Last month the European Commission published the report European Framework for the Digital Competence of Educators: DigCompEdu. This report presents a common European Framework for the Digital Competence of Educators (DigCompEdu). The DigCompEdu framework is directed towards educators at all levels of education, from early childhood to higher education and non-formal learning contexts. It can help to guide policy and to adapt training programmes (such as BKO/UTQ).
Last month TU Delft signed an agreement with 8 other high-ranked universities for a virtual exchange whereby they offer their students the option of taking online elective courses and gain credits for their bachelor or master degrees. In a similar way to a university regular exchange, such as the Erasmus in Europe, students can obtain credits from a partner university that count towards their ‘home’ education. The difference is that in this ‘virtual’ exchange the students don’t need to travel as they study online.
The top universities participating in this innovative programme and signatories of the pioneering agreement are: the Delft University of Technology, the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Wageningen University and Research, Rice University, the University of Queensland, the Australian National University, the University of Adelaide, the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, and Leiden University.
Earlier this year we already did a pilot with a limited number of courses and students. These universities already know and trust each other – they already hold mobility exchange agreements, have experience in online education and enjoy a good international reputation.
This virtual exchange programme benefits the students in many ways:
- Online, flexible, free
Study at the time and place that suits you - more freedom, for free
- Enrich and broaden your portfolio
Choose electives from courses from leading universities
- Access to expertise
World-class academic staff – enthusiastic, knowledgeable lecturers the other side of the screen
- Diverse learning experience
User-friendly courses - varied activities, multiple format content and flexible choices to optimise learning – and exclusive access to enriched content
Be part of a global, culturally rich student community – make connections and grow your international circle
In the coming semester students can choose from 18 courses, we will also offer course during summer. More information on our website.
Two weeks ago I attended the F2F kickoff meeting of the recently granted Erasmus+ project EMBED: European Maturity Model for Blended Education. EMBED is a strategic partnership with frontrunner universities in blended education. The project is coordinated by EADTU and partners are KU Leuven, TU Delft, University of Edinburgh, Tampere University, Dublin City University and Aarhus University.
Withing the project we will develop an multi-level maturity model on blended education:
- micro-level of teaching and learning processes
- meso-level of institutional innovation and enabling strategies
- macro-level of governmental policy and support structures.
The first discussion was how do we define blended education. On the micro-level we talk about blended learning. Blended education is broader than just the learning, it also includes policy, support organisation, etc. The blend is focused on the mix of face-to-face and online:
“Blended learning refers to a deliberate, integrated combination of online and face-to-face (on-site) learning outcomes.”
The first activities are focused on developing the model. Katie Goeman, Veerle van Rompaey and Stephan Poelmans of KU Leuven are coordinating this. In the process we already identified many blended learning models, but I would like to invite you to reply with your favorite blended learning or education model.
Oregon State University Ecampus Research Unit has created a database compiling research on the efficacy of online learning. The Online Learning Efficacy Research Database is a searchable resource of academic studies on the learning outcomes of online and/or hybrid education in comparison to face-to-face environments.
The database consists of more than 180 studies from 1998 to the present. The database will be update monthly, and anyone can submit entries that have not yet been included. The website also houses downloadable lists of dissertations, meta-studies and reviews focused on online education efficacy research, as well as a fact page that describes how database curation decisions are being made.
I think this is a great initiative and would like to call educational researchers to submit their relevant studies to the database.
The European Commission's Joint Research Centre (JRC) in Seville has published the report on blockchain in education. The report is written by Alex Grech, Anthony Camilleri and Andreia Inamorato. The report introduces the fundamental principles of the Blockchain focusing on its potential for the education sector. It explains how this technology may both disrupt institutional norms and empower learners. It proposes eight scenarios for the application of the Blockchain in an education context, based on the current state of technology development and deployment.
One of our MOOC rockstar professors, Felienne Hermans, was awarded today the SURF Education Award at the SURF onderwijsdagen in Rotterdam.
The SURF Education Awards are presented annually to changemakers in educational innovation across four categories: lecturer, ICT professional, educational adviser and manager. Candidates are nominated by the professional field, after which the judging panel selects a winner in each of the four categories based on several criteria. Last year Anka Mulder won in the category of manager.
Felienne is the professor of our Professional Certificate Programme on Data Analysis & Visualisation in Excel and two Dutch MOOCs about scratch for kids and their teachers. Below is the promo video, unfortunately in Dutch.
Today at the SURF onderwijsdagen VSNU (Association of universities in the Netherlands), Vereniging Hogescholen (association of universities of applied sciences in NL) and SURF presented. The three organisation see many opportunities for digitization in education, but they also see that the pace of adoption should speed up to meet the demands of businesses, students and politics.
In the document they list nine concrete actions grouped by four themes:
- Connection with the labor market
- digital literacy part of core curricula
- digital literacy part of core curricula
- Flexibility of education
- investigate the possibilities to make our education programmes more flexible.
- Smarter and better learning with technology
- Open up towards edtech companies
- Open sharing of educational resources
- Towards evidence based educational innovation
- utilitsation of educational data
- Create possibilities for innovation
- Direction on shared urgency on educational innovation
- Accelerate the development of a vision on educational innovation
- Facilitate professionalisation of teachers
The Dutch version is available on surf.nl/versnellingsagenda, the English version will be published a little later.
This morning Martin Weller of OU UK and OERhub gave an interesting keynote about the landscape of open education. In his presentation he gave an excellent overview with some interesting remarks. Three things that kept me thinking.
Open Education has to become boring
"when a technology becomes normal, the ubiquitous, and finally so pervasive as to be invisible, that the really profound change happens" ~ Clay Shirky
This is so true and the interesting thing is that I have had a couple of discussions with Anka about this. She said that she doesn't see a lot of new things and my response has been that this is positive and we working on mainstreaming open education.
Open flip economics
Instead of spending the money on buying textbooks, you spend it on production of open textbooks. I just heard a case about this in the Netherlands, that publishers were not interested in developing a certain textbook and that the money now spend on freeing up time of teachers to creat #OER to be published in wikiwijs.
Ignore the hype
Education is one side always sensitive for hypes, but at the end not that much has changed. We see that the hype of MOOCs is ending, but they still offer great opportunities for students and life long learners. Great example that Martin mentioned is the Credit for MOOCs project that TU Delft initiated. This gives students a great set of additional courses they can get credit for.
Below the slides of Martin. If you are interested in discussion more about open education, you should come to OEGlobal18 in Delft.
This week are the yearly Dutch Onderwijsdagen. This is a two day conference about education and ICT organised by SURF. This year there is a strong focus on open educational resources. There is a special pre-conference session on OER and the power of sharing. Also the diner theme on Tuesday is about sharing OER.
Pre-conference OER - the power of sharing
The keynote speaker of the pre-conference is Martin Weller. His keynote will focus on navigating the Open Education landschape:
With the advent of open educational resources, MOOCs and open access publishing, open practice has moved into the mainstream in educational practice. This talk will examine the different aspects of open practice, highlighting common themes and principles. The impact of open practice on teaching and learning and how openness is now providing alternative, sustainable business models will be explored.
This will lead to analysis of the challenges and opportunities these new approaches offer for those operating in education.
After the keynote Anka Mulder (of TU Delft) and Etienne Verheiijck (University of Amsterdam Medical Centre) will talk about what institutes should do to make sharing and reuse successful.
The keynote of the main conference on Tuesday is about learning analytics. Timothy McKay (Professor of Physics, Astronomy, Education and Director of the Digital Innovation Greenhouse of University of Michgan) will talk about harnessing data science to transform education. His focus is role of research in establishing an evidence-basis for education. As background you can read this interview.
During the conference I will tweet with the hashtag #OWD17 and will write a couple of blog articles.
Katy Jordan and Martin Weller have written an interesting beginner's guide to openness and education. It clearly shows the different ways of thinking about openness.
The idea started with the conception that many have forgotten the past. They used a citation analysis approach to try and map the ‘open education’ landscape from the early beginning back in the 1960s to the now. In their analysis they identified eight clusters of papers:
- Open Education in schools
- Distance education & open learning
- E-learning & online education
- Open Access publishing
- open practices
- Social media
I think this is an interesting document for any researcher and practioner in open education. It will give you background in the history and difference in thinking. Below is the guide:
- Jordan, K. & Weller, M. (2017) Openness and Education: A beginner’s guide. Global OER Graduate Network.