The OpenCourseWare Consortium (OCWC) and the International Council for Open and Distance Education (ICDE) signed on 8 May, 2013 a Memorandum of Understanding between the two global associations.
The signature took place during a ceremony at the OpenCourseWare Consortium (OCWC) Global Conference 2013 at Bali, Indonesia.
With this agreement, ICDE and OCWC enter into closer cooperation in recognition of their mutual interest in expanded access to high quality higher education through open and distance education.
Both parties undertake to explore opportunities in the following areas:
- Mutual promotion of activities.
- Joint regional conference.
- Explore a joint initiative to support policy discussion and development facilitating open and distance education at governmental and institutional levels.
- Joint membership services.
- Opportunities to have synergy in projects, for example in giving attention to and promote "flagship projects".
Issue number 33 of eLearning Papers focuses on the challenges and future of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), a trend in education that has skyrocketed since 2008.
Guest edited by Dr Yishay Mor, Senior Lecturer at the Open University's Institute of Educational Technology (UK), and Tapio Koskinen, Director of the eLearning Papers Editorial Board, MOOCs and Beyond seeks to both generate debate and present a variety of perspectives about this new popular learning model.
The emergence of MOOCs poses a set of challenges to the educational community. This new special issue of eLearning Papers aims to shed light on the way these online courses affect both education institutions and learners, and tries to find answers to some of the questions confronted by teachers and researchers.
Among other topics, eLearning Papers 33 explores whether MOOCs may be a viable solution for education in developing countries and analyses the role of these emerging courses in the education system, especially in higher education. Furthermore, valuable examples from the field are presented, such as the quad-blogging concept and a game-based MOOC developed to promote entrepreneurship education.
This issue includes 4 In-Depth articles and 6 From the Field ones:
- The Impact and Reach of MOOCs: A Developing Countries’ Perspective by Tharindu Liyanagunawardena, Shirley Williams and Andrew Adams
- MOOCs and disruptive innovation: Implications for higher education by Li Yuan and Stephen Powell
- The Next Game Changer: The Historical Antecedents of the MOOC Movement in Education by David T. Boven
- MOOC Design Principles. A Pedagogical Approach from the Learner’s Perspective by Lourdes Guàrdia, Marcelo Maina and Albert Sangrà
From the field articles
- MOOCs are More Social than You Believe by Jan Blom, Himanshu Verma, Nan Li, Afroditi Skevi and Pierre Dillenbourg
- Realising the Potential of Peer-to-Peer Learning: Taming a MOOC with Social Media by Emily Purser, Angela Towndrow and Ary Aranguiz
- Learning from Open Design: Running a Learning Design MOOC by Patrick McAndrew
- Quad-blogging: Promoting Peer-to- Peer Learning in a MOOC by Angela Towndrow, Ary Aranguiz, Emily Purser and Madhura Pradhan
- Game Based Learning MOOC. Promoting Entrepreneurship Education by Margarida Romero
- The AlphaMOOC: Building a Massive Open Online Course One Graduate Student at a Time by Carmen McCallum, Stephen Thomas and Julie C. Libarkin
Though the history of massive open online courses is very short, scholars can gain insights by looking at similar movements in the past. This paper examines several historical moments in education to develop an understanding of MOOCs and their future.
Specifically, this paper explores two developments that resemble the discourse surrounding MOOCs—the emergence of studia particulare and generale in medieval Europe and the monitorial educational systems of the early nineteenth century. It also looks at several other educational innovations that have been seen as disruptive to the status quo of education. These include land-grant institutions in the United States in addition to the University Without Walls and open education movements of the 1960s and 1970s. These previous movements are very instructive as proponents of MOOC educational systems develop strategies for promoting MOOCs and giving them lasting resonance in the digital age.
ICELW works to improve online learning so that it makes a measurable difference in workplace performance and morale. Anyone with an interest or background in workplace eLearning is invited to attend and participate in the conference, which will take place in New York City from the 12-14 of June 2013.
The ICELW program cover a variety of topics relating to e-learning in the workplace and the use of technology to improve job performance, in the form of demonstrations, mini-seminars, case studies, interviews, debates, presentations, and panel discussions.
The World Information Society Day, also known as Internet Day, is observed every year on 17 May since 2006. The main objective of the day is to raise global awareness of the possibilities offered by new technologies and promote widespread Internet access, reducing the digital gap.
This year, the day will be celebrated throughout Spain with conferences, training sessions, competitions, online games and many other activities.
Universities will invite middle and high school students to virtually visit their premises and ask questions about their academic future.
The main event of the day will be held in the Spanish Senate in Madrid, where a high level panel debate will discuss about sustainable creativity and several awards will be handed.
All activities will be promoted and commented in Twitter with the hashtag #DiadeInternet
The Viducate Network has launched a new version of its guide to promote video production and media education in Europe.
The document, targeted to teachers and educational professionals, provides an introduction of how to use video production in the classroom. It includes first ideas for different school subjects and an updated background to what production involves and needs.
The TEL-Map European project, funded by the European Commission, has launched a survey about technology supported, innovative learning practices.
TEL-Map is a Coordination and Support Action focussing on roadmapping activities for innovative forms of learning. A roadmap can be understood as a ‘strategic lens’, through which future developments in a domain or an organisation are analysed for the purpose of channelling available resources wisely.
The aim of this new survey is to collect the views of teaching professionals to inform future roadmapping activities by probing certain statements with regards to their likelihood, desirability and – when it comes to policy measures – their feasibility.
There is no need to be an expert in all areas addressed to answer the survey, as the objective of TEL-Map is to get feedback from people with as diverse backgrounds as possible.
Question blocks have been created for each of the following innovative practices:
- Gamification: using game mechanics and elements of game design in non-game contexts in order to motivate learning. Controversial issues evolve around 'hunting for points as a distraction of learning', neglect of demographic particularities, availability of gamification strategies.
- Free Massive Open Online Course: bringing existing courses to an extended audience by driving technological and economical innovation. Controversial issues evolve around funding models, accreditation, high attrition rates and possible ways of highly automated learner support.
- Flipped classroom: inverting classroom situations so that the lecture part is moved from school to home and the exercise part takes place at school. Controversial issues evolve around managing differences between learners being more or less successful doing their homework, which requires fundamentally new types of in-class activities.
- Seamless Learning (Ubiquitous Learning): obliterating borders between different technologies and learning formats such as formal and informal learning or individual and social learning. Controversial issues evolve around the ownership of learning tools and data generated by learners' activities, or the potentially invasive character of learning technologies to the detriment of a balanced life style.
The International Council for Open Research and Education (ICORE) is a new association bringing together interested experts and stakeholders from the fields of open education and open research. The association will be officially launched on May 16 in Rome (Italy) during the Learning Innovations and Technology (LINQ 2013) conference.
ICORE is a non-profit and requires no membership fees to join. Open to both representatives of organisations as well as individuals, it aims to promote open research and open education as a fundamental social objective. This promotion of these goals will be accomplished through the fostering of collaboration between relevant stakeholders in open research and education, such as national, European and international policy makers, researchers, educators of all levels, students, non-profit educational providers as well as commercial educational providers, among others.
The association's activities will include the administration of an online community portal for information exchange, the organisation of scientific and educational events (conferences, summer schools, etc.) and the establishment of creative partnerships between ICORE members to advance open research and open education internationally.
Interested applicants can register easily at the ICORE website, where the complete first public draft of the association’s statutes can also be found. Joining before the first official meeting of ICORE on May 15 allows new members to be recognized as co-founders.
The report “Report on using information and communication technologies (ICTs) in education for persons with disabilities”, published in 2012, is the outgrowth of a joint initiative by UNESCO and the Trust for the Americas, non-profit organization cooperating with the Organization of American States (OAS).
The joint project consisted of a significant study, country by country in South America, Central America, Mexico and the Caribbean, elucidating achievements and shortfalls, while demonstrating that democratizing free access to ICTs for persons with disabilities in the field of education is an attainable goal.
As a result, the final report provides a meaningful assessment of the status of access to ICTs for such persons and identifies both the good practices and the problems and pending needs that require the most support. It also evinces the need to enhance access to ICTs and the duty for all societal stakeholders, both governmental and non-governmental, as well as international organisations, to work toward attaining this goal.
The overall goal of the study is to provide recommendations to improve information policies, strategies for using ICTs to educate persons with disabilities and incorporate issues related to disability.
The publication targets especially decision-makers, national and regional educational institutions, organisations and associative movements of and for persons with disabilities.
The 2012 Paris OER Declaration was formally adopted at the 2012 World Open Educational Resources Congress held at the UNESCO Headquarters in June 2012.
The Declaration marks a historic moment in the growing movement for Open Educational Resources (OER) and calls on governments worldwide to openly license publicly funded educational materials for public use.
The Declaration recommends UNESCO member States to:
- Foster awareness and use of OER.
- Facilitate enabling environments for use of Information and Communications Technologies (ICT).
- Reinforce the development of strategies and policies on OER.
- Promote the understanding and use of open licensing frameworks.
- Support capacity building for the sustainable development of quality learning materials.
- Foster strategic alliances for OER.
- Encourage the development and adaptation of OER in a variety of languages and cultural contexts.
- Encourage research on OER.
- Facilitate finding, retrieving and sharing of OER.
- Encourage the open licensing of educational materials produced with public funds.
UNESCO proposed with all relevant stakeholders to design and implement a series of global activities based on all the 10 points of the Declaration. This project aims to assist Member States in developing national-level OER policies and implementing the UNESCO ICT Competency Framework for Teachers (ICT CFT) by harnessing Open Educational Resources (OER).
The Inception Meeting of the "Implementing the Paris OER Declaration" project took place on 26 and 27 March, 2013 at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris.