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.
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
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
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.
On November 6th at the Dutch education days, SURF presented their trendreport. Since last week the report is also available in English. This trendreport focus on customised education. SURF invited 44 Dutch experts, including three experts of TU Delft, to contribute to this report. This trend report describes 13 technological trends that may affect the content and design of education.
Internet of Things
Student as owner of their own identity
Digital Badges and micro-credentials
From Open Content via Open Pedagogy to Open Education
Personalised learning environment for cross-institutional study
Adaptive learning environment for agile education
Digital Assessment and Learning Analytics
The thirteen trends were grouped in three themes:
Firstly, a number of trends lead to the enrichment of teaching and learning. Thanks to the sensory experience it provides, virtual reality can, for example, facilitate interactive learning in authentic learning situations. The same applies to the use of serious games. Gamification offers opportunities for providing feedback and encouraging self-management in that students can earn badges that act as milestones. Digital assessment allows students to obtain feedback immediately and gives them a better idea of their progress. The virtual classroom also enhances inter-active and collaborative learning without students and lecturers having to be physically present in a single location. Although many lecturers still regard a virtual classroom session as ‘nothing to do with them’, this learning technology, in conjunction with digital assessment, probably comes closest to the way we are used to learning within our education system. Rather than a drastic change, then, it is an improvement. All in all, these technological trends are able to support key principles of effective education. It is clear, however, that the quality of some technologies needs to be improved if they are to actually make education more effective and more attractive. For example, there is rather a large amount of variation in the quality of technology available for virtual classrooms. Meanwhile, VR applications that use ‘cardboard’ currently offer limited opportunities for interaction.
Secondly, we see the incorporation of flexibility in education, which ‘blurs boundaries’. Students are increasingly studying different programmes within the same institution, at different institutions (both within the Netherlands and abroad) and outside the traditional higher education system. They can follow programmes that incorporate open pedagogy and courses that are rewarded with microcredentials (such as massive open online courses). Micro-credentials and digital badges allow students to utilise the knowledge and skills they have acquired in different contexts. These technologies demonstrate that students have also developed their skills beyond the traditional education system. Students undergo a wide range of online and offline learning activities to develop an online education identity – in effect a personalised education number that they can use throughout their lives. The educational institution’s monopoly over the awarding of qualifications is definitely a thing of the past.
Thirdly, a number of technologies enable adaptive learning. This includes both highly advanced applications that could play a key role in the long term and technologies that enable a certain amount of ‘adaptivity’ in the short term. Artificial intelligence is an example of an advanced application. Here, students follow personalised learning paths based on the digital traces they leave in online learning environments. One example of a simpler application is digital assessment combined with learning analytics. Another example is the personalised learning environment that gives individual students access to the applications they use for learning purposes.
Download the report here. The report is published with an open license.
Since 2013 I'm member of the Board of Directors of the Open Education Consortium. The consortium is a global network of educational institutions, individuals and organizations that support an approach to education based on openness, including collaboration, innovation and collective development and use of open educational materials. The Open Education Consortium is a non-profit, social benefit organization registered in the United States and operating worldwide.
The Board of Directors of the Open Education Consortium is composed of elected representatives from member institutions. The Board of Directors provides strategic direction and fiscal oversight to the organization. Board members are elected for a term of 2 years with the possibility to get reelected once.
Profile of a board member
A typical board member is leader in open education in his/her institute and region. They are part of the leadership or management of the university or department (provost, dean, rector, etc). Off course you should have sufficient time available for the board membership and have the support of your organisation to cover the travel expensises. There are two online board meeting and two meetings in person per year and you are expected to attend all four.
Primary responsibilities of the Board of Directors include:
Determine and refine the OEC’s mission and purpose
Lead strategic planning and monitoring to ensure activities are in support of the OEC’s mission
Ensure adequate financial resources and retention of assets
Identify, support and evaluate the OEC’s Executive Director
Monitor the ethical and legal integrity of the organization
Orient and support new board members, build board capacity and set board policies
Promote the OEC and its mission
Board members will serve as liaisons with various standing committees and work groups, and will represent the Consortium at various meetings and/or events.
New board member are officially elected at our global conference in the spring, next one in March 2017 in Cape Town. The elections are in the two months before the conference, so we are currently open for nominations. If you are interested in running for the board, please contact our Executive Director Mary Lou Forward or me.
Do you want to nominate your self or someone else, please go to our website. (deadline January 17, 2017 12:00 UCT)
Two weeks ago the OE Global Conference in Krakow I got re-elected by the members of the consortium. It is a honour to serve on the board of directors. Next to me Sophie Touzé got also re-elected. We also welcomed four new board members:
Papa Youga Dieng, Organisation internationale de la Francophonie
Barbara Illowsky, Community College Consortium for Open Educational Resources
Allyn Radford, Corporate member
Naoko Tosa, Japan OCW Consortium
With the new board members it shows the international aspect of our board. We have board members from all over the world. Since the start of the consortium this has always been the case. Last year we formalised this in the by-laws:
The Consortium desires a strong, internationally diverse board of directors. Election results may be weighted to ensure representation from different regions of the world. In this case, the weighting of results shall be set by the nominating committee and disclosed to members in advance. Source: OEC By-laws
The Open Education Consortium has more than 250 members from 45 countries (At the conference we had participants from 38 countries):
I can recommend any organisation (not only universities) that supports open education to join the consortium. The fees are moderate and you join the global network of educational institutions, individuals and organizations that support an approach to education based on openness, including collaboration, innovation and collective development and use of open educational materials. The activities we do:
Networking and community development
Advocacy and advising
Capacity building and training
Want to join? You can contact me or one of the other board members of contact the OEC staff.
As part of the Opening Up Europe intiative the European Commission has started a project OpenEdu at their own research centre IPTS in Seville. At #OEGlobal Andreia Inamorato dos Santos gave an insightful presentation about the results of the project. Many of the reports will be published this year.
Defining Open Education
Andreia started with defining Open Education. The definition they adopted is focusing on removing barriers:
This definition is a very broad one, but I think it has the right focus:
not only digital technologies, although that is the most common form.
learning not only accessible, but also ambundant and customisable
not only formal, but also non-formal education and bridiging this
An important part of the project is the OpenEdu Framework. This framework should support higher education institutions to adopt and implement Open Education. The framework is build on 6 core dimensions and 4 transversal dimensions. For each dimension of open education, the framework brings a definition, a rationale and components with descriptors.
6 Core: access, content, pedagogy, recognition, collaboration, research
For the maturity of Open Education it is important that we get more solid research evidence about the open education and its value for policy maker, instructors, and students. In my previous blog I already mentioned the Open Educuation Group, another group of researchers that is doing some great work is the OER Hub of the Open University. At the OEGlobal conference I attended a session of the this group about the Open Research Agenda.
This activity is focused on forming a better understanding of research needs in open education. To do this, they published a survey (please submit!) and did sessions at #OEGlobal and #OER16 to collect information about research priorities. The results will be shared in the form of a report.
The researchers of OER Hub will not do all the research questions that will be mentioned in the report. Any researcher can work on the items in the agenda. The more the better I would say!
Normally the target audience are teachers that are OER novice but are interested in help with their course design. So the workshop also introduces them in Open Education. Below are the slides we used during the workshop. This workshop will be part of the offerings of our training programme for instructors.