“We must transition from a pay-to-read to a free-to-read culture. As I see it, European success now lies in sharing as soon as possible, because the days of ‘publish or die’ are disappearing.
Via Terese Bird
Academics spend less time on commercial activities than they did in 2009, writes Adi Gaskell. A new report highlights some of the consistent barriers to participation, with common factors including…
Via Robert Schuwer
We believe that educational opportunities should be available to all learners. Creating an open education ecosystem involves making learning materials, data, and educational opportunities available without restrictions imposed by copyright laws, access barriers, or exclusive proprietary systems that lack interoperability and limit the free exchange of information.
STUDENT SUCCESS: Higher-ed leaders want to boost college access and completion. Achieving the Dream, a national coalition for community college reform, thinks open educational resources can help.On Wednesday the group launched its Open Educational Resources (OER) Degree Initiative, a three-year gran
Recommendations to European and Member States policy makers:
(1) Foster dialogue and collaboration between actors in HEI internationalisation, student mobility and the validation of non-formal and informal learning
- Foster closer dialogue between actors involved in internationalisation, student mobility and open education. Disseminate good practice on the integration of open learning into regular HEI programmes.
- Ensure that Member States policies on validation and recognition of non-formal learning embrace open education and MOOCs, removing discrimination between 'how' and 'where' the learning takes place. MS can also promote policies that 8 encourage and facilitate both learners and employers to explore open learning recognition further
- Ensure that an in-depth exchange on ECTS for open education is stimulated. This should focus on the ECTS User Guide and how tools such as transcript of records and learning agreements could be deployed for recognising learning outcomes achieved through MOOCs, free and open online courses, open courseware and OER. This should be linked also to the mechanisms that are established for the validation of non-formal and informal learning.
(2) Further research is needed
- In order to foster open learning recognition in Member States, regulatory enablers need to be defined.
- Research into the Member States' regulations and practices would enable the setting up of specific strategies for advancing the recognition of open education in Europe.
An interesting approach - and one that I have seen explored by others. I can't help but think it's a bit impractical for most users (25 factors?) although could be useful if trying to create a whole curriculum of OER
Even as the transition to digital course content "seems inevitable" on campus, not everybody is so sure. Nearly a fourth of faculty (24 percent) in a recent survey said that curricula they use in their classes will never be primarily digital.
The survey explored views and practices of HEIs on a broad and wide range of OE elements. Overall, some degree of commitment to and engagement in the different forms of Open Education covered by the survey was present in most of the countries surveyed by the study.
The main findings of the survey are presented below:
- Use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) in face-to-face educational settings is common: Blended learning is much more widely adopted by HEIs than fully online courses or study programmes. Blended learning is perceived by university managers as the most effective way of delivering education.
- The offer of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) is growing but still not widespread: One fifth of the surveyed HEIs stated that they offer at least one MOOC. In addition, about a quarter of the HEIs that are not offering MOOCs at the moment intend to do so in the future. However, this situation varies among countries, ranging from France, where both, the current MOOCs offer and the intentions to offer MOOCs in the future are high, to others like Germany where both current and planned MOOC offers are low. Poland falls between the two extremes: however, though it currently offers low numbers of MOOCs, it has considerable growth potential reflected in the high percentage of HEIs intending to offer MOOCs in the future.
- Recognition of MOOC learning is rare: In all 5 countries studied, HEIs usually lack recognition mechanisms; even in cases where MOOC certificates are based on reliable ways of assessment and linked to a specific number of ECTS. This indicates there is little awareness and/or trust in providing recognition of learning through MOOCs.
- Open Educational Resources (OER) are widely used: More than 50% of HEIs support the use of OER within their institution. In contrast, only just over one third of HEIs support the development (and offer) of OER. Most of those HEIs that use OERs do so to supplement classical face-to-face instruction and do not substitute core learning materials for OER. Collaboration occurs within national borders: Cross-border collaboration among institutions is less frequent than local or national collaboration. Cross-border collaboration in MOOCs is even less frequent than in other areas. In national collaboration, countries differ. At national level, French HEIs collaborate the most and Polish ones the least. Cross-border collaboration, however, is rare among HEIs of all five countries.
- HEIs have different motivations for engaging in Open Education: Promotion and visibility of the institution as well as reaching more students are the strongest drivers for HEIs to engage with Open Education. Enhancing the quality of education is also an important motivation. Institutions are less convinced about the financial benefits as a major driver for engaging in Open Education. HEIs offering OER give more importance to institutional strategies which emphasise "free access to education". Institutions which offer MOOCs see this social aim as less important.
- Skills and recognition are the most important barriers: The main reasons for HEIs not to engage in OE practices are that academic staff is not skilled to use Open Education and also the difficulties associated with formal recognition of Open Education. Pedagogical issues are reported as less important challenges.
- Lecturers get support to engage in Open Education but rarely in terms of career development: Lecturers involved in OE receive mainly technical support, and in half of the cases also some training. Less common are support mechanism related to time allocation for the development of OE, and its recognition for career development.
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