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ABC Curriculum design: An openly licensed tool for universities

- April 28, 2016 in Featured, oer

How can time-pressured academics design effective blended and online courses aligned to the Connected Curriculum? Dr Clive Young and Nataša Perović describe ABC curriculum design: a quick way to (re)design programmes and modules through a hands-on workshop where academic teams discuss and create storyboards of students’ activities. abc cards ABC (Arena, Blended, Connected) curriculum design, created by UCL Digital Education, is an effective and engaging hands-on 90-minute workshop where academic teams work together to create a visual ‘storyboard’ outlining the type and sequence of learning activities (both online and offline) required to meet the course’s learning outcomes. ABC is an openly-licensed tool that was initially created for new programmes and modules or for those changing to a more online or blended format. However it has also proved remarkably effective simply to review current programmes. So far, over 60 modules have been re(designed) using the ABC method at UCL and in addition, the ABC materials have been used successfully in two other UK universities. oer2ucl The ABC builds on Viewpoints, a well-received 2012 JISC project that used a card-based method for curriculum design. The UCL ABC method cards integrate the powerful concept of learning types derived from the Conversational Framework model of Professor Diana Laurillard (UCL Institute of Education). On one side of a card, a learning type is defined: such as acquisition, investigation, collaboration, discussion, practice and production). This is the principle. And on the other side conventional and digital learning activities (the practice) are detailed. As the workshop progresses these are sequenced into a large storyboard sheet representing the student journey. Working together, module teams are first asked to write a “tweet-sized” description (140 character of fewer) of the module or programme, outlining the main outcome or unique selling point. This provides a sharp focus for the design and usually generates much lively debate. The participants also draw the shape of their course (as they envisage it at this time) on the learning types graph. They also consider the type of online and conventional learning mix. The next step is to complete a draft storyboard of the module by sequencing and stacking six ‘learning types’ cards. This step encourages teams to deliberate the ways different learning types can be mixed together in variety of ways to reach the module’s learning outcomes. oer3icl Up to this point they are only looking at an overview of learning types. Once they have made a layout of the module (programme), they turn the cards over and look at the activities that are printed on the backside of the cards. They then select conventional and digital activities they want to use in their programme, by ticking them and by adding their own activities to the cards. Once learning activities are chosen, the opportunities for formative and summative assessment of these activities are identified and marked by gold and silver stars. The final step is to review changes made and share with other module teams. When the workshop is organised at a programme level this cross-module sharing using a common descriptive framework is remarkably powerful and can facilitate discussion of the integrative elements of the Connected Curriculum. As one participant said: “This process was really useful. It helps us think about the modules in their entirety. It is really good how everything maps out in a clear framework like this.” To learn more ABC curriculum design you can watch this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3C1gTHApg8A and look at the materials and tutorials here at ABC (Arena Blended Connected) curriculum design http://blogs.ucl.ac.uk/digital-education/2015/04/09/abc-arena-blended-connected-curriculum-design/ and design workshop here http://blogs.ucl.ac.uk/digital-education/files/2015/09/ABC_leaflet.pdf — About the authors mypic_400x400 Clive Young : Clive work at UCL and has worked as a learning technology consultant in several universities. He has led several UK and international projects on the pedagogic design of video and was an e-learning project evaluator for the European Commission. Clive is also an associate lecturer at the Open University tutoring on their MA in Online and Distance Education.     Natasa Nataša Perović: Nataša has been working on e-learning development in medical, nursing and allied health sciences in higher education since 2006. Particular interests: blended learning, open educational resources, online videos in medical education, digital literacies and instructional design. Nataša has a background in science, web development and teaching and works at UCL with the School of Life and Medical Sciences Faculties (Brain Sciences, Life Sciences, Medical Sciences an Population Health Sciences).  

ABC Curriculum design: An openly licensed tool for universities

- April 28, 2016 in Featured, oer

How can time-pressured academics design effective blended and online courses aligned to the Connected Curriculum? Dr Clive Young and Nataša Perović describe ABC curriculum design: a quick way to (re)design programmes and modules through a hands-on workshop where academic teams discuss and create storyboards of students’ activities. abc cards ABC (Arena, Blended, Connected) curriculum design, created by UCL Digital Education, is an effective and engaging hands-on 90-minute workshop where academic teams work together to create a visual ‘storyboard’ outlining the type and sequence of learning activities (both online and offline) required to meet the course’s learning outcomes. ABC is an openly-licensed tool that was initially created for new programmes and modules or for those changing to a more online or blended format. However it has also proved remarkably effective simply to review current programmes. So far, over 60 modules have been re(designed) using the ABC method at UCL and in addition, the ABC materials have been used successfully in two other UK universities. oer2ucl The ABC builds on Viewpoints, a well-received 2012 JISC project that used a card-based method for curriculum design. The UCL ABC method cards integrate the powerful concept of learning types derived from the Conversational Framework model of Professor Diana Laurillard (UCL Institute of Education). On one side of a card, a learning type is defined: such as acquisition, investigation, collaboration, discussion, practice and production). This is the principle. And on the other side conventional and digital learning activities (the practice) are detailed. As the workshop progresses these are sequenced into a large storyboard sheet representing the student journey. Working together, module teams are first asked to write a “tweet-sized” description (140 character of fewer) of the module or programme, outlining the main outcome or unique selling point. This provides a sharp focus for the design and usually generates much lively debate. The participants also draw the shape of their course (as they envisage it at this time) on the learning types graph. They also consider the type of online and conventional learning mix. The next step is to complete a draft storyboard of the module by sequencing and stacking six ‘learning types’ cards. This step encourages teams to deliberate the ways different learning types can be mixed together in variety of ways to reach the module’s learning outcomes. oer3icl Up to this point they are only looking at an overview of learning types. Once they have made a layout of the module (programme), they turn the cards over and look at the activities that are printed on the backside of the cards. They then select conventional and digital activities they want to use in their programme, by ticking them and by adding their own activities to the cards. Once learning activities are chosen, the opportunities for formative and summative assessment of these activities are identified and marked by gold and silver stars. The final step is to review changes made and share with other module teams. When the workshop is organised at a programme level this cross-module sharing using a common descriptive framework is remarkably powerful and can facilitate discussion of the integrative elements of the Connected Curriculum. As one participant said: “This process was really useful. It helps us think about the modules in their entirety. It is really good how everything maps out in a clear framework like this.” To learn more ABC curriculum design you can watch this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3C1gTHApg8A and look at the materials and tutorials here at ABC (Arena Blended Connected) curriculum design http://blogs.ucl.ac.uk/digital-education/2015/04/09/abc-arena-blended-connected-curriculum-design/ and design workshop here http://blogs.ucl.ac.uk/digital-education/files/2015/09/ABC_leaflet.pdf — About the authors mypic_400x400 Clive Young : Clive work at UCL and has worked as a learning technology consultant in several universities. He has led several UK and international projects on the pedagogic design of video and was an e-learning project evaluator for the European Commission. Clive is also an associate lecturer at the Open University tutoring on their MA in Online and Distance Education.     Natasa Nataša Perović: Nataša has been working on e-learning development in medical, nursing and allied health sciences in higher education since 2006. Particular interests: blended learning, open educational resources, online videos in medical education, digital literacies and instructional design. Nataša has a background in science, web development and teaching and works at UCL with the School of Life and Medical Sciences Faculties (Brain Sciences, Life Sciences, Medical Sciences an Population Health Sciences).  

ABC Curriculum design: An openly licensed tool for universities

- April 28, 2016 in Featured, oer

How can time-pressured academics design effective blended and online courses aligned to the Connected Curriculum? Dr Clive Young and Nataša Perović describe ABC curriculum design: a quick way to (re)design programmes and modules through a hands-on workshop where academic teams discuss and create storyboards of students’ activities. abc cards ABC (Arena, Blended, Connected) curriculum design, created by UCL Digital Education, is an effective and engaging hands-on 90-minute workshop where academic teams work together to create a visual ‘storyboard’ outlining the type and sequence of learning activities (both online and offline) required to meet the course’s learning outcomes. ABC is an openly-licensed tool that was initially created for new programmes and modules or for those changing to a more online or blended format. However it has also proved remarkably effective simply to review current programmes. So far, over 60 modules have been re(designed) using the ABC method at UCL and in addition, the ABC materials have been used successfully in two other UK universities. oer2ucl The ABC builds on Viewpoints, a well-received 2012 JISC project that used a card-based method for curriculum design. The UCL ABC method cards integrate the powerful concept of learning types derived from the Conversational Framework model of Professor Diana Laurillard (UCL Institute of Education). On one side of a card, a learning type is defined: such as acquisition, investigation, collaboration, discussion, practice and production). This is the principle. And on the other side conventional and digital learning activities (the practice) are detailed. As the workshop progresses these are sequenced into a large storyboard sheet representing the student journey. Working together, module teams are first asked to write a “tweet-sized” description (140 character of fewer) of the module or programme, outlining the main outcome or unique selling point. This provides a sharp focus for the design and usually generates much lively debate. The participants also draw the shape of their course (as they envisage it at this time) on the learning types graph. They also consider the type of online and conventional learning mix. The next step is to complete a draft storyboard of the module by sequencing and stacking six ‘learning types’ cards. This step encourages teams to deliberate the ways different learning types can be mixed together in variety of ways to reach the module’s learning outcomes. oer3icl Up to this point they are only looking at an overview of learning types. Once they have made a layout of the module (programme), they turn the cards over and look at the activities that are printed on the backside of the cards. They then select conventional and digital activities they want to use in their programme, by ticking them and by adding their own activities to the cards. Once learning activities are chosen, the opportunities for formative and summative assessment of these activities are identified and marked by gold and silver stars. The final step is to review changes made and share with other module teams. When the workshop is organised at a programme level this cross-module sharing using a common descriptive framework is remarkably powerful and can facilitate discussion of the integrative elements of the Connected Curriculum. As one participant said: “This process was really useful. It helps us think about the modules in their entirety. It is really good how everything maps out in a clear framework like this.” To learn more ABC curriculum design you can watch this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3C1gTHApg8A and look at the materials and tutorials here at ABC (Arena Blended Connected) curriculum design http://blogs.ucl.ac.uk/digital-education/2015/04/09/abc-arena-blended-connected-curriculum-design/ and design workshop here http://blogs.ucl.ac.uk/digital-education/files/2015/09/ABC_leaflet.pdf — About the authors mypic_400x400 Clive Young : Clive work at UCL and has worked as a learning technology consultant in several universities. He has led several UK and international projects on the pedagogic design of video and was an e-learning project evaluator for the European Commission. Clive is also an associate lecturer at the Open University tutoring on their MA in Online and Distance Education.     Natasa Nataša Perović: Nataša has been working on e-learning development in medical, nursing and allied health sciences in higher education since 2006. Particular interests: blended learning, open educational resources, online videos in medical education, digital literacies and instructional design. Nataša has a background in science, web development and teaching and works at UCL with the School of Life and Medical Sciences Faculties (Brain Sciences, Life Sciences, Medical Sciences an Population Health Sciences).  

OER Festival in Berlin – How An Open Event Inspires Open Educational Activities in Germany

- March 17, 2016 in #openeducationwk, Events, Featured, guestpost, oer, Open Educational Practices, open educational resources, open-education

ber1Last week the OER community celebrated its first OER Festival in Berlin which consisted of an OER Camp and an OER conference/forum (here is the German website). After the successful OER13 and OER14 conferences in Germany, the goal was to broaden and intensify the debate about OER with relevant stakeholders. In this regard, two additional OER projects are worth mentioning as they are funded by the German government and targeted at “Mapping OER” and synthesising affordances and requirements for infrastructure on which OER-related systems can be built and integrated (feasibility study). These projects have then led to a call for proposals from the Federal Ministry of Education and Research for (1) building and establishing a centre for information (and support) related to OER and (2) training for multipliers. The OER Camp in Germany was based on an innovative format called BarCamps: these camps are participant-driven conferences, in which attendees share and learn in an open informal environment. Unlike traditional conferences that pre-schedule a programme, BarCamps rely on input from attendees to create the session programme on the spot and collaborate ad hoc on emerging topics.
Session planning with all OERCamp attendees Photo by “jmm-Hamburg” under CC BY 2.0 Generic

Session planning with all OERCamp attendees Photo by “Jmm-Hamburg” under CC BY 2.0 Generic

Since 2012, several such camps have taken place in Bremen, Bielefeld and Berlin. On top of the ad hoc sessions, some workshops are offered by the members of the emerging OER Camp, who are practitioners and educators in media for education, adult educators, school teachers, researchers, policy-makers, educational publishers, and OER advocates. The main goals of the OER Camp are to:
  • Network and connect stakeholders across diverse educational domains
  • Share knowledge and expertise on OER
  • Spread the word on existing as well as new initiatives
  • Promote open education among educational practitioners and to decision-makers and policy-makers
< p style="text-align: center">

Why did we choose the initiative as good practice? 

The events are very participatory, incubate new ideas and attract attendees with diverse backgrounds.
OER Atlas 2016 - Publication on OER stakeholders and activities in Germany, Austria and Switzerland

OER Atlas 2016 – Publication on OER stakeholders and activities in Germany, Austria and Switzerland

Also, the OER Camp has directly or indirectly produced the following outcomes (there are more that could have been selected):
  • The low threshold to initiate discussions and share knowledge has been the main driver of a growing OER grassroots community in the German-speaking countries. Several established educational platform providers for school education have started to license resources with Creative Commons.
  • The event built on and strengthened an existing community on OER which has had a major influence on the growing political support for the topic in Germany, e.g. the availability of national funding for awareness raising and further education measures.
  • A concise guide for teachers on the objectives behind OER, Creative Commons licenses and the main educational repositories/platforms has been developed by OER Camp participants from Austria and has been remixed and adapted to the German context
  • Plans to issue an OER award were discussed openly during the OER Camp 2015 and put into practice early 2016. Also as a result of the award plans the event grew into a 2-day BarCamp and a 1-day forum involving 7 partners, 30 supporters, 272 registrations, and 109 speakers.. The organisers presented all submissions in a CC-BY licensed publication that gives a good insight into the current OER landscape.
OER Award 2016 Photo under CC0 (Courtesy of Karl Kirst)


OER Award 2016 Photo under CC0 (Courtesy of Karl Kirst)

So it has been an exciting time and a great opportunity to talk about the latest developments of OER in Germany.
  • OER has been established as an important topic in contemporary education. After its slow uptake in German-speaking countries, OER has gained considerable momentum and more and more people from different sectors are now involved. What can be seen in this “OER-socialisation process” is that there is a set of shared beliefs about what OER should be, but less agreement on how we should bring about changes in the educational systems.
  • Although there is growing interest in OER, the discussion on procedures to mainstream OER is at the beginning. It is an interesting process to watch as arguments like “everything that is paid by the public/state should be OER” turn out to be much more complex than initially thought.
  • We are on the verge of reaching a next level as indicated by the afore-mentioned political initiatives.
Overall and to sum up this brief review, it was an inspiring OER event given the diversity of formats and the nicely orchestrated opportunities for discussions. There are exciting times ahead of us and it is in the hands of all of us to keep OER going. — About the authors ACT Anne-Christin Tannhäuser is a project coordinator in technology-enhanced learning and open education programmes and a consultant on educational innovation. She holds a Master’s degree in Educational Sciences and Linguistics from the University of Leipzig and she was trained at the Max Planck-Institute for Human Development, Berlin, in the use of qualitative and quantitative research methodologies. In the past seven years she has managed and contributed to several TEL initiatives at national and European levels, including for the European Foundation for Quality in E-Learning, Cooperative State University Baden-Württemberg, Knowledge Information Centre Malta, Wikimedia Germany, University of Applied Sciences Ruhrwest, Linnaeus University and the Institute of Prospective Technological Studies (European Commission) in the field of open education, recognition of open learning and evaluation/communication of R&D projects. She coordinated the Open Access journal INNOQUAL, the International Journal for Innovation and Quality in Learning, for two years. She is also an associate researcher at the Berlin campus of ESCP Europe, a private business school with six locations in the EU. Dr. Markus Deimann Dr. Markus Deimann, has since September 2013 been Assistant Professor (Akademischer Rat) in the Department of Instructional Technology and Media at FernUniversität Hagen. He completed his studies of Educational Sciences and Political Sciences at the University of Mannheim. Afterwards he worked as Research Assistant on the Project BMBF “Mulitmediales Fernstudium has been Medizinische Informatik (MEDIN)” (Multimedia-based Distance Study Medical Computer Science) at the Technische Universität Ilmenau (Ilmenau University of Technology) and at the University of Erfurt. Furthermore, he was a Visiting Scholar at the Florida State University, Tallahassee (USA) for one year. In 2011 he was a Scholarship Holder at the Open University (UK) for three months.

** (Part of this column was published in http://project.idea-space.eu/2016/03/02/oercamps/)**

OER Festival in Berlin – How An Open Event Inspires Open Educational Activities in Germany

- March 17, 2016 in #openeducationwk, Events, Featured, guestpost, oer, Open Educational Practices, open educational resources, open-education

ber1Last week the OER community celebrated its first OER Festival in Berlin which consisted of an OER Camp and an OER conference/forum (here is the German website). After the successful OER13 and OER14 conferences in Germany, the goal was to broaden and intensify the debate about OER with relevant stakeholders. In this regard, two additional OER projects are worth mentioning as they are funded by the German government and targeted at “Mapping OER” and synthesising affordances and requirements for infrastructure on which OER-related systems can be built and integrated (feasibility study). These projects have then led to a call for proposals from the Federal Ministry of Education and Research for (1) building and establishing a centre for information (and support) related to OER and (2) training for multipliers. The OER Camp in Germany was based on an innovative format called BarCamps: these camps are participant-driven conferences, in which attendees share and learn in an open informal environment. Unlike traditional conferences that pre-schedule a programme, BarCamps rely on input from attendees to create the session programme on the spot and collaborate ad hoc on emerging topics.
Session planning with all OERCamp attendees Photo by “jmm-Hamburg” under CC BY 2.0 Generic

Session planning with all OERCamp attendees Photo by “Jmm-Hamburg” under CC BY 2.0 Generic

Since 2012, several such camps have taken place in Bremen, Bielefeld and Berlin. On top of the ad hoc sessions, some workshops are offered by the members of the emerging OER Camp, who are practitioners and educators in media for education, adult educators, school teachers, researchers, policy-makers, educational publishers, and OER advocates. The main goals of the OER Camp are to:
  • Network and connect stakeholders across diverse educational domains
  • Share knowledge and expertise on OER
  • Spread the word on existing as well as new initiatives
  • Promote open education among educational practitioners and to decision-makers and policy-makers
< p style="text-align: center">

Why did we choose the initiative as good practice? 

The events are very participatory, incubate new ideas and attract attendees with diverse backgrounds.
OER Atlas 2016 - Publication on OER stakeholders and activities in Germany, Austria and Switzerland

OER Atlas 2016 – Publication on OER stakeholders and activities in Germany, Austria and Switzerland

Also, the OER Camp has directly or indirectly produced the following outcomes (there are more that could have been selected):
  • The low threshold to initiate discussions and share knowledge has been the main driver of a growing OER grassroots community in the German-speaking countries. Several established educational platform providers for school education have started to license resources with Creative Commons.
  • The event built on and strengthened an existing community on OER which has had a major influence on the growing political support for the topic in Germany, e.g. the availability of national funding for awareness raising and further education measures.
  • A concise guide for teachers on the objectives behind OER, Creative Commons licenses and the main educational repositories/platforms has been developed by OER Camp participants from Austria and has been remixed and adapted to the German context
  • Plans to issue an OER award were discussed openly during the OER Camp 2015 and put into practice early 2016. Also as a result of the award plans the event grew into a 2-day BarCamp and a 1-day forum involving 7 partners, 30 supporters, 272 registrations, and 109 speakers.. The organisers presented all submissions in a CC-BY licensed publication that gives a good insight into the current OER landscape.
OER Award 2016 Photo under CC0 (Courtesy of Karl Kirst)


OER Award 2016 Photo under CC0 (Courtesy of Karl Kirst)

So it has been an exciting time and a great opportunity to talk about the latest developments of OER in Germany.
  • OER has been established as an important topic in contemporary education. After its slow uptake in German-speaking countries, OER has gained considerable momentum and more and more people from different sectors are now involved. What can be seen in this “OER-socialisation process” is that there is a set of shared beliefs about what OER should be, but less agreement on how we should bring about changes in the educational systems.
  • Although there is growing interest in OER, the discussion on procedures to mainstream OER is at the beginning. It is an interesting process to watch as arguments like “everything that is paid by the public/state should be OER” turn out to be much more complex than initially thought.
  • We are on the verge of reaching a next level as indicated by the afore-mentioned political initiatives.
Overall and to sum up this brief review, it was an inspiring OER event given the diversity of formats and the nicely orchestrated opportunities for discussions. There are exciting times ahead of us and it is in the hands of all of us to keep OER going. — About the authors ACT Anne-Christin Tannhäuser is a project coordinator in technology-enhanced learning and open education programmes and a consultant on educational innovation. She holds a Master’s degree in Educational Sciences and Linguistics from the University of Leipzig and she was trained at the Max Planck-Institute for Human Development, Berlin, in the use of qualitative and quantitative research methodologies. In the past seven years she has managed and contributed to several TEL initiatives at national and European levels, including for the European Foundation for Quality in E-Learning, Cooperative State University Baden-Württemberg, Knowledge Information Centre Malta, Wikimedia Germany, University of Applied Sciences Ruhrwest, Linnaeus University and the Institute of Prospective Technological Studies (European Commission) in the field of open education, recognition of open learning and evaluation/communication of R&D projects. She coordinated the Open Access journal INNOQUAL, the International Journal for Innovation and Quality in Learning, for two years. She is also an associate researcher at the Berlin campus of ESCP Europe, a private business school with six locations in the EU. Dr. Markus Deimann Dr. Markus Deimann, has since September 2013 been Assistant Professor (Akademischer Rat) in the Department of Instructional Technology and Media at FernUniversität Hagen. He completed his studies of Educational Sciences and Political Sciences at the University of Mannheim. Afterwards he worked as Research Assistant on the Project BMBF “Mulitmediales Fernstudium has been Medizinische Informatik (MEDIN)” (Multimedia-based Distance Study Medical Computer Science) at the Technische Universität Ilmenau (Ilmenau University of Technology) and at the University of Erfurt. Furthermore, he was a Visiting Scholar at the Florida State University, Tallahassee (USA) for one year. In 2011 he was a Scholarship Holder at the Open University (UK) for three months.

** (Part of this column was published in http://project.idea-space.eu/2016/03/02/oercamps/)**

OER Festival in Berlin – How An Open Event Inspires Open Educational Activities in Germany

- March 17, 2016 in #openeducationwk, Events, Featured, guestpost, oer, Open Educational Practices, open educational resources, open-education

ber1Last week the OER community celebrated its first OER Festival in Berlin which consisted of an OER Camp and an OER conference/forum (here is the German website). After the successful OER13 and OER14 conferences in Germany, the goal was to broaden and intensify the debate about OER with relevant stakeholders. In this regard, two additional OER projects are worth mentioning as they are funded by the German government and targeted at “Mapping OER” and synthesising affordances and requirements for infrastructure on which OER-related systems can be built and integrated (feasibility study). These projects have then led to a call for proposals from the Federal Ministry of Education and Research for (1) building and establishing a centre for information (and support) related to OER and (2) training for multipliers. The OER Camp in Germany was based on an innovative format called BarCamps: these camps are participant-driven conferences, in which attendees share and learn in an open informal environment. Unlike traditional conferences that pre-schedule a programme, BarCamps rely on input from attendees to create the session programme on the spot and collaborate ad hoc on emerging topics.
Session planning with all OERCamp attendees Photo by “jmm-Hamburg” under CC BY 2.0 Generic

Session planning with all OERCamp attendees Photo by “Jmm-Hamburg” under CC BY 2.0 Generic

Since 2012, several such camps have taken place in Bremen, Bielefeld and Berlin. On top of the ad hoc sessions, some workshops are offered by the members of the emerging OER Camp, who are practitioners and educators in media for education, adult educators, school teachers, researchers, policy-makers, educational publishers, and OER advocates. The main goals of the OER Camp are to:
  • Network and connect stakeholders across diverse educational domains
  • Share knowledge and expertise on OER
  • Spread the word on existing as well as new initiatives
  • Promote open education among educational practitioners and to decision-makers and policy-makers

Why did we choose the initiative as good practice? 

The events are very participatory, incubate new ideas and attract attendees with diverse backgrounds.
OER Atlas 2016 - Publication on OER stakeholders and activities in Germany, Austria and Switzerland

OER Atlas 2016 – Publication on OER stakeholders and activities in Germany, Austria and Switzerland

Also, the OER Camp has directly or indirectly produced the following outcomes (there are more that could have been selected):
  • The low threshold to initiate discussions and share knowledge has been the main driver of a growing OER grassroots community in the German-speaking countries. Several established educational platform providers for school education have started to license resources with Creative Commons.
  • The event built on and strengthened an existing community on OER which has had a major influence on the growing political support for the topic in Germany, e.g. the availability of national funding for awareness raising and further education measures.
  • A concise guide for teachers on the objectives behind OER, Creative Commons licenses and the main educational repositories/platforms has been developed by OER Camp participants from Austria and has been remixed and adapted to the German context
  • Plans to issue an OER award were discussed openly during the OER Camp 2015 and put into practice early 2016. Also as a result of the award plans the event grew into a 2-day BarCamp and a 1-day forum involving 7 partners, 30 supporters, 272 registrations, and 109 speakers.. The organisers presented all submissions in a CC-BY licensed publication that gives a good insight into the current OER landscape.
OER Award 2016 Photo under CC0 (Courtesy of Karl Kirst)


OER Award 2016 Photo under CC0 (Courtesy of Karl Kirst)

So it has been an exciting time and a great opportunity to talk about the latest developments of OER in Germany.
  • OER has been established as an important topic in contemporary education. After its slow uptake in German-speaking countries, OER has gained considerable momentum and more and more people from different sectors are now involved. What can be seen in this “OER-socialisation process” is that there is a set of shared beliefs about what OER should be, but less agreement on how we should bring about changes in the educational systems.
  • Although there is growing interest in OER, the discussion on procedures to mainstream OER is at the beginning. It is an interesting process to watch as arguments like “everything that is paid by the public/state should be OER” turn out to be much more complex than initially thought.
  • We are on the verge of reaching a next level as indicated by the afore-mentioned political initiatives.
Overall and to sum up this brief review, it was an inspiring OER event given the diversity of formats and the nicely orchestrated opportunities for discussions. There are exciting times ahead of us and it is in the hands of all of us to keep OER going. — About the authors ACT Anne-Christin Tannhäuser is a project coordinator in technology-enhanced learning and open education programmes and a consultant on educational innovation. She holds a Master’s degree in Educational Sciences and Linguistics from the University of Leipzig and she was trained at the Max Planck-Institute for Human Development, Berlin, in the use of qualitative and quantitative research methodologies. In the past seven years she has managed and contributed to several TEL initiatives at national and European levels, including for the European Foundation for Quality in E-Learning, Cooperative State University Baden-Württemberg, Knowledge Information Centre Malta, Wikimedia Germany, University of Applied Sciences Ruhrwest, Linnaeus University and the Institute of Prospective Technological Studies (European Commission) in the field of open education, recognition of open learning and evaluation/communication of R&D projects. She coordinated the Open Access journal INNOQUAL, the International Journal for Innovation and Quality in Learning, for two years. She is also an associate researcher at the Berlin campus of ESCP Europe, a private business school with six locations in the EU. Dr. Markus Deimann Dr. Markus Deimann, has since September 2013 been Assistant Professor (Akademischer Rat) in the Department of Instructional Technology and Media at FernUniversität Hagen. He completed his studies of Educational Sciences and Political Sciences at the University of Mannheim. Afterwards he worked as Research Assistant on the Project BMBF “Mulitmediales Fernstudium has been Medizinische Informatik (MEDIN)” (Multimedia-based Distance Study Medical Computer Science) at the Technische Universität Ilmenau (Ilmenau University of Technology) and at the University of Erfurt. Furthermore, he was a Visiting Scholar at the Florida State University, Tallahassee (USA) for one year. In 2011 he was a Scholarship Holder at the Open University (UK) for three months.

** (Part of this column was published in http://project.idea-space.eu/2016/03/02/oercamps/)**

A Scuola di OpenCoesione: Using Open Data in schools for the development of civic awareness

- March 15, 2016 in #openeducationwk, Data, Featured, guestpost, mooc, OEP, oer, Open Data, Open Educational Practices, open educational resources, open-education, opening up education

A Scuola di OpenCoesione ( ASOC), from Italian, translates as Open Cohesion School. It can be understood as an educational challenge and a MOOC (Massive Online Open Course) designed for students in Italian secondary schools. ASOC was launched in 2013 within the open government strategy on cohesion policy carried out by the National Government, in partnership with the Ministry of Education and the Representation Office of the European Commission in Italy; it is also supported by the European Commission’s network of “Europe Direct” Information Centres. The third edition of ASOC was launched in November 2015. While you are reading this post, about 2800 students and 200 teachers are involved in a collective learning experience focused on civic monitoring of public funding through open data analysis, and also by visiting sites and conducting “data journalist” research. A_scuola_logo_quadricromia_png The main objectives of ASOC are to engage participating schools in actively promoting the use and reuse of open data for the development of civic awareness and engagement with local communities in monitoring the effectiveness of public investment. The participating students and teachers design their research using data from the 900,000 projects hosted on the national OpenCoesione portal in which everyone can find transparent information regarding the investment in projects funded by Cohesion Policies in Italy. The portal provides data including detailed information on the amount of funding, policy objectives, locations, involved subjects and completion times: so schools can select the data they want to use in their research, which can be related to their region or city. ASOC’s Teaching and learning programme infografica-new The teaching and learning programme is designed in six main sessions. The first four sessions aim at developing innovative and interdisciplinary skills such as digital literacies and data analysis to support students to assess and critically understand the use of public money. Students learn through a highly interactive process using policy analysis techniques, such as tackling policy rationales for interventions, as well as understanding results and performance. This process employs “civic” monitoring to work on real cases using data journalism and storytelling techniques. During the fifth session, and based on their research projects on the information acquired, the students carry out on-site visits to the public works or services in their region or city which are financed by EU and national funds, and also they interview the key stakeholders involved in the projects’ implementation, the beneficiaries and other actors. Finally, the sixth session is a final event where students meet with their local communities and with policy-makers to discuss their findings, with the ultimate goal to keep the administrators accountable and responsible for their decisions. Here you can find all the video sessions and exercises: http://www.ascuoladiopencoesione.it/lezioni/. The teaching method combines asynchronous and synchronous learning. The asynchronous model is designed following a typical MOOC (Massive Online Open Courses) style where participants learn through a series of activities. Teachers are trained by the central ASOC team through a series of webinars. The synchronous in-class sessions share a common structure: each class starts with one or more videos from the MOOC, followed by a group exercise where the participants get involved in teacher-led classroom activities. These activities are organised around the development of the research projects and reproduce a flipped classroom setting. In between lessons, students work independently to prepare data analysis reports and original final projects. Also, in order to have an impact on local communities and institutions, the students are actively supported by local associations that contribute with specific expertise in the field of open data or on specific topics such as environmental issues, anti-mafia activities, local transportation, etc. Furthermore, the European Commission’s network of information centres “Europe Direct” (EDIC), is involved supporting the activities and disseminating the results. On ASOC’s website there is a blog dedicated to sharing and disseminating the students’ activities on social networks (see here ASOC in numbers). ASOC’s pedagogical methodology is centred on specific goals, well-defined roles and decision-making. This has allowed students to independently manage every aspect of their project activities, from the choice of research methods to how to disseminate the results. On the other hand, the teachers are also involved in an intensive community experience that allows them to learn not only from their own students, but also from the local community and from their fellow teaching peers involved in the project. Screen Shot 2016-03-15 at 16.40.52 Ultimately, this takes the form of a collective civic adventure that improves the capacity to form effective social bonds and horizontal ties among the different stakeholders, actors of the local communities. In fact, detailed Open Data on specific public projects has enable new forms of analysis and storytelling focused on real cases developed in the students’ neighbourhoods. This, in turn, has the key goal of involving the policy-makers in a shared, participatory learning process, to improve both policy accountability and the capacity to respond to local needs. Finally, ASOC’s key element is that the pedagogical methodology we have developed can be used as a learning pathway that can be adapted to different realities (e.g. different policy domains, from national to local, in different sectors) using different types of open data with comparable level of detail and granularity (e.g. detailed local budget data, performance data, research data, or any other type of data). If you are interested in learning more from ASOC’s experience, you can read a case study which includes the results of the 2014-2015 edition on Ciociola, C., & Reggi, L. (2015). A Scuola di OpenCoesione: From Open Data to Civic Engagement. In J. Atenas & L. Havemann (Eds.), Open Data As Open Educational Resources: Case Studies of Emerging Practice. You can also watch ASOC’s documentary video of the 2014-2015 edition here: https://vimeo.com/138955671 — About the author Screen Shot 2016-03-15 at 16.28.23 Chiara Ciociola Is the community manager of the project A Scuola di OpenCoesione at the Department for Cohesion Policies, Italian Presidency of the Council of Ministers. She holds a BA in Political Science, with a focus on New Media and Journalism at University of Florence and a MA in Digital Storytelling at University of Turin. In 2013 she founded Monithon Italia, a civil society initiative for citizen monitoring of EU-funded projects. Since 2011 she is a contributor of Neural magazine, a critical digital culture and new media arts magazine.  

**Part of this article was originally published in the Open Education Europe blog as “OpenCoesione School” – An example of scalable learning format using OpenData as Educational Resources. We thank Maria Perifanou for sharing this post with us**.

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A Scuola di OpenCoesione: Using Open Data in schools for the development of civic awareness

- March 15, 2016 in Data, Featured, guestpost, oer

A Scuola di OpenCoesione ( ASOC), from Italian, translates as Open Cohesion School. It can be understood as an educational challenge and a MOOC (Massive Online Open Course) designed for students in Italian secondary schools. ASOC was launched in 2013 within the open government strategy on cohesion policy carried out by the National Government, in partnership with the Ministry of Education and the Representation Office of the European Commission in Italy; it is also supported by the European Commission’s network of “Europe Direct” Information Centres. The third edition of ASOC was launched in November 2015. While you are reading this post, about 2800 students and 200 teachers are involved in a collective learning experience focused on civic monitoring of public funding through open data analysis, and also by visiting sites and conducting “data journalist” research. A_scuola_logo_quadricromia_png The main objectives of ASOC are to engage participating schools in actively promoting the use and reuse of open data for the development of civic awareness and engagement with local communities in monitoring the effectiveness of public investment. The participating students and teachers design their research using data from the 900,000 projects hosted on the national OpenCoesione portal in which everyone can find transparent information regarding the investment in projects funded by Cohesion Policies in Italy. The portal provides data including detailed information on the amount of funding, policy objectives, locations, involved subjects and completion times: so schools can select the data they want to use in their research, which can be related to their region or city. ASOC’s Teaching and learning programme infografica-new The teaching and learning programme is designed in six main sessions. The first four sessions aim at developing innovative and interdisciplinary skills such as digital literacies and data analysis to support students to assess and critically understand the use of public money. Students learn through a highly interactive process using policy analysis techniques, such as tackling policy rationales for interventions, as well as understanding results and performance. This process employs “civic” monitoring to work on real cases using data journalism and storytelling techniques. During the fifth session, and based on their research projects on the information acquired, the students carry out on-site visits to the public works or services in their region or city which are financed by EU and national funds, and also they interview the key stakeholders involved in the projects’ implementation, the beneficiaries and other actors. Finally, the sixth session is a final event where students meet with their local communities and with policy-makers to discuss their findings, with the ultimate goal to keep the administrators accountable and responsible for their decisions. Here you can find all the video sessions and exercises: http://www.ascuoladiopencoesione.it/lezioni/. The teaching method combines asynchronous and synchronous learning. The asynchronous model is designed following a typical MOOC (Massive Online Open Courses) style where participants learn through a series of activities. Teachers are trained by the central ASOC team through a series of webinars. The synchronous in-class sessions share a common structure: each class starts with one or more videos from the MOOC, followed by a group exercise where the participants get involved in teacher-led classroom activities. These activities are organised around the development of the research projects and reproduce a flipped classroom setting. In between lessons, students work independently to prepare data analysis reports and original final projects. Also, in order to have an impact on local communities and institutions, the students are actively supported by local associations that contribute with specific expertise in the field of open data or on specific topics such as environmental issues, anti-mafia activities, local transportation, etc. Furthermore, the European Commission’s network of information centres “Europe Direct” (EDIC), is involved supporting the activities and disseminating the results. On ASOC’s website there is a blog dedicated to sharing and disseminating the students’ activities on social networks (see here ASOC in numbers). ASOC’s pedagogical methodology is centred on specific goals, well-defined roles and decision-making. This has allowed students to independently manage every aspect of their project activities, from the choice of research methods to how to disseminate the results. On the other hand, the teachers are also involved in an intensive community experience that allows them to learn not only from their own students, but also from the local community and from their fellow teaching peers involved in the project. Screen Shot 2016-03-15 at 16.40.52 Ultimately, this takes the form of a collective civic adventure that improves the capacity to form effective social bonds and horizontal ties among the different stakeholders, actors of the local communities. In fact, detailed Open Data on specific public projects has enable new forms of analysis and storytelling focused on real cases developed in the students’ neighbourhoods. This, in turn, has the key goal of involving the policy-makers in a shared, participatory learning process, to improve both policy accountability and the capacity to respond to local needs. Finally, ASOC’s key element is that the pedagogical methodology we have developed can be used as a learning pathway that can be adapted to different realities (e.g. different policy domains, from national to local, in different sectors) using different types of open data with comparable level of detail and granularity (e.g. detailed local budget data, performance data, research data, or any other type of data). If you are interested in learning more from ASOC’s experience, you can read a case study which includes the results of the 2014-2015 edition on Ciociola, C., & Reggi, L. (2015). A Scuola di OpenCoesione: From Open Data to Civic Engagement. In J. Atenas & L. Havemann (Eds.), Open Data As Open Educational Resources: Case Studies of Emerging Practice. You can also watch ASOC’s documentary video of the 2014-2015 edition here: https://vimeo.com/138955671 — About the author Screen Shot 2016-03-15 at 16.28.23 Chiara Ciociola Is the community manager of the project A Scuola di OpenCoesione at the Department for Cohesion Policies, Italian Presidency of the Council of Ministers. She holds a BA in Political Science, with a focus on New Media and Journalism at University of Florence and a MA in Digital Storytelling at University of Turin. In 2013 she founded Monithon Italia, a civil society initiative for citizen monitoring of EU-funded projects. Since 2011 she is a contributor of Neural magazine, a critical digital culture and new media arts magazine.  

**Part of this article was originally published in the Open Education Europe blog as “OpenCoesione School” – An example of scalable learning format using OpenData as Educational Resources. We thank Maria Perifanou for sharing this post with us**.

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A Scuola di OpenCoesione: Using Open Data in schools for the development of civic awareness

- March 15, 2016 in #openeducationwk, Data, Featured, guestpost, mooc, OEP, oer, Open Data, Open Educational Practices, open educational resources, open-education, opening up education

A Scuola di OpenCoesione ( ASOC), from Italian, translates as Open Cohesion School. It can be understood as an educational challenge and a MOOC (Massive Online Open Course) designed for students in Italian secondary schools. ASOC was launched in 2013 within the open government strategy on cohesion policy carried out by the National Government, in partnership with the Ministry of Education and the Representation Office of the European Commission in Italy; it is also supported by the European Commission’s network of “Europe Direct” Information Centres. The third edition of ASOC was launched in November 2015. While you are reading this post, about 2800 students and 200 teachers are involved in a collective learning experience focused on civic monitoring of public funding through open data analysis, and also by visiting sites and conducting “data journalist” research. A_scuola_logo_quadricromia_png The main objectives of ASOC are to engage participating schools in actively promoting the use and reuse of open data for the development of civic awareness and engagement with local communities in monitoring the effectiveness of public investment. The participating students and teachers design their research using data from the 900,000 projects hosted on the national OpenCoesione portal in which everyone can find transparent information regarding the investment in projects funded by Cohesion Policies in Italy. The portal provides data including detailed information on the amount of funding, policy objectives, locations, involved subjects and completion times: so schools can select the data they want to use in their research, which can be related to their region or city. ASOC’s Teaching and learning programme infografica-new The teaching and learning programme is designed in six main sessions. The first four sessions aim at developing innovative and interdisciplinary skills such as digital literacies and data analysis to support students to assess and critically understand the use of public money. Students learn through a highly interactive process using policy analysis techniques, such as tackling policy rationales for interventions, as well as understanding results and performance. This process employs “civic” monitoring to work on real cases using data journalism and storytelling techniques. During the fifth session, and based on their research projects on the information acquired, the students carry out on-site visits to the public works or services in their region or city which are financed by EU and national funds, and also they interview the key stakeholders involved in the projects’ implementation, the beneficiaries and other actors. Finally, the sixth session is a final event where students meet with their local communities and with policy-makers to discuss their findings, with the ultimate goal to keep the administrators accountable and responsible for their decisions. Here you can find all the video sessions and exercises: http://www.ascuoladiopencoesione.it/lezioni/. The teaching method combines asynchronous and synchronous learning. The asynchronous model is designed following a typical MOOC (Massive Online Open Courses) style where participants learn through a series of activities. Teachers are trained by the central ASOC team through a series of webinars. The synchronous in-class sessions share a common structure: each class starts with one or more videos from the MOOC, followed by a group exercise where the participants get involved in teacher-led classroom activities. These activities are organised around the development of the research projects and reproduce a flipped classroom setting. In between lessons, students work independently to prepare data analysis reports and original final projects. Also, in order to have an impact on local communities and institutions, the students are actively supported by local associations that contribute with specific expertise in the field of open data or on specific topics such as environmental issues, anti-mafia activities, local transportation, etc. Furthermore, the European Commission’s network of information centres “Europe Direct” (EDIC), is involved supporting the activities and disseminating the results. On ASOC’s website there is a blog dedicated to sharing and disseminating the students’ activities on social networks (see here ASOC in numbers). ASOC’s pedagogical methodology is centred on specific goals, well-defined roles and decision-making. This has allowed students to independently manage every aspect of their project activities, from the choice of research methods to how to disseminate the results. On the other hand, the teachers are also involved in an intensive community experience that allows them to learn not only from their own students, but also from the local community and from their fellow teaching peers involved in the project. Screen Shot 2016-03-15 at 16.40.52 Ultimately, this takes the form of a collective civic adventure that improves the capacity to form effective social bonds and horizontal ties among the different stakeholders, actors of the local communities. In fact, detailed Open Data on specific public projects has enable new forms of analysis and storytelling focused on real cases developed in the students’ neighbourhoods. This, in turn, has the key goal of involving the policy-makers in a shared, participatory learning process, to improve both policy accountability and the capacity to respond to local needs. Finally, ASOC’s key element is that the pedagogical methodology we have developed can be used as a learning pathway that can be adapted to different realities (e.g. different policy domains, from national to local, in different sectors) using different types of open data with comparable level of detail and granularity (e.g. detailed local budget data, performance data, research data, or any other type of data). If you are interested in learning more from ASOC’s experience, you can read a case study which includes the results of the 2014-2015 edition on Ciociola, C., & Reggi, L. (2015). A Scuola di OpenCoesione: From Open Data to Civic Engagement. In J. Atenas & L. Havemann (Eds.), Open Data As Open Educational Resources: Case Studies of Emerging Practice. You can also watch ASOC’s documentary video of the 2014-2015 edition here: https://vimeo.com/138955671 — About the author Screen Shot 2016-03-15 at 16.28.23 Chiara Ciociola Is the community manager of the project A Scuola di OpenCoesione at the Department for Cohesion Policies, Italian Presidency of the Council of Ministers. She holds a BA in Political Science, with a focus on New Media and Journalism at University of Florence and a MA in Digital Storytelling at University of Turin. In 2013 she founded Monithon Italia, a civil society initiative for citizen monitoring of EU-funded projects. Since 2011 she is a contributor of Neural magazine, a critical digital culture and new media arts magazine.  

**Part of this article was originally published in the Open Education Europe blog as “OpenCoesione School” – An example of scalable learning format using OpenData as Educational Resources. We thank Maria Perifanou for sharing this post with us**.

Edu-AREA: An Open Educational Resources Platform to Support Teaching Innovation

- February 23, 2016 in Featured, guestpost, oer

Edu-AREA (http://www.edu-area.com) is an open educational resources platform to support teaching innovation developed at the University of Vigo in Spain. Its main goal is to promote teachers as innovators, developing their own lesson plans and contributing to the adoption of open movement in education. Edu-AREA distinguishes among several types of open educational resources: Documents, Applications, Devices, Sites, Guests, Activities and Lesson Plans. The platform supports the creation of activities and lesson plans, where OER can be developed including links to externally hosted support OER. In addition, any Documents, Applications, Devices, Sites and Guests virtual cards can be attached to indicate that such resources will be used during the activities as reusable building blocks; meanwhile the Lesson Plans may involve several Activities in a certain order. Teachers then can search for all these resources, register or create new ones, and classify them in virtual boards according with their own criteria. Following the principles of the open movement, teachers are supported on the “5 R’s”: Retain, Reuse, Revise, Remix and Redistribute. Teachers can perform these actions in a straightforward way, without worrying about attribution or licencing issues because the platform takes care of everything. The license compatibility is checked taking into account the conditions for adaptation and combination. Another feature is that virtual cards contain the number of times resources have been retained, reused, revised, revised and redistributed. We plan to use this data as a source for quality indicators. Beyond these functionalities and features we are working towards new ideas to engage with teachers: lesson plans as living entities, rapid prototyping and easy management while teaching. Therefore, teachers are supported on telling such stories by recording observations about what happens as pictures, videos, comments and any kind of document. In some way, this functionality is aligned to the ideas of action research. As a result, the platform is becoming a kind of learning environment where learners can get access to the lesson plan and follow it. In addition, an Android App (available in Google Play) has been developed to enable teachers and learners to get access to Edu-AREA functionalities from tablets, even in cases where Internet connection is not available. Using this app, teachers and learners can get access to the activity descriptions, view the resources attached, search for sites in a map, submit assignments and even to record observations for the lesson plan story.
Fig1

Lesson Plans in Edu-AREA. Left: view of a lesson plan in the platform. Right: main components of a lesson plan.

Fig2

Edu-AREA App screen showing observations

Fig3

Edu-AREA App screen showing the signals related to the offline behavior and the synchronization status

For us, it is important to try ideas as soon as possible and to get feedback from others. In our case we have noticed that usually teachers are afraid of creating and sharing their lesson plans. Therefore, we invite teachers not to create lesson plans to be shared publicly, but to be used in their classrooms privately. Moreover, they do not need to create the lesson plan completely before starting, but they can begin with some initial part and work on it during development. Eventually, when the teacher finishes the educational task and is happy with the result, she can publish the lesson plan in a public way. — About the author: Manuel_Caeiro_Rodriguez Manuel Caeiro RodriguezUniversity of Vigo, Vigo Computer Architecture, Computing in Mathematics, Natural Science, Engineering and Medicine, Distributed Computing. PhD in Telecommunications Engineering Manuel Caeiro-Rodríguez received the M.Sc. degree in Telecommunication Engineering in 1999, and the Ph.D. degree in Telematics (European mention) in 2007; both at the University of Vigo, Spain. He has been assistant professor during the period 2002-2008 at the ETSI de Telecomunicaciones (Higher Technical School of Telecommunications Engineering) in the University of Vigo, Spain. He is currently an associate professor at the Department of Telematic Engineering at the same university. Manuel has participated in several R&D projects in the areas of e-learning, middleware and Web engineering, and has published more than one hundred papers in international refereed journals and conference proceedings. His research interests include autonomous agents and multi-agent systems, distributed optimization and telematic services. He has been a visiting researcher at the University of Coimbra (Portugal), IRISA in Rennes (France) and SZTAKI in Budapest (Hungary). His specialties are: E-learning, IMS-LD, EMLs, Process-based languages, Workflow, E-learning standards