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).
Category: "Online Learning"
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.
The last four years we have worked very hard to establish the TU Delft Extension School. One of major contributions to our success is the creation of an international team of professionals. In our team we have (or had) Dutch, Portugees, Slovenian, Italian, Mexican, Israeli, American, South-African, Canadian, and British nationalities. Although I prefer to keep talent in house, sometimes it is better for them to move on. In most cases this means they move into a leading position in the field of open/online education at another institute (e.g. WarChild, IHE).
It does offer the opportunity to hire some new. So, there is a job opening for a new Learning Developer to join our great team of learning developers.
As Learning Developer you will be part of a team creating advanced learning modules for open, online, and blended courses for learners, professionals, and students. You will have considerable experience designing and developing online and blended courses. In this role, you will partner with the academic staff to create outstanding courses. Your project management skills contribute to your success in this role as you will be responsible for managing multiple projects.
Your tasks include the following:
- Guiding course teams in the entire process of designing, producing, delivering and evaluating online or blended courses or programmes.
- Devise complex technical methods and processes to meet new and unique eLearning and web requirements and resolve technical problems.
- Work independently and interact effectively with various faculty in the TU Delft organisation.
- Recognise, recommend and participate in the development of standards and procedures that support quality improvement in the Delft Extension School and products for our students.
- Provide project management for learning projects with tight deadlines. These projects bring together people from various departments and backgrounds to develop content, technical specifications and functional prototypes for the Extension School.
- Develop and provide workshops and trainings for academic staff.
- Meet all internal deadlines according to project plan regardless of project limitations.
- Participate in educational innovation projects for online courses and in the new TU Delft Teaching Lab.
Applicants should have the following qualifications:
- Master of Education (MEd) in Instructional Design, Educational Technology or related experience plus 1 year recent curriculum design and/or course development experience in online education;
- Keen sense of organisation and attention to detail;
- Demonstrated ability to handle unforeseen difficulties and obstacles with ease;
- Excellent team player attitude and ability to work on complex projects with a group of other course developers;
- Ability to work on a tight, rapidly-changing schedule;
- Experience with using ICT in education, such as digital assessment, e-moderating, online teaching methods and platforms;
- Commitment to consulting and strong communication skills in English; mastery of Dutch is a plus;
- Experience in higher education;
- Experience as a teacher of open or online education is a plus.
- Experience with D2L Brightspace is a plus.
Deadline for your application is 29th of October 2017. More information and to apply go to the university website.
On September 5th I attended the Blockchain in Education conference in Groningen. More than 250 attendees came to the beautiful Academiegebouw of University of Groningen to learn about the great potential of blockchain in education. Probably you have heard of blockchain (or maybe bitcoins), but you don't exactly know what it is. Blockchain is a way of encrypting information and simultaneously storing it in different places. Its most important feature is that the stored data can no longer be changed or deleted. Blockchain technology uses decentralized networks and thus avoids a central party determining or changing the rules. All blockchain transactions are encrypted, public and completely transparent, and therefore supposed to be safer and more reliable.
Already other attendees have written excellent blogposts about the conference:
- “Tour d’Horizon” of the organisation
- Wytze Koopal
- Joël de Bruijn (multiple articles in Dutch)
- Wilfed Rubens (in Dutch)
After the day I know much more about what blockchains can do, but also the limitations. Most important conclusion for me is that there are some cases to make for using blockchains, but that the technology is still in its infancy. One of the most mentioned case is for diplomas and certificates. Although you know if a diploma or certificates was changed since it was granted, it still doesn't say if it is a valid diploma and you should trust it.
We have to be careful to use blockchains for everything, it is starting to show hype characteristics. In many situations other options are better.
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.
A week ago TU Delft launched their first MicroMaster programme. The topic is about Solar Energy Engineering. This programme is part of the announcement of 16 new MicroMaster programmes on the edX platform.
What is a MicroMaster?
It is a series of MOOCs, which allow learners to specialise in a certain topic and advance their careers or studies. It can be finished with a certificate and may be counted towards a regular master programme after admission. With MicroMasters programs, we are helping to bridge the knowledge gap between higher education and the workplace by offering content and credentials in the most in-demand fields and skills needed for success in today’s rapidly-evolving and tech-driven world. These credit-eligible, career-relevant programs are free to try, and can help advance careers and offer a pathway to an accelerated Master’s program.
Solar Energy Engineering
Our online solar energy MicroMaster programme includes four rigorous courses and a practical project derived from TU Delft’s Master of Science programmes. The workload is around 18 EC (European Credits). It will provide learners with most of the technical knowledge they need – from the physics of photovoltaic solar cells to the design of microgrids. But the MicroMasters programme offers more than that – it will lead to a valuable MicroMasters credential when finishing all courses and the project successfully. For prospective students who apply and get admitted to specific TU Delft Master of Science programmes, it will allow them to use the MicroMasters credential to request an exemption for the equivalent solar courses (depending on their Individual Exam Programme).
Demand from industry
The renewable energy market develops rapidly. It is our university’s mission to contribute to solving tomorrow’s problems and that includes supporting the transition to renewable energy through research and education. Providing education to professionals in the solar energy sector is one way of doing that. In line with our approach to lifelong learning, we hope to close the knowledge gap for engineers and other professionals who desire to develop their expertise with this MicroMaster Programme on solar energy.
In the first week already more than 4,000 learners enrolled in the first course that starts on April 24th.