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UNESCO Policy Forum - Mainstreaming Open Educational Practices (OPAL, CONCEDE)

 Mainstreaming Open Educational Practice

 UNESCO Joint policy forum of the OPAL and CONCEDE Projects

Image of UNESCO building

Key messages from the event on 14 Nov 2011:

  1. How can the quality of user generated content be described so that institutions can become confident to view learning as a productive process - students involved in content production and sharing. How can this be carried through to the management of the institution? A piece of resources that is developed by students that can play a role in the leaning of the students of the next year. This is where adoption takes place and the institution criteria for quality assuring learning from the quality reception on leaders. 
  2. Get students to create their own content makes teachers to think more about their learning design. How to network and link students together. Peer review their results.
  3. Nodes of particular knowledge exist but they are not on the same map. You need to have them on the same map with the same parameters. 
  4. In terms of policy it's crucial that there is a clarity. Compare benefits and disadvantages. Internationally open for inputs. Focus is on developing countries. How should an institution use it, to their own frameworks and priorities, it's up to the institution and the stakeholders themselves. Different frameworks for the different frameworks that are out there.
  5. Appropriateness of content for teaching and learning is different for different stakeholders. A framework within which people can make their own judgements. Academics tend to use framework within their own teaching practice. Evaluation and accreditation is still crucial.
  6. Guidelines of UNESCO not talking about pedagogy, don't tell how people are teaching.
  7. Making a course into a true OER, you can tap into a much bigger user base of professors to improve the quality of the course. Encourages competition and collaboration.

Open UNESCO sign

8. Mobile based OER could be the way forward to help with outreach and the increasing numbers of people who want a higher education  in developing countries. 

9. Focus on increasing the number and quality of the research chairs internationally. Research chairs to produce empirical evidence that OER works.

10. Events: 20-22 June - World OER Congress. Showcase the worlds best practices. Six global events leading up to the world conference. Regional events working on the declaration based on needs.

11. What happens when openness comes into a closed institution?

12. Is it innovative to use OER and if so why? No it can also be non-innovative. How to describe innovation? When a student is allowed to determine his learning objectives and pathways. Open educational scenarios matrix (Matrix side 1: No use to alot of use of OER; Matrix side 2: Very closed to very open). Use guided and free approached and bring in achievements from both sides, like an OER portfolio. 

13. What are the drivers and motivations for the institutions to use OER?

14. How to measure OER quality? Cost sharing; timely updating; number of learners.

15. Confusion between open and free in materials and technologies. A lot of practitioners are using tools put online free but not necessary open. Tools or platforms that people believed were free and now are ceasing to exist or are become closed. Encourage providers to make a policy of sharing materials that they produce through assignment of a cc license or similar process. 

UNESCO and OPAL logos   


Opening Ceremony

Chair: Roberto Carneiro, Prof. Universidad Catolica, Lisbon, Portugal

General Rapporteur :  Anthony F. Camilleri (EFQUEL)

  • Opening and Welcome: 
    Indrajit Banerjee, Director, Knowledge Societies  UNESCO
  • Keynote Speech 1: Setting the Scene - The Open Educational Quality Initiative 
    Grainne Conole, Professor of Learning and Innovations, University Leicester, UK
  • Keynote Speech 2: Setting the Scene - The CONCEDE project on User Generated Content
    Ulf-Daniel Ehlers, Professor of Educational Management and Lifelong Learning, Vice President for Quality and Academic Affairs, Baden-Wuertemberg Corporative State University, Stuttgart, Germany  

Understanding the Critical Issues of Open Education: Thematic Table Discussion on the relevant themes for mainstreaming Open Educational Practice  

    • UNESCO OER Programme, Abel Caine, UNESCO
    • Assessment of OEP, Chahira Nouira and Maike Schankser, United Nations University, SCIENTIA
    • Quality of User Generated Content, Thomas Kretschmer, Institute for Learning Innovations, Erlangen, Germany
    • Pedagogical Innovation, Ulf-Daniel Ehlers, Baden-Wuertemberg Corporative State University, Stuttgart, Germany 
    • Policies for Open Educational Practices, Zeynep Varoglu, UNESCO

Taking Open Educational Practice into the Future

  • Keynote Speech: UNESCO/COL Partnership for OER: Guidelines and World Congress. Zeynep Varoglu and Abel Caine (UNESCO)
  • Keynote Speech:  Taking Open Educational Practices into the Future, Rory McGreal, Athabasca University
  • Keynote Speech:  Open Educational Practices as an enabler for Adult Education, Alistair Clarke, NIACE
  • Overview of the 8 Open Educational Practices (OEP) Dimensions from the OPAL Guide, Ulf-Daniel Ehlers, Baden-Wuertemberg Corporative State University, Stuttgart, Germany   

Workshops (60min.): Discussions will focus on 4 selected Dimensions from the OPALGuideline for Quality and Innovation of Open Educational Practices and investigate the question:

  • “How can we create conditions to take OEP into the future and to be mainstreamed?“ 

    OEP Dimensions in Focus:

    • Pedagogical Dimensions for OEP
    • Motivational Framework and Usage of OEP in an Organization
    • Quality Concepts for Open Educational Practices and User Generated Content
    • Knowledge and Skills for Open Learning architectures & Digital Literacy               
Stakeholder Reactions:
  • General Rapporteurs Present  overall conclusions of the day, including from workshops, and sum of data.
  • Plenary Stakeholder Panel with Reactions, Moderation Roberto Carneiro, Universidad Catolica, Lissabon & Grainne Conole, University Leicester
  • Representatives of: European Quality Assurance, Universities, Learners, Research Institutions (names tbc) Introduction to the Workshops “Developing the conditions to take OEP into the future