Last week Harvard and MIT published an interesting report about four years of MOOCs. They explored 290 Harvard and MIT online courses, a quarter-million certifications, 4.5 million participants, and 28 million participant-hours. That is a bit more than TU Delft, we currently have 1.2 million enrolments of 821,283 unique accounts, 75 courses, 31 thousand certificates, but our first MOOCs didn't start until September 2013. In this blog post I guide you through their findings and have tried to add some comparisons with our DelftX data.
Category: "Open Education"
The Year of Open is a global focus on open processes, systems, and tools, created through collaborative approaches, that enhance our education, businesses, governments, and organizations. At its core, open is a mindset about the way we should meet collective needs and address challenges.
The Year of Open is community-led campaign, coordinated by the Open Education Consortium (of which I'm a board member). The focus is on the all kinds of open, such as open education, open access, open science, open data, open government, open licenses, open source software. This year we will work together with many organisations to promote openness in all its aspects.
Last Friday our Credits for MOOCs project opened for students. From this week on our students can join a number of MOOCs and get credits for them. There are no additional costs for them.
The first 12 MOOCs for credits will be provided by Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), University of Queensland, Australia National University and TU Delft and they will start in February 2017. During the summer a broader variety of courses will be made available by universities such as Hong Kong University of Science and Technology and Rice University. Other top 100 universities have said they are keen to join.
We started this project in the fall of 2015 and after many conference calls, presentations, meetings and hard work of my colleagues and our partners we have managed to open it for enrolments. When MOOCs are infiltrating the university curriculum you have to pass many hoops and bypass many obstacles.
Our students can find all the information about the process and which MOOCs are offered on this website.
One important aspect is that we asked all the instructors of the MOOCs under what conditions they would offer credits for their MOOCs. For most MOOCs this means that there is an additional assessment requirement. That can be like a proctored exam, a skype interview, or a paper. This is also the reason why we have limited the number of students that can credits. Off course any learner can enroll in these MOOCs.
All current exchange programmes are based of students to temporary move to another city. A great opportunity for students, but for many not possible due to time or financial constraints. With this programme we created a kind of virtual exchange programme. Our students can do courses of other top universities from our campus in Delft. They can learn across borders.
I think this offers a great opportunity for our students. It offers them courses that we as a technical university don't offer and it gives them flexibility.
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)
Today TU Delft Solar Energy professor Arno Smets received the first edX Prize for Exceptional Contributions in Online Teaching and Learning at the edX conference in Paris. Arno is the professor of two of our MOOCs: Solar Energy and Sustainable Energy. Solar was our first MOOC we offered on edX. From the beginning that MOOC has been our most popular course:
The edX Prize recognizes a teacher who has demonstrated a commitment to the open and online education community and who has taught high-quality courses that continue to inspire and encourage edX learners everywhere. Professor Smets’ course, Solar Energy, is rigorous and challenging, but designed for learners at all levels. Through this course, Professor Smets has reached almost 150,000 learners globally and is helping to pave the way to a more sustainable world.
On campus Arno also has been a champion for our online learning programme. This blogpost of edX gives a great overview of Arno's activities.
Off course, we are very proud of Arno. As a true champion Arno gives us credit for the success as well, becuase making a MOOC is a team effort:
Last year Creative Commons started a project about Open Business Models. At the OpenEd16 conference Paul Stacey of Creative Commons presented some of the results of this project. The full results will be published in a book in the beginning of next year:
In the summer of 2015 Creative Commons ran a successful Kickstarter campaign raising funds to write a book about open business models made using Creative Commons. With the help of backers, and through an open public call, Creative Commons identified businesses and organizations from around the world and across all sectors who have successful Creative Commons based open business models. From that list twenty four were chosen to interview, profile, and analyse.
Interesting part of his finding was that in most discussion the commons has disappeared. It is only about market versus the state. The commons is a general term for shared resources in which each stakeholder has an equal interest.
Why should market engage with commons?
He showed an extensive list of benefits of Commons over Market as shown in the image below:
According to Paul people who engage in the commons can feel empowered through participatory engagement, no need for permission. A good example of this is wikipedia.
The market can also engage in the commons, but it is important that they do this based on some principles:
- add value
- give more than you take
- transparency - about what using, wat adding, what monetizing
- give attribution & gratitude
- develop trust - don't exploit
- defend the commons
One of the examples he mentioned was OpenDesk. Their company is based on a completely different approach to design furniture. Opendesk is a global platform for local making. You can use it to download, make and buy work space furniture. They have open designs on their website, which you can adopt and change. If you design is ready, they have local partners that can make your design. You cut out the mass production and distribution costs.
In the book that is coming out next year, they have 20 case studies of companies that are based on an open business model (including a couple of Dutch organisations).
As part of a panel discussion at OpenEd16 conference on the future of Open Educational Resources I was asked to write an article. As we all know it is difficult to make predictions especially about the future.
This excersise has resulted 15 interesting articles about the future of OER by David Kernohan, Mary Lou Forward, Martin Weller & Patrick McAndrew, TJ Bliss, Paul Stacey, Mike Smith, Karen Willcox & Luwen Huang, Katsusuke Shigeta & Tomohiro Nagashima, Una Daly, Lorna Campbell, Cathy Casserly, Cable Creen, Stephen Downes, Andy Lane and myself. The articles are all published on www.futuoer.org.
Below is the article I submitted.
This resource will help you explore what open research is, how you can ethically and openly share your findings so others can reuse or develop your work, and the role of reflection and open dissemination. Whilst many challenges and issues apply to all aspects of research (for example choosing an appropriate methodology), open research brings a range of different opportunities and challenges; it’s these that we are specifically interested in exploring. What can openness add to the research process?
The book has 4 main chapters:
- Open Research
- Ethics in the Open
- Open Dissemination
- Reflecting in the Open
Although I haven't read the complete book, it looks interesting and a must read for every researcher!
Pitt, R. de los Arcos, B. Farrow, R and Weller, M. (2016). Open Research. OER Hub. Available from: https://openresearch.pressbooks.com
Image Credit: CC-BY-SA OERhub
As part of their Open Leadership Fellowship Amanda Coolidge (BC Campus) and Daniel DeMarte (Tidewater Community College) have developed an OER Policy Development Tool. The contents of the tool are intended to be adopted and adapted for use within a college or university’s culture. The OER policy tool is organized in three sections:
- OER Policy Assumptions
- OER Policy Components
- OER Policy Resources
The tool seems like a very useful tool for many institute around the world. Currently is uses the data of 6 policies. If you know others, please let them know.
A good suggestion would be to add text that can be added to other policies on OER. For example as part of HR policy, IP policy etc.
Photo Credit: CC-BY Alan Levine
Interesting research video of Jeanine REUTEMANN about different MOOC video styles on edX, Coursera, Futurelearn & Iversity. Jeanine works for University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern Switzerland. The video is based on the paper she presented at the EMOOCs Stakeholder Summit 2016 in Graz, Austria. Read the paper in the conference proceeding (page 383).