One of the big sessions at D2L Fusion Conference is the Solution Spotlight. Interesting is that they hardly tell anything new, because they release new features and updates every month as part of the continous delivery cycle (CDC). But it is good to see what has happened in a year time and a couple of new interesting features.
After eight years Mary Lou Forward is leaving the Open Education Consortium (OEC). It is with a mix of sadness and gratitude that we see her leave. Mary Lou has played a critical role in the development and success of the organization. It does mean that the consortium has an opening for a new executive director. Will you be the new ED?
The Open Education Consortium is looking for an Executive Director who is a creative thinker with strong leadership skills to join a small, internationally diverse team of educational change-makers to lead planning and implementation of activities for our second decade. Under the direction and guidance of the Board of Directors, the Executive Director is responsible for planning, organizing, directing, and managing all aspects of the organization, while motivating staff, volunteers and members to advance open education around the world. OEC is a virtual organization, and therefore the location of the position is flexible.
Please see the position announcement and description, including how to apply. The Open Education Consortium is committed to promoting geographical distribution, gender equality and diversity within the organization, and we welcome applications from all who meet the requirements. Position open until filled, with review of applications starting on 30 August 2017. Salary is commensurate with experience.
One of the important chooses an LMS supplier has to make is how to deal with mobile delivery. There are two strategies in the industry:
- full responsive LMS
- separate apps for different platforms.
At the Fusion conference in Las Vegas, D2L made it clear what their strategy is. With Daylight they have choosen for full responsiveness for Brightspace. Other LMSs, such as Blackboard and Canvas, made a different chooses.
I personnally think this is the choose for the long run because of these three reasons:
- One platform
It is less costly to maintain one platform than multiple. This means that your resources are all working on that one platform and don't need to be distributed among all the different apps. This means you can move faster in developing new features, solving problems and more.
- One learning experience
It is easier for the users, they will know where to find their information on any devices.
- Less support
Every extra platform or app means extra questions to support. It is easier for support if there is only one platform. So in the end this means less support is needed.
Offcourse there are also downside to this strategy. One important issue is that the screen layout is not optimised for your screen. We have noticed that currently that is mainly the case for the features of instructors. D2L has prioritised the student experience, so this will certainly improve in the next months.
Developing for responsiveness
A full responsive design also means that your instructors should be aware of this. Some guidelines to make sure that all your content works on any device:
- Create files in HTML (responsive), avoid PDFs and documents (non-responsive) as much as possible.
- Use the accessibility check in the text editor to make sure your content complies to accessibility standards.
- Test your external learning tools (for responsiveness)
- Don't use Flash or Java
- Set max widths on images
- Use video tool to insert videos, or use responsive CSS
- Avoid tables, or use responsive CSS
Altogether I think this a good choose of D2L. In combination with a cloud based platform it allows to move fast and stay ahead of the game.
Last year I attended my first D2L Fusion conference. It was only 2 weeks after we signed the contract. This year we thought it was important to present our project of changing to Brightspace.
In Februari we did a pilot with one of our faculties, in September we go live with all other faculties. Brightspace will be our one and only Collaboration & Learning Environment (CLE). (Blackboard will stay available as archive).
In my presentation I presented five lessons learned. One I want to highlight: It's Education!
From the start of this project we have approached the project as an education project and not what I see at other universities as IT project. This means that our Director of Education is in the lead, the project is strongly connected to the academic leadership in the faculties and our strategy is focused on improving education.
When there is a strong focus on education, decision making is less focused on IT issues (there will always be IT issues). It is about how the CLE support our education and the learning process of our students.
This focus also made us choose for mandatory course structure for all courses. Technology this wasn't necessary, but from the perspective of our students it was a solution to their biggest complaints: "I don't know where to find certain information in my course. Every course is organised in a different way".
Only education and learning
Blackboard has been used for all different kind of activities, as a portal, for software distribution, communities for research projects and many more. In 17 years people find a lot of different ways to use the system for not intended purposes. With our clear focus on education, we have decided to be very strict: the CLE is only for education and learning. Our number of organisations is cut by 90% because of this. New courses and organisations need to be approved by the faculty managers Education & Student Affairs. They are made responsible for this.
Here the full slides of my presentations
Today we launched the conference website for the Open Education Global Conference 2018 in Delft. The theme of the Open Education Global 2018 Conference is Transforming Education through Open Approaches.
This theme is a result of many discussion within the programme committee (Robert Schuwer is the chair of the committee) and I think it reflects very well the global development how education is transforming. The open approaches are not limited to education, it includes the broader perspective of openness. This aligns with the Year of Open strategy of bringing together all the different kinds of openness, suc as open science, open access, open data, open ict, open education, open research and more.
Call for Proposals
The website includes the Call for Proposals including the conference tracks:
- Open Connections
Connecting different worlds of Open, such as open access, open science, open source software; strengthening our reach and increasing impact through collaboration.
- Open Education Research
Research on practices to mainstream openness in education; evidence of impact, studies of educational transformation using open modalities.
- Innovation through opening traditional practices
MOOCs as an accelerator for open & online education, opening teaching practices through open textbooks, openly licensed student work as OER.
- Policies & strategies for Open Education
Setting priorities and conditions for mainstreaming Open Education, designing effective policies and strategies, connecting open education policies to larger policy movements such as the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the Open Government Partnership.
- Institutionalizing Open Education
Intellectual property arrangements at schools and universities; reward and recognition systems; institutional conventions; disciplinary norms; types of in-service training for Open Education; impact on hiring practices; challenges and barriers for mainstreaming openness; openness as a tool for community outreach, enhancing leadership in open education.
- Tools & Technologies for Open Education
Supporting the development and use of tools for OER production, hosting, use and remix, authoring OER, conventions for tagging OER, hosting derivative works, citation conventions for derivative works, standards for remixable formats.
- Open Educational Practices/Open Pedagogy
New approaches to teaching and learning based on openness, personalization of education, OER-enhanced teaching, facilitating informal learning with open resources, course redesign with a focus on open.
- Connecting Open Education to formal education
Accelerating adoption of open education, recognition and rewards for open education adoption, alignment of open education values to institutional mission, accreditation of open education, recognition of learning through open means.
- Student perspectives
Student-led initiatives to advance open education and research, impact of open for students, student perceptions of open education, students as open education leaders.
The deadline for submitting proposal is 23rd of October. I hope to see many great proposals from around the world. Check out the conference website for more information.
Charles Lang, George Siemens, Alyssa Wise, Dragan Gašević have edited an extensive handbook on Learning Analytics. The Handbook of Learning Analytics is designed to meet the needs of a new and growing field. It aims to balance rigor, quality, open access and breadth of appeal and was devised to be an introduction to the current state of research. The Handbook is a snapshot of the field in 2017 and features a range of prominent authors from the learning analytics and educational data mining research communities.
The book is 356 pages. What is really great is that it is openly licensed, although the ND is quiet restrictive.
- Charles Lang, George Siemens, Alyssa Wise, Dragan Gašević (ed). The Handbook of Learning Analytics. ISBN: 978-0-9952408-0-3.
At the Creative Commons Summit two weeks ago the book Paul Stacy and Sarah Hinchliff Pearson worked on for two years was released: Made with Creative Commons. It has been interesting journey and a great result. The book is an excellent read on how to make openness core of your business model:
Made With Creative Commons is a book about sharing. It is about sharing textbooks, music, data, art, and more. People, organizations, and businesses all over the world are sharing their work using Creative Commons licenses because they want to encourage the public to reuse their works, to copy them, to modify them. They are Made with Creative Commons.
But if they are giving their work away to the public for free, how do they make money?
This is the question this book sets out to answer. There are 24 in-depth examples of different ways to sustain what you do when you share your work. And there are lessons, about how to make money but also about what sharing really looks like -- why we do it and what it can bring to the economy and the world. Full of practical advice and inspiring stories, Made with Creative Commons is a book that will show you what it really means to share.
Today Paul Stacy presented the research to our Extension School team as part of our Year of Open activities, below are his slides:
Business Model Innovation
We also invited Mark de Reuver. He is associate professor at TU Delft and is the coordinator of the European project ENVISION and of our MOOC Serie on Business Model Innovation. ENVISION is an EU funded program aiming at understanding and supporting business model innovation.
The combination of the presentation of Mark de Reuver and Paul Stacey gave us great insights and inspired our team in current discussion on the business model of the TU Delft Extension School. During the event Mark van Huystee made sketches of the event. They will be published on our Open Sketching blog.
Image Credit: Creative Commons CC BY-SA
After a great tour around South-Afrika, I attended the Open Education Global Conference 2017 in Cape Town. Off course, I have to be there as board member of the Open Education Consortium, but I really enjoy this conference. I attend many open education conferences and this is by far the most global open education conference. More than 200 participants from 47 countries. In this blog some observations from me.
Open Educational Practices
There were a wide variety of presentations about open educational practices. OEP is the use of Open educational Resources for teaching and learning in order to innovate the learning process. I counted 15 presentations that mentioning it in the title (Robert made a more in depth analysis). I agree with multiple speakers that OER by itself will not make the difference, you need the pedagogy to make an impact. So these practices are important for the succes of Open Education.
Interesting model that was presented was the continuum model:
Evidence of OER impact
The OER Research Fellows are a group of 44 graduate students and faculty members who are doing research on a variety of OER projects. John Hilton III presented some of the research results. They are 18 months into the project and 3 articles have been published, 12 articles are accepted for publication, 8 articles have been submitted for publication and more is on the way. The publications and a useful toolkit for OER Research can be found on their website.
Bringing the global North and South together
There was a big presence of the ROER4D project comprising 18 evidence-based OER research studies across the Global South with the aim of improving educational policy, practice, and research in developing countries. There were conference presentations by many of the 18 ROER4D studies as well as a report on the project meta-synthesis by Cheryl Hodgkinson-Williams:
The presentation of Cable Green to connect OER to the UN Sustainable Goals is a great way to connect the global North and South.
OER-based Degree Pathways
Interesting is the momentum of theOER based degree pathways in the US. Richard Sebastian of the Achieve the Dream organisation gave a good overview. The concept is to create complete pathway of courses converted to use OER instead of traditional textbooks. The mission of Achieving the Dream is to lead and support a national network of community colleges to achieve sustainable institutional transformation through sharing knowledge, innovative solutions and effective practices and policies leading to improved outcomes for all students.
Already 38 colleges in 13 US states are working on these Z-degrees and saving a lot of money for students.
OEGlobal was great
The conference brought a great number of interesting people that shared their passion for Open Education. The team of University of Cape Town and the staff of the OE Consortium did a great job to organise this conference. They have set the bar high for us next year in Delft. I'm looking forward seeing you all in Delft!
Below some photos of the conference and Cape Town, More photos on my flickr page.
This week we published our online magazine about the Open & Online Education at TU Delft. The magazine gives a great overview of our activities and the impact it has had.
Please leave a comment with your feedback on the magazine.
Educause has released an interesting video of the student of the future. In my opinion they give a good overview of developments in the technology and the diversity of our learners.