPhD


I include here topics that I am currently studying and will study and projects to be completed.
1. Business Administration (Additional knowledge in specific subjects) including project management
2. Social Media Marketing
3. Instructional Design
4. Open learning
5. Educational technology (Additional knowledge)
6. Web development
7. Research (Review and additional knowledge)
8. Leadership (Additional knowledge)
9. Curriculum Development ( Additional knowledge )
10. Book on Open learning (to be completed)
11. Thesis (to be completed)
12. Open Courseware (to be fully operational)

This Open PhD is done by:

1. Learning by using Open courses and web resources
. Article reading is documented in bookmarks with annotations and comments 2. Research: informal and informal. Informal research is done on a daily basis from personal learning networks and for writing the book on Open learning. Formal or structured research is done in the thesis phase.
3. Publishing articles in blogs and different social media: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Quora, Stumbleupon, etc and publishing in You Tube.
4. Designing online courses
5. Tutoring
6. Teaching face-to-face
7. Curating and aggregating and bookmarking sites
8. Collaborating with Peers and other educators.
9. Developing Open Popular University, New Direction Services and other open educational projects
10. Marketing different educational services


The standards of measurement for this Open PhD are the acquisition of badges, the use of a portfolio, a book, completion of projects, endorsements and recognition by open educational institutions and organizations. Self-reflections and feedback from educators are other measures. For self-reflections I will use the Open PhD blog

Supervision and endorsements[edit]

Supervision will be sought from a mentor educator. Endorsements will be sought from open educators, institutions and other organizations interested in open education.


- Open courses: lecture notes, PDFs, audio and video lectures. My learning style is more focused in reading, writing and doing.
- Web articles and PDFs
- Independent audio and video lectures
- Open textbooks
- Curation
- Personal learning networks

Personal learning networks[edit]

My personal learning network is made of: 1. Educators, friends, colleagues, Facebook pages and groups, Twitter following and followers, LinkedIn groups, Google+ communities, Scribd, Slideshare, Quora following and followers.
2. Curation in Scoop,,Collected and the Open PhD blog
3. Aggregation in iGoogle, Google Alerts, Google Reader, Facebook and Twitter lists
4. Bookmarking in Diigo, Yahoo, Delicious, Stumbleupon, Evernote
5. Publishing in the following blogs Open PhD Exploration, Alteredzine, Alterzine, Haiti Reconstruction, social medias and in the folowing sites: Open Popular University and New Direction Services. Publishing is also done in other sites and social medias.

Identification of potential obstacles[edit]

It is understood that many obstacles arise when one undertakes such a giant educational project. For the present time I am studying and undertaking all the practical educational projects without any support. I will appreciate financial, educational, psychological support for this study and my projects. Potential obstacles I identify are: time-management ( finding time to study,publish, write a book and a thesis is not easy when one has to find a way to improve the present personal life while juggling with its necessities), lack of interest, lack of scope. It is difficult to find time to study and do all the activities mentioned in the Curriculum. Most of the subjects have already been studied. However I will review Leadership, Curriculum development and Research in the last resort while focusing in Open learning, Instructional Design and Instructional Technology for the present moment

Identification of solutions

I will stick to a time table, systematizing all learning and activities in this present plan. I will try to be more clear minded about the benefits of such a study like how to use it for project realization, self-improvement and job benefits. I'll try to be more responsible in fulfilling all the requirements of this study. I'll consider it like a study done in a regular institution since one intends not to take seriously or treating with rigor an educational endevour undertaken outside traditional institutions. Another thing I was interested in is study skills and speed reading, two elements essential for studying faster. I took courses in study skills and speed reading. But for speed reading I don't feel applying the techniques. Should I retake this course and do it more deeply?. Should I also give a priority in reading my web resources in study skills? Also I am interested in other subjects such as Science, Seismology, Building Construction, Environment, Health. So far in the recent years I manage to do all these things. But designing online courses, writing a book have in some sort slowed me down on my other blogging activities. I should find a way to manage all of this.

Learning contract review[edit]

I will seek feedback from peers, educators, colleagues about this contract. It can be modified based on feedback received. I will participate in online forums and make a list of people to contact for feedback. It can also be reviewed based on notes, resources, personal notes and reflections about this PhD.