Last Friday I attended a presentation of Erik Meerbrug. After his Geodesy study at TU Delft he specilised in GIS: geo information systems. In his presentation he mentioned some interesting projects that are happening in the world of geo and open data.
Last week Coursera announced that they updated the enrolment and grading option of their courses. No longer you can have free access to the full course:
Starting today, when you enroll in certain courses, you’ll be asked to pay a fee if you’d like to submit required graded assignments and earn a Course Certificate. You can also choose to explore the course for free, in which case you’ll have full access to videos, discussions, and practice assignments, and view-only access to graded assignments.
Most Coursera courses never used an open licensed. So they were not open in the common use of the definition of open. David Wiley wrote a very clear blog post about this. If you look at the defintions open open content, OER, open access, open data, open knowledge, open source and open standards, they have 2 things in commons:
- Free access to the content, resource, journal article, data, knowledge artifact, software, or standard, and
- A formal grant of rights and permissions giving back to the user many of the rights and permissions copyright normally reserves exclusively for the creator or other rights holder.
Although Coursera used to follow the first thing, they never did for the second one. So formally they were never really open. EdX followed the same line of reason, but last year they added a creative commons plugin, so universities can change the rights from all rights reserved to an open license. Unfortunately, I don't have stats on how many courses use an open license. One of thing I know is that all TU Delft MOOCs use an open license (CC-BY-NC-SA). Recently we decided that the course Topology of Condensed Matter (starting Feb 8th) will even have a more open license: CC-NY-SA (I expect an applause from Cable).
With the removal of free access to the assessment part of the course, I would say that we can no longer talk about a free course. You get free (not open) access to learning resources, but you have pay to for access to the course. According to Insight Higher Education Coursera is creating a mismatch between their mission of provide universal access to the world’s best education and their business model. I agree with George Siemens that Coursera is “playing a short-term venture capital game” instead of focusing on the larger goal of improving access to education. We have seen this with the other Silicon Valley company Udacity.
I think it will be interesting to see what the university partners of Coursera are going to do. They have to show their cards: are they in the MOOC business for the greater good of universal access to education or just for making money! At least show that you find open education important and become a member of the Open Education Consortium!
The staff of the Open Education Consortium has created a great overview of the activities of the Open Education Consortium. The overview gives interesting numbers of the Open Education Week 2015, the Global Conference in Banff, ,member & community services and other projects and activities.
One of the interesting overviews are alle the trainings, workshops and presentations the OEC staff and board members conducted in 2015. More info on the website.
Take a look at the great overview of our activities and visit the website.
Today at the 174th Dies Natalis (birthday) of Delft University of Technology, our rector magnificus announced that the Executive Board has accepted a new Open Access Policy for the university effective per 1st of May:
As of 1 May 2016 the so-called Green Road to Open Access publishing is mandatory for all (co) authors at TU Delft. The (co)author must publish the final accepted author’s version of a peer-reviewed article with the required metadata in the TU Delft Institutional Repository.
By making scientific publications freely accessible and reusable we allow more people to become aware of the results of scientific research; including those who cannot afford paid access to this information. New ideas are spread faster and wider which in turn leads to new research: a boost for science. Teachers also benefit from Open Access by using this knowledge directly in their courses. Companies gain access to the latest scientific ideas and can build on these. And Open Access publishing and Open Science boost the knowledge-based economy and innovation. This is why TU Delft expresses the importance of Open Science in its mission:
‘TU Delft is dedicated to making a significant contribution to finding responsible solutions to societal problems, at both national and international level. Our mission is to deliver Science to Society.’
This policy is part of the TU Delft Open Science programme. Open Science consists of Open Research (Open Access publications and FAIR Research Data Management), Open Education, and Open Software and Sourceware. I'm one of the members of Programme Board of Open Science.
It has been a busy travel year: 12 trips, 8 countries, 20 flights and 92 nights away from home. As many of you know I like the travelling to comes with my current job. In most cases I have the opportunity to stay a couple of days longer to explore the city or country. Here is the list of trips:
- Jan: day trip to Brussels
- Feb: visit to Airbus in Toulouse and Marseille
- March/April: conference in Sausalito (next to Golden Gate Bridge) and extra time to do a roadtrip around California (San Franscisco, Napa Valley, Yosemite NP, Kings Canyon, Sequia NP, Death Valley, Santa Barbara, HW 1 up to Monterey)
- April/May: Conference in Banff and a roadtrip around Alberta (Banff NP, Jasper NP, Edmonton, Drumheller, Calgary)
- June: Conference in Barcelona, only one afternoon to explore the city
- July/Aug: Holiday in Fryslân
- September: Weekend in Dusseldorf
- Sept/October: Conference in Sun City, South Africa. Added 2,5 weeks to explore South Africa (Johannesburg/Pretoria, Entabeni Game Reserve, Capetown, Krugerpark, Sun City)
- November: Conference in Vancouver. Added a couple of extra days to visit Whistler and Vancouver Island.
- Nov/Dec: Conference in Rome, added 2 days to visit Rome and Vatican City (first time for me in Rome)
- December: Christmas holiday in Fryslân
In a recent report of the Hewlett Foundation they use the Pencil Metaphor for the adoption of Open Educational Resources (OER). In the metaphor they identify six types of users:
- The Leaders
First to adopt technologies, document and share practice—warts and all.
- The Sharp Ones
They watch the leaders, grab the best bits, learn form mistakes and do great stuff.
- The Wood
Would use tech if someone else sets it up and shows them how-to and keeps it running.
Know all the lingo, attend the seminars but don’t do anything.
- The Ferrules
Hold tightly onto what they know. Tech has no place in their classroom.
- The Erasers
Endeavor to undo much or all the work of the leaders.
I agree that we should focus more on the people in the wood. So more focus on helping teachers with the adoption of OER.
Hewlett is focussing on strengthening pedagogy and reducing costs in higher education. The activities focus on:
- Open Textbooks for the most-enrolled college courses
- Building the library of easily discoverable open textbooks.
- Providing technical assistance.
- Promoting open textbooks among faculty and librarians.
- Zero textbook cost degrees in Community Colleges
- Identifying and supporting the next set of early adopters.
- Scaling the model through targeted advocacy.
- Ensuring implementation with sufficient tools and expertise.
- Strengthening the supply of postsecondary OER to fuel expansion.
According to Donald Clark her vision is exactly what HE needs and I fully agree with that.
It makes me proud to work for the TU Delft. I think we have an extraordinary team that is responsible for the open and online learning at my university. Anka is a great leader for the university and it is a pleasure working with her for many years.
Gisteren op het Next Higher Education congres hield Hans Schutte, DG op het ministerie van OCW, de keynote. Hierin ging hij in op alle veranderingen die aanstaande zijn binnen het hoger onderwijs ten gevolge van studievoorschot, strategische agenda en prestatieafspraken. Ik moest echter met mijn oren klapperen doen hij doodleuk zei "online onderwijs, dat zijn MOOCs". Ik zag naast mij Wilfred Rubens ook even slikken.
MOOCs zijn een vorm van online onderwijs en soms van open onderwijs (als er een open licentie aan hangt), maar er zijn veel meer vormen van online onderwijs. Gelukkig maar zou ik zeggen, zoals er ook veel meer vormen van klassiek onderwijs zijn. Ik merk dat in de politiek en op bestuurlijk niveau MOOCs en online onderwijs veel als synoniemen gebruikt worden. Dit is niet correct!
Volgens het begrippenkader van SURF is online onderwijs:
Online onderwijs is onderwijs waarbij de leermaterialen, tools en diensten volledig of voor ten minste 80% via het internet beschikbaar worden gesteld.
Dit is dezelfde definitie zoals hij internationaal ook wordt gebruikt. MOOCs zijn een specifieke vorm van online onderwijs waarbij het massale karakter benadrukt wordt en het ontbreken van ingangseisen:
Een massive open online course (MOOC) is een online cursus voor een ongelimiteerd aantal deelnemers. Een MOOC is vrij toegankelijk en gratis (tenzij je een geverifieerd certificaat wilt). Bij MOOC’s krijgen studenten niet alleen toegang tot de leermaterialen, maar is er sprake van een complete cursuservaring. Studenten ontvangen geen formele ECTS.
Op de TU Delft zeggen wij ook dat we een MOOC ontwerpen met voor minimaal 10.000 studenten. De meeste online vakken worden echter voor kleine groepen ontworpen. Hieronder een overzicht van de producten zoals wij ze gedefinieerd hebben:
This week the OECD published an interesting report about Open Educational Resources in educational policy and practice. The authors Dominic Orr, Michele Rimini and Dirk van Damme used the expertise of the Open Education field.
Education is the key to economic, social and environmental progress, and governments around the world are looking to improve their education systems. The future of education in the 21st century is not simply about reaching more people, but about improving the quality and diversity of educational opportunities. How to best organise and support teaching and learning requires imagination, creativity and innovation.
Open educational resources (OER) are teaching, learning and research materials that make use of tools such as open licensing to permit their free reuse, continuous improvement and repurposing by others for educational purposes. The OER community has grown considerably over the past ten years and the impact of OER on educational systems has become an issue of public policy. This report aims to highlight state of the art developments and practice in OER, but also to serve as a basis for exchanges and discussions that lead to cross-country peer learning on how to improve teaching and learning.
The interesting of the report is that it really focuses on the educational challenges that we face today:
- Fostering the use of new forms of learning for the 21st century
- Fostering teachers' professional development and engagement
- Containing public and private costs of education
- Continually improving the quality of educational resources
- Widening the distribution of high-quality educational resources
- Reducing barriers to learning opportunities
The authors say that there are gaps in research on use and adaptation of OER. I agree with them that there should be more evidence-based research for policy and practice on how OER are produced and how they are used in certain contexts and by certain actors in the education system (teachers, instructors and learners). Policy makers should promote and fund more OER research!
This report is a must read for anyone involved in education. The report can be downloaded here.
On Monday I attended the conference "Wow! Europe embraces MOOCs", organised by the HOME project (coordinated by EADTU). This conference is the follow up of the meeting in Porto last year. The Porto conference delivered the Porto Declaration on European MOOCs. Based on the papers submitted for that conference Darco Jansen and António Teixeira composed "Position papers for European cooperation on MOOCs" (including paper of the TU Delft, p.20). This conference was focused on the uptake of MOOCs in Europe. Also the preliminary results of the new European survey on Institutional MOOC strategies in Europe were presentated.
Business Model of TU Delft Extension School
As preparation for this conference I wrote a paper about the business model of TU Delft Extension School, attached is the draft. I also presented our case. Here are my slides:
Later I will follow with a more in-depth blog article about the conference itself.