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 OpenCourseWare Consortium has just announced the winners of the 2013 edition of the Site Awards for OpenCourseWare Excellence (ACE).
The Awards for OpenCourseWare Excellence provide annual recognition to outstanding individuals, courseware and OpenCourseWare sites in the OCW Consortium community. The awards are presented each year at the global OpenCourseWare Consortium’s annual conference, to be held this year May 8-10 in Bali, Indonesia.
The ACE 2013 winners in the different categories are:
- Landmark Award for OpenCourseWare Excellence: Notre Dame OpenCourseWare (United States). The University of Notre Dame is one of the founding members of the OpenCourseWare Consortium and launched its OCW site in 2006. The site currently has more than 50 courses in 24 subject areas, and in 2012 received visits from 300,000 individuals in 211 countries and territories around the world.
- Outstanding New Site Award for OpenCourseWare Excellence: Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya OCW (Spain). Sharing material from more than 200 courses, the UPC OCW platform is also integrated with different information systems of the university, such as Prisma, Gauss and the library catalogue.
- Technical Innovation Award for OpenCourseWare Excellence: Peer 2 Peer University. The P2PU has been named the recipient of this award for the creation of an e-mail tool called the MOOC Maker, for offering Massive Open Online Courses using OpenCourseWare and other Open Educational Resources. The MOOC Maker has been recently used to structure a course through the MIT Media Lab called Learning Creative Learning, which enrolled 24,000 students.
“These three sites are outstanding examples of the creativity, dedication and generosity that are hallmarks of the OCWC community,” said OCW Consortium Executive Director Mary Lou Forward. ”We are thrilled to recognize their efforts and help draw attention to their contributions to the global body of open educational resources.”
The OpenCourseWare Consortium is a collaboration of more than 250 higher education institutions and associated organisations from around the world creating a broad and deep body of open educational content using a shared model.
More than 5,000 participants from 138 countries participated in the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas’ Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) “Introduction to Infographics and Data Visualization”, making it the largest class to date held by the institution.
The MOOC was taught by renowned expert Alberto Cairo between January and March 2013, as part of the Knight Center’s new MOOC initiative, which began in October last year with the first edition of the infographics course and counted with the participation of 2,000 people from 109 countries.
"As far as we know, this was the first MOOC on journalism in the world," said professor Rosental Alves, founder and director of the Knight Center. "This first MOOC was an experiment and I can now say that it was a big success. We proved the concept and now we are preparing several other MOOCs on journalism topics.”
Professor Alves said that about half of the participants were engaged in the discussion forums. "The fact that 2,214 people interacted in the forums of the course is really a good indicator of the effectiveness of the MOOC," he said.
“People from more than 100 countries have participated in this MOOC. We've had journalists, designers, scientists, economists, statisticians, developers, etc. This fact has made the course much richer and more engaging. It would not have been so interesting if the student body were not so diverse,” wrote instructor Alberto Cairo in his final message to the class.
The Knight Center’s pioneering MOOC programme has been designed especially for this new, massive format and seeks to encourage the largest amount of student-to-student and instructor-to-students interactions as possible. On March 8 the Knight Center launched its first MOOC in Spanish, "How to Improve Electoral Coverage."
“Cloud Computing and the Power to Choose” is an article published by the magazine Educause Review in June 2010. Written by Rob Bristow, Ted Dodds, Richard Northam, and Leo Plugge, it provides insight into the chances and risks in cloud computing and cloud services for higher education and research.
With many in higher education today eyeing the potential of the cloud, the question now according to the authors of the paper is not so much "Is cloud computing a good idea?" The key question to answer is: "What can we do with the cloud?"
Colleges and universities around the world are discussing, planning for, and using cloud computing and cloud services. The rate of adoption varies from country to country, but the need for awareness and preparation is universal.
This article examines cloud issues (both opportunities and risks) by looking at examples from four countries: Australia, Canada, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom.
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.
This 'Learning Now' event will reveal how learning technologies can be used to help improve compliance training in organisations.
"Why won't they comply?", the first of three 'LearningNow' series of events, will help participants identify the problems often encountered when delivering compliance training and examine ways to inject new life into dry subject matter. Participants will get a chance to discuss the real issues behind developing compliance content, and consider new ways to put behavioural change into practice.
The Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) is an ambitious project launched in April 2013 with the aim to bring together and make freely available to the world the resources from libraries, archives and museums across the United States.
The DPLA offers a single point of access to millions of items, from photographs to manuscripts, books, sounds, moving images and more. Users can browse and search the collections by timeline, map, format, and topic; save items to customized lists and share their lists with others. Users can also explore digital exhibitions curated by the DPLA’s content partners and staff.
The DPLA aims to expand this crucial realm of openly available materials, and make those riches more easily discovered and more widely usable and used, through its three main elements:
- First, an easy-to-use portal where anyone can access collections and search through them using novel and powerful techniques, including by place and time.
- Second, a sophisticated technical platform that will make those millions of items available in ways so that others can build creative and transformative applications upon them, such as smartphone apps.
- Third, along with like-minded institutions and individuals the DPLA will seek innovative means to make more cultural and scientific content openly available, and it will advocate for a strong public option for reading and research in the twenty-first century.
Oceans Solutions is a free 6-week online course offered by the University of Western Australia (UWA) Class2Go programme and taught by Carlos M. Duarte, Director of the Oceans Institute and Research Professor with the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC),
This course focuses particularly on the Indian Ocean, which is arguably the least explored of the world's oceans. However, and like many other oceans, it is under stress from overfishing, pollution, climate change and sea level rise.
Students will analyse and discuss the great challenges humanity will face, and is already facing, due to the increase of the world’s population and address how an intelligent and innovative use of the ocean can sustainably and safely deliver the key resources necessary to meet the challenge of providing fair livelihoods to 9 billion people by 2050.
Professor Duarte will argue that while we live on a planet mostly covered with water, we get most of our resources from land, and we need to reverse that thinking.
Conference Programme for Learning Innovations and Quality: The Future of Digital Resources Available
LINQ event hosts from the University of Duisburg-Essen in Germany have published the final conference programme for LINQ 2013. The conference in Rome will be supported by a variety of prominent figures vital to the fields of technology-enhanced learning, open educational resources, and vocational education in Europe and worldwide. Furthermore, their presence will further the highlight of LINQ 2013: the launch of ICORE, the International Council for Open Research and Education (www.icore-online.org). Registration for LINQ 2013 is still open for all interested parties until May 8th, but seats are limited and should be reserved as quick as possible.
On May 16th, Learning experts and pioneers such as Dr. Tony Bates of Tony Bates Associates, Dr. Ignasi Labastida, director of the OCW Consortium and Creative Commons, and António Silva Mendes, Director of Education and Vocational Training at the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Education and Culture will take part as keynote speakers at LINQ 2013. They will join the already confirmed Prof. Dr. Rory McGreal and Prof. Dr. Fred Mulder, both UNESCO chairs for Open Educational Resources (OER), as well as Christian-Friedrich Lettmayr, Director of the European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training (CEDEFOP). Together these esteemed speakers will establish the greater context of international learning innovations for LINQ 2013.
Complementing the established experts, selected researchers from over 150 submissions will also present new and innovative research papers and projects. Four parallel sessions, divided into three parts each, will provide the structure for presentations. The 1st Parallel Session will consist of invited European speakers as well as two workshops respectively on the co-hosting VOA3R project and the innovative ODS project. The 2nd Parallel Session will consist of the selected papers from the LINQ 2013 call. These papers in turn fit into three thematic sections: “Digital Resources & Online Repositories”, “TEL for Schools, Universities, & Lifelong Learning”, and “Innovations & Future Trends in LET”. In addition, the 3rd and 4th Parallel Sessions will be dedicated to the presentations of selected European and international projects, thematically divided into “Quality Management: Evaluation, Standards & Certification”, “Open Access & Open Educational Resources: Policies, Tools and Content”, and “New Knowledge Networks – Ideas & Innovation for LLL” on the one hand, and “VET, New Skills & Quality”, “Teachers in Focus: Competence & Skill Development”, and “Innovation in TEL” on the other. The final conference programme is available on the LINQ 2013 conference website at www.learning-innovations.eu/2013/programme.
Registration for LINQ 2013 is still available for all interested groups until May 8th – only a few seats remain, so please register as soon as possible to ensure your chance to participate. Further information on registration is available at the conference website at www.learning-innovations.eu/registration. For the latest updates on LINQ and related initiatives, follow @LINQ_Conference on Twitter and like www.facebook.com/LINQConference on Facebook.
The University of Sheffield’s School of Health and Related Research (ScHARR) is running three free open learning courses in 2013. These new courses will take the form of MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) and will run between June and November.
The ScHARR is a centre of excellence in research, teaching and consultancy across health services research, health economics and public health. The new MOOCs it is offering in 2013 will cover three distinct topics:
- Sustainable Healthy Diets (17 June - 24 July). The course introduces sustainable diets as a concept (what might a sustainable diet look like, what does it not look like?) and takes students through some of the challenges involved in choosing food which is both healthy and sustainable.
- Health Inequalities (15 July - 16 August). This course provides an opportunity to examine contemporary interpretations of health inequalities and related concepts like justice, fairness and equity. Attendees will discuss how different approaches to measuring, defining and monitoring health inequalities are influenced by social and political factors and how this, in turn, shapes strategies for addressing such inequalities.
- Health Technology Assessment (28 October - 29 November). Introducing Health Technology Assessment (HTA) as a concept (what it is, what it involves) and the key stages in the HTA and decision-making process.
Anyone can register for these free courses.