Tonight at the gala diner of the OEGlobal Conference the official announcement was made that the 2018 conference will be in Delft. After a fierceful selection process my proposal to host the conference in Delft was selected by the board.
Although it means a lot of work for me and my team, I think it is a great opportunity for the Netherlands and Delft. There are a lot of activities currently happening and this conference in April 2018 can further focus and showcase this to the rest of the world.
The conference will be from 24-26 April 2018 in the TU Delft Conference Centre. All participants can enjoy kingsday on the 27th of April (bring your orange shirt).
City of Delft
Delft has a historic, picturesque city centre with world famous unique selling points such as the famous painter Johannes Vermeer (girl with the pearl), William of Orange and Delft blue pottery. Due to the central location in Randstad, Delft is easily accessible by car, train and public transport. In 40 minutes you are in Delft from Schiphol Airport. Within a hour you can be in the four big cities Rotterdam, The Hague, Amsterdam or Utrecht.
Last week the Dutch National Plan Open Science was presented. The plan was written by a team led by my colleague Wilma van Wezenbeek (TU Delft Library Director). The key ambitions of the plan are:
Full open access to publications in 2020 Continue the Dutch approach for all Dutch research organisations and research areas whilst recognising their differences and similarities.
To make research data optimally suited for reuse To set clear and agreed technical and policy-related preconditions to facilitate reuse of research data, including provision of the necessary expertise and support.
Recognition and rewards To examine together how open science can be an element of the evaluation and reward system for researchers, research groups and research proposals.
To promote and support To establish a ‘clearing house’ for all information regarding all available research support.
Important is that the plan is not only focusing making publications open access, but also change the evaluation and reward system for researchers.
The Open Education Leadership Award of Excellence is presented to an individual who has shown strong leadership in the field of Open Education. It is awarded by the Open Education Consortium to recognize truly exceptional work and dedication to the ideals of Open Education. Previous winners are leaders such as Nicole Allen, Peter Smith, Anka Mulder, Fred Mulder.
This year two awards are granted in this category:
Jet Bussemaker, Minister of Education, Culture and Science for the Netherlands since 2012 and major advocator of Open Education. Her support of openness has served as an example for governments around the world.
During her 4 years as minister of education, Jet Bussemaker has positioned open education as an important strategy of her policy. She started a structural granting programme, supporting bottom-up initiatives for universities. During the EU Presidency of the Netherlands (first half of 2016) she placed open education on the agenda and organized a big event during the Open Education Week.
The Dutch Minister of Education has made major policy changes towards open education. By 2025 all educational resources should be open and available via an (inter)national platform. She has also made available a grant programme for open education with a yearly budget going to 2 mln euro. In 2015, eleven projects were approved and in 2016, twelve projects were approved.
Dr. Bakary Diallo, is the rector of the African Virtual University, a pan-African project with 35 partner universities. He has served two terms on the OEC board of directors and has been treasurer during that time. His service to the global open education movement has come from his lifelong commitment to the expansion of educational opportunities.
Through Dr. Diallo’s leadership, the AVU has developed OER-based courses and degrees in math and science teacher education and in computer science. Through his advocacy for open educational resources and his broad international network, Dr. Diallo has shone a bright light on open education, on our global consortium, and on the opportunities that expanded access to higher education will bring to underserved communities throughout the world.
Both winners trully deserve this award. They will receive the award at the upcoming conference in Cape Town 8-10 March. You can still register and attend this great conference!
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.
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.
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:
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.