Last Friday at the 176th Dies Natalis (foundation day) of the TU Delft the new strategic framework 2018-2024 was presented. The structure of the framework is based on two dimensions. First, the breakdown of the university’s core operations into four operational areas: Students & Education, Research & Innovation, People & Community, and Campus & Services. The second dimension is based on four major principles: Excellence, Impact, Engagement and Openness. In the matrix below these two dimensions are linked.
ECAR does a yearly survey among undergraduate students about information technology. In October they published the results.
ECAR collaborated with 157 institutions to collect responses from 13,451 faculty respondents across 7 countries about their technology experiences. ECAR also collaborated with 124 institutions to collect responses from 43,559 undergraduate students across 10 countries about their technology experiences.
One of the interesting finding is about the preferences of students for online or blended courses. For the fourth year in a row, the number of students preferring a blended learning environment has increased as is visible in the image above.
One of the recommendations of authors is:
Take steps to make online learning opportunities the rule rather than the exception. At the institutional level, take steps to eliminate differential pricing structures for fully online courses so that they are accessible to all students. At the program level, consider ways to integrate online and blended courses in the curriculum to meet the learning environment preferences of students (and potentially increase enrollment). At the faculty level, create faculty development programs that help instructors better integrate the LMS into their face-to-face courses, thereby increasing the capacity to produce more blended learning opportunities.
Many institutes still have a big way to go for this, including mine.
Last year (it sounds long ago) the TU Delft approved our new educational vision:
This document contains Delft University of Technology’s vision on education. It describes our educational goals and quality ambitions, and states directions for further development of our educational portfolio and our way of teaching and learning.
Recently the TU Delft Executive Board approved a policy document on learning analytics. This policy document is about learning analytics at TU Delft and is comprised of a vision on the topic, a policy framework with directional statements, and an overview of recommended next steps for the introduction of learning analytics at TU Delft.
Tthe field of learning analytics is still developing and will be in the coming years. This makes it difficult to predict how exactly TU Delft will be using learning analytics in a few years. Learning analytics policies must therefore take into account the dynamics in the field – we do not know what is possible in the future; but at the same time offer guidance – we know what we do not want.
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.