A little over a week ago the Open Education Global Conference 2018 was finished. More than a year we have been preparing for this conference. The conference was a blast: everything went according to plan or better!
In less than 2,5 months Open Education Global Conference will be in Delft. As conference organisers we have been busy with all preparations for the conference. Here some updates about the conference and all the great things we are organising.
We had a record number of proposals and we had quiet a challenge to fit all the accepted proposals in the programme. Thanks to the great work of our programme chair Robert Schuwer we have an interesting programme for all attendees. First of all the conference will be opened by our Minister of Education, Culture & Science Ingrid van Engelshoven. We have invited four keynote speakers:
- Erin McKiernan, professor National Autonomous University of Mexico, will talk about the intersection of open research and open education
- Vincent Zimmer, Co-Founder and Business Development Director of Kiron Open Higher Education will talk about the (digital) future and transformation of universities
- Annemies Broekgaarden, head of public & education Rijksmuseum, will talk about innovative learning in a museum context
- Peter Schmidt, professor Innovation in Higher Education UMUC, will talk about the role of open resources in defining what the future holds
On the website you will find the programme overview. Later this week we will publish the detailed programme.
An important part of the conference is to meet and talk to open education people from all over the world. During the day there are already many oppertunities, but we have also some great evening events organised for you. The opening reception will be held in the Royal Delft pottery museum and factory. Royal Delft is the last remaining earthenware factory from the 17th century. Here the renowned Delft Blue is still entirely hand painted according to centuries-old tradition. During the reception we will recognise the winners of the Open Education Awards for Excellence.
The conference gala diner will be in the historic courtyard of Museum Prinsenhof. It was once the court of William of Orange, the Father of the Dutch Nation.
After the conference on Thursday afternoon we have the option to visit Madurodam, on our website you find more info.
We highly recommend that you will stay for Kingsday on Friday. It is something you have to experience to fully understand it.
We have been actively contacting companies and organisation to sponsor the conference. We are grateful that Siemens Stiftung, Canvas, Moodle and TAO have confirmed their sponsorship. We will announce more sponsors soon. If you are interested, please take a look at the sponsor opportunities.
As conference chair I also was forced to record a video, please take a look at it ;-)
I also invite you to join our pre-conference on Monday 23 April. During the pre-conference TU Delft will share its involvement in Open & Online Education and introduce you to some of the exciting projects TU Delft has to offer. Registration via the conference website.
The early bird registration is available until March 1st, so don't forget register and join us in Delft
Delft Blue CC-BY Bert Knottenbeld
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:
- Awareness raising
- Networking and community development
- Advocacy and advising
- Capacity building and training
- Implementation support
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
- 4 transversal: strategy, leadership, technology, quality
The dimensions seem logical and usually that is a good thing. I'm looking forward to the publication of the full report.
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!
On the last day of the OEGlobal Conference Martijn Ouwehand and I gave a workshop on Open Course Design. This workshop is designed for teachers to help them create a course design in which they use OER.
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.
An often heard comment is that OpenTextBooks can't be as good as commercial textbooks. At the OE Global Conference John Hilton III presented the result of synthesis of Sixteen OER Studies. John is working for the Open Education Group. The Open Education Group is an interdisciplinary research group that conducts original, rigorous empirical research on the impact of OER adoption on a range of educational outcomes and designs and shares methodological and conceptual frameworks for studying the impact of OER adoption.
His presentation is based on an article that is published in the journal Educational Technology Researcy and Development. The conclusion of the article is very clear:
The collective results of the 16 studies discussed in this article provide timely information given the vast amount of money spent on traditional textbooks. Because students and faculty members generally find that OER are comparable in quality to traditional learning resources, and that the use of OER does not appear to negatively influence student learning, one must question the value of traditional textbooks.
So if OpenTextBooks don't have a negative impact on the learning outcomes, the argument to use them becomes much stronger. OpenTextBooks saves students a lot of money and that is positive in times that education becomes more and more expensive for students.
On Wednesday 13th of April, I attended a #OEGlobal session in which MIT and OpenUniversity presented their results of many years of Open Education. The general feeling I had over these two presentation was that Open University has a very clear strategy and MIT is just bopping around. I know that this is not true for MIT OpenCourseWare, but it certainly is the impression I got about MITx.
15 years vs 3 years
In 15 years MIT OpenCourseWare has accomplished a lot. They reached 203M people around the world. There production proces and IP handling is very professional and made sure that they have published over 3000 courses.
The contrast with MITx can’t be any bigger. They have produced 83 unique MOOCs, but I didn’t get the impression that there is a standardised proces and the process definitely is different from MIT OCW. I really don’t understand why MITx hasn’t used more of the expertise of their OCW team. It seems that they are reinventing the wheel while their colleagues next door, already know the answer.
In their presentation Joseph Pickett and Dana Doyle stated that OCW and MITx are very separate from the start:
- Different buildings
- No clear communication as to who is doing what
- Both groups extremely busy producing course sites and online courses
Since 2015 the teams have been working more closely together, they state "MITx is still a young organization seeking to find an optimum path in a changing environment".
Ten years of open practice: a reflection on the impact of OpenLearn
The presentation of Patrina Law was so different from MIT. The strategy and activities of OpenLearn are very organised. Their strategy in engaging learners seems very logical:
I especially liked the slide with the guiding principles for all their courses:
- Learners most value quizzes with feedback
- Use of activities and video also highly rated
- Select the most engaging content within a module
- Make a key topic accessible to new learners
- Ensure the course works as a stand-alone piece of learning Learners
value recognition for their achievement
- (statement of participation)
Their project of Badged Open Courses is a very good example of their activities:
The Badged Open Courses project returned the investment in 4 months via extra enrolments (26% clickthrough rate):
- 2500+ badges issued
- The BOCs are generating around 12,000 new visitors a month to OpenLearn
- They drive a very high proportion of learners to click-through to make an enquiry to the OU (26.2% Feb-Nov 2015)
- Completion rates of BOCs are higher than our MOOCs
- 350 formal module registrations have been made (mostly entry level)
- 2,500 prospectus requests
- >300 qualification sign-ups (mostly new students)
- Satisfaction rates very high (~98%)
- 57% say that they will be sharing their achievements with an employer
Altogether it showed me that if you have a clear strategy and align all your projects towards this strategy a vialable business model is open education projects.
This week I'm attending the Open Education Global Conference in Krakow. This is the yearly conference of the Open Education Consortium of which I'm member of the Board of Directors (and just got re-elected for 2 years).
On the first day I presented about the impact of 30 DelftX MOOCs. In general I can say that the impact of our MOOCs is much higher than we anticipated when we started in 2013. In my presentation I discuss 6 impacts:
- Educating the world
- Increasing TU Delft’s international Reputation
- Improving campus education
- New relations between education and research
- Collaboration with industry
- The whole TU Delft organization
Currently we are writing the evaluation report, so later I will publish more about these impact. For now, you can take a look at my slides: