De meningen ge-uit door medewerkers en studenten van de TU Delft en de commentaren die zijn gegeven reflecteren niet perse de mening(en) van de TU Delft. De TU Delft is dan ook niet verantwoordelijk voor de inhoud van hetgeen op de TU Delft weblogs zichtbaar is. Wel vindt de TU Delft het belangrijk - en ook waarde toevoegend - dat medewerkers en studenten op deze, door de TU Delft gefaciliteerde, omgeving hun mening kunnen geven.

Posted in 2013

De Onderwijsdagen 2013

Vandaag heb ik een presentatie gegeven over de mogelijkheden tot hergebruik van OER/OCW in een formele onderwijssetting. De slides en de opname van de presentatie staan inmiddels al online.

Het was opnieuw leuk om bij de Onderwijsdagen aanwezig te zijn. Dit jaar leken De Onderwijsdagen erg in het teken te staan van Open Education. Dat is niet vreemd als je ziet welke ontwikkelingen daarin gaande zijn. Je kunt een heel aantal presentaties terugkijken op de website van De Onderwijsdagen. Ook de Keynotes vond ik erg interessant! Voor mij een geslaagde dag dus. Mooi om te zien wat er momenteel speelt in het Nederlands Hoger Onderwijs.

En hopelijk zien we een aantal deelnemers over een maand terug op de SIG Open Education Netwerkdag op 12 december 2013!

Blended Learning & Open Education?

Yesterday the Dutch E-Merge Consortium organized a Blended Learning Expert meeting, where all participants shared experiences on how they have implemented blended learning in their educational practice. The E-merge consortium consists of The Hague University of Applied Science, TU Delft, Leiden University and Leiden University of Applied Science. Two big Blended Learning Projects were presented: the E-Merge Blended Learning project and the TU Delft Blended Learning project).

Blended Learning definitions often adress the optimal mix of face-to-face and digital/online delivery of content and instruction in formal Brick and Mortar school structures. As you might expect, experiences shared were diverse in nature. In some cases Blended Learning was still limited to merely replacing knowledge transfer through live lectures by lecture video’s.  This in itself is a nice start, since it often is a personal innovative experience for a lot of teachers.

But as I see it, blended learning projects provides teachers with the opportunity to go one step further and fully rethink how you can support your students in reaching the learning goals, by using the strengths of both different types of content, delivery methods and learning activities, be it either face-to-face or digital/online. The general opinion of the participants ultimately stretched this towards a more constructivist approach, where the new opportunities of digital and online content and delivery methods can be used in encouraging an active attitude in students, making education more engaging and giving control over the learning process back to students (control over time, place, path and pace – Wikipedia).

There is quit a similarity here with Open Education, where succesful usage is also based on non formal self directed learning. So, it might prove interesting to see if Open Educational Practices could be implemented in formal education. Scenario’s in which blended learning is applied, certainly provide good opportunity to achieve this. As long as students are really let go, given actual control over the learning process – even though this often lies outside many peoples comfort zone. And for many of the participants, although they agreed, this might still be a step to far. But they made/are making their first steps. And it is interesting to see where that might lead…

How can OER benefit formal learners?

As educators or (in my case) supporting staff in education, we are all ambitious in supporting our students to learn and excel in what they do. At the same time, every teacher I know has little spare time to design and create educational activities and (especially) materials which match these ambitions. Often it works, but in many cases we don’t have the time to create the materials we envisioned or we don’t really know how.

On the other hand, worldwide thousends of teachers in hundreds of universities have been sharing their educational materials on the Internet, openly available. Open in this case means anybody is free to use, re-use, remix, repurpose and redistribute the educational materials.

Given this fact, I became very curious in how we could (re-)use and repurpose these Open Educational Resourses in formal education settings in a way that benefits students in learning and developing the skills needed in today’s (21st century) society and could benefit teachers in reaching their ambitions as educators.

So we set up the TU Delft STUMBLE project. In this project we’d like to explore this -what I consider to be – interesting question. What I’ve noticed so far is that re-using Open Educational Resources others have shared on the Internet can benefit students in different extents, depending on the level of integration in education:

  • simply offer Open Educational Resources as additions to contents covered in lectures provides nice extra’s for students, but seems to be the least effective: students are (and they have every right to) focussed on the course goals as addressed in the final course exams. And the teacher and his or her lectures and contents are key, not contents created by (perhaps top-class) teachers on any other university.
  • Teachers can re-use Open Educational Resources shared by others to (up to a certain point) replace the contents he or she wanted to bring across in lectures or educational materials in stead of designing and creating them themselves. As long as students understand the teacher approves and advocates these materials and students know this is the content they will be tested on, this could work. It opens doors to my next point, and perhaps can save some time in respect of developing the course materials themselves.
  • What I think could be most beneficial to students, is placing the initiative with students, giving them the lead in finding, judging and relating the contents of Open Educational Resources to the course goals. This way students are actively involved in the learning process and develop important 21st century (perhaps mostly metacognitive) skills.One interesting idea’s I got comes from one of our professors, Prof. Mr. Dr. Ir. Sicco Santema, where students are asked to find course materials related to topics covered in class and bring in arguments about how this relates to the taught subjects. But Youtube Fridays (Colorado School of Mines) and Flipped Classroom models like Peer Instruction (Prof. Eric Mazur, Harvard) offer potential in this respect as well.
Last year I’ve found some evidence for the assumption mentioned in the first bullet. Hopefully in the upcoming academic year, together with a number of teachers, we will be able to test the other assumptions. And maybe even find new clues on the way Open Educational Resources can be used in formal education settings benefitting students and teachers in education.
New tools developed, such as Feedback Fruits might be interesting tools to support students in their search and sharing endeavors. But maybe I will be able to address this tool in more detail later.

Finding Open Educational Materials

We are not supposed to assume that any source Google delivers as a (default) search result allows you t0 re-use it. Copyrights may provide an obstacle: although the copyright protects the creator of content from others stealing or copying them illegally, it also prevents others from re-using them for educational purposes.

Then again, for more then a decade, universities worldwide have been sharing Open Educational Resources: educational resources anybody is allowed to re-use, remix, repurpose and redistribute freely as they please. This is because these educational materials have been published under a Creative Commons License, as legal exemptions on the copyright.

The more educational resources become available, the harder it can be to find the exact resources you’re looking for and allow you to re-use them. So a nice list of (good!) search engines for Open Educational Resources seems in order. I’m sure others have already found many more (like Willem van Valkenburg and SURF (trend report, both pdf: 2012, p. 39;  2013, p. 103), but here’s a shortlist I know is interesting.

Please don’t hesitate to bring in more (and better) if you know them, by commenting on this blog. But if you do, please add why you think your suggestions are great ones 😉

OCWC Global 2013

Two weeks ago the OpenCourseWare Consortium organised their annual OCWC Conference, this time in Bali, Indonesia. During the conference we had a chance to explore the global dimensions of the open education movement, recent trends and future directions. During the conference I was fortunate enough to receive two Awards for OpenCourseWare Excelence for the TU Delft, on behalf of the teachers behind these courses:

  • Award for Outstanding text based Course: Delft Design Guide (Ir. Annemiek van Boeien and Jaap Daalhuizen, Faculty of Indstrial Design) and
  • Award for Outstanding Multimedia Course: Introduction to Aerospace Engineering I (Prof. dr. ir. Jacco Hoekstra, faculty of Aerospace Engineering)

My Impression of the conference

My personal impression of the conference is that the Open Education movement has reached a certain level of maturity. I didn’t really see very impressive new developments running in surprising directions.

Obviously there was a lot of attention for MOOCs. I heard a lot of old discussions held all over again; discussions which we had a few years ago about OpenCourseWare which I thought we had tackled already.

A question worth asking however (and asked a lot during the conference) is how MOOCs and OpenCourseWare can exist together. This asks for a strong vision. But TU Delft actually really has a strong vision and a powerful Open Education portfolio, in which OpenCourseWare, Open Educational Resources, MOOCs, Online Distance Education and Campus Education reinforce each other in multiple ways. Is this going to change education? Probably. Should education become more open? Definitely! Moocs as well if you ask me. But how, that’s a different question.

What I didn’t hear during the conference, was how we can re-use existing Open Educational Materials so that our campus education can benefit from it. A lot of presentations still aimed ad producing and sharing materials with others. My presentation did address this question.

The OpenCourseWare movement has reached a point where we need to think about where we should be going. The OpenCourseWare Consortium will adress this question I hope, under their new President Larry Cooperman and new board members among which Willem van Valkenburg.

More re-use of other’s materials, more actual exchange of course materials and more using Open Educational Materials as tools to adress existing demands, problems and goals sounds to me like a good direction, not forgetting or ignoring developments like MOOCs or Online Distance Education. Why not do it both? We’re working hard to reach those goals with our TU Delft Open Education Team.

© 2011 TU Delft