As part of EFQUEL’s continued roll-out of the new UNIQUe criteria, the new UNIQUe website has been launched to provide information on the criteria and certification process.The website currently contains all information necessary for potential applicants to assess their interest and suitability for the process.
We have been providing resources, training, advice and guidance to the education sector since 2002 to help address growing concerns about plagiarism, whilst promoting appropriate use of electronic sources of information. We work with a wide range of partners including The Higher Education Academy, JCQ, JISC, Ofqual and all UK unitary awarding bodies, along with schools, colleges and universities.
Here are the Top 100 Tools for Learning 2011. This, the 5th Annual Survey of Learning Tools, was finalised on 13 November 2011. This year’s list was compiled from the Top 10 Tools lists of 531 learning professionals worldwide – from education, training and workplace learning.
The Awards ceremony began with a presentation of the results of the OPAL Initiative by Ulf-Daniel Ehlers, President of EFQUEL (left). He also demonstrated the newly published OPAL metromap, an interactive tool allowing policy makers, institutional leaders, teaching professionals and learners the opportunity to plot their trajectory on the road to open educational practices.
The OPAL Awards for quality and innovation through open educational practices recognise outstanding achievements in the fields of open educational resources policy and promotion and use of OER. Open educational resources are learning materials which are made freely available for others to adapt and use.
The Awards were launched to provide exposure and recognition for successful open educational practices, a new concept of best practices in the use and production of freely available resources.
The OPAL Awards are conceived as part of the Open Educational Quality (OPAL) Initiative www.oerquality.org, supported by the European Commission Lifelong Learning Programme. The OPAL Initiative consists of partners including UNESCO, the International Council for Open and Distance Education, the European Foundation for Quality in e-Learning and a number of leading European universities.
The OPAL Initiative has published guidelines for open educational practices, has developed databases of best practices at individual and educational institution levels, and has worked to influence policy in colleges and universities, and at the national and regional level. The OPAL Awards are the culmination of this project, to showcase achievements in policy, institutions, and learning contexts, and to demonstrate that these lead to improvement of quality and innovation.
The Awards attracted entries from around the world, and an international jury of at least 3 prominent experts was formed for each of the 3 awards.
The Award for Bodies which Influence Policy
The Award for Bodies which Influence Policy is given to a global, regional or national organization providing the conditions or resources for open educational practices, or encouraging excellence in open educational practices.
The Institute for the Study of Knowledge Management in Education (IKSME), USA www.iskme.org was selected as winner. In its statement, the jury concluded that ISKME has proven its effectiveness in providing teachers with the tools and skills to challenge policy in their institutions and home countries from the bottom-up. The Institute has both inspired and disseminated policies to other parts of the world, having worked with teachers from 25 countries, uses a Wiki to provide continual support to its stakeholders, and demonstrates strong partnerships – including with Africa.
The jury for this Award consisted of Anthony Camilleri of the European Foundation for Quality in e- Learning (Chair), Minh Do, VOER Program Director at The Vietnam Foundation, and Dr. Bianca Maria Santana de Brito of The University of São Paulo, Brazil.
The Award for Institutions
The Award for Institutions recognizes institutions with a policy of encouraging open educational practices through the provision of resources and support for the development of OER, participation in research and development, and a clear strategy for motivating its staff.
University of California, Irvine www.uci.edu was selected as winner. It is a mature initiative that also shows evidence of strong impact in a developing country, namely Brazil. The jury noted that the project has shown successful self-development by making open educational resources a fundamental feature of the university, and that it shows evidence of strong leadership both within the institution and externally.
Acharya Narendra Dev College, University of Delhi, India http://andcollege.du.ac.in was awarded
highly commended status in this category for demonstrating strong motivation to change traditional patterns of teaching and a robust process for encouraging the creation of OER based on a selffunding
model. The jury gave special mention to the College’s work with the University of Mumbai to spread use and reuse externally, and its work to overcome faculty resistance to change.
The jury for this award was Professor Narend Baijnath, Pro Vice-Chancellor at the University of South Africa, Professor Roberto Carneiro of The Catholic University of Portugal, Dr Emma Kruse Va'ai, Deputy Vice Chancellor of The National University of Samoa and Professor Rory McGreal, Associate Vice President at Athabasca University, Canada (Chair).
Ingeborg Boe, Member of the Executive Board of the European Foundation for Quality in e-Learning and of the Board of Trustees of the International Council for Open and Distance Education, presented this award at the ceremony. Larry Cooperman, Director, OpenCourseWare at The University of California, Irvine, USA collected the winner award, while Dr. Savithri Singh, Principal, Acharya Narendra Dev College, University of Delhi, India, was represented by Dr. Hemlata Chari of the University of Mumbai.
The Award for Learning contexts
The Award for Learning Contexts is awarded to learning professionals who produce OER, who actively share their work, and who motivate and inspire their colleagues. Submissions were required to provide learner statements as testament to the successful incorporation of student feedback, and communication to students of the value of openness.
The winning project was Open Science Resources www.openscienceresources.eu, a Europe-wide initiative submitted by Ellinogermaniki Agogi - Research and Development Department, Greece. The jury praised the project for demonstrating evidence of a truly significant contribution to teaching and learning in science as well as a solid hold of the principles surrounding OER. “The originality and clarity of the project are impressive and it has potential to be applied internationally. It makes available a range of resources from European Museums and Science Centres and encourages educators and others to contribute new resources, making use of an impressive tool to create learning pathways.”
The LORO Project http://loro.open.ac.uk developed by the Department of Languages at the Open University UK was awarded highly commended status by the international jury. The jury noted that although the initiative is currently internally focused, it has the potential to be a showcase for other institutions. “It is anchored in a clear vision and strategy and aims fundamentally to change the practice of both academics and student teachers to include processes of sharing, showcasing, adapting and re-using resources.”
The jury for the learning contexts award was composed of Jenny Glennie, Executive Director at the South African Institute for Distance Education, Dr. Carl Holmberg, Former Secretary General of the International Council for Open and Distance Education (Chair), and Professor Fred Litto, President of the Brazilian Association for Distance Education (ABED).
The awards were presented by Dr. Luciano Sathler, Vice-President of ABED, representing Professor Litho, and were collected by Eleftheria Tsourlidaki from Ellinogermaniki Agogi - Research and Development Department, Greece and Anna Comas-Quinn of the Department of Languages at the Open University UK.
Further information, photographs and videos of the winning entries: www.oer-quality.org
Contact: Nick Moe-Pryce, Information Office, International Council for Open and Distance Education,
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Comment les écoles peuvent-elles s’engager dans des usages d’internet reponsable ? C’est l’objectif de les y aider que poursuit l’association écoles-internet, qui décerne chaque année son label à des écoles dont l’action en matière de Tice et d’Internet vise particulièrement à éduquer les enfants à des enjeux scolaires et sociétaux.
En 2011, ce sont 52 nouvelles écoles, qui ont reçu ce label, portant ainsi à 257 le nombre total d’écoles actuellement labellisées. La labellisation s’obtient pour 3 ans, en remplissant un formulaire d’inscription sur le site et en déposant au moins une initiative correspondant au projet de l’école.
Douze d’entre elles étaient présentes à la cérémonie de remise des labels, effectuée le 22 novembre à Educatice par Jean-Loup Burtin, chargé du développement numérique du 1er degré à la Degesco et Florence Durand-Tornare, déléguée de l’associations villes internet, en présence d'Anna Angeli, chef du projet ecoles-internet.
Les écoles présentes ont toutes insisté sur l’importance de la collaboration école-commune-familles et ont en général envoyé des délégations mixtes pour expliquer leur projet, puisque la mutualisation et le partage d’expériences sont au cœur du dispositif écoles-internet. Le label, déclarent souvent les enseignants, est une bonne occasion de reconnaître le travail des responsables communaux de l’éducation et des familles, et de valoriser les partenariats. Les initiatives sont très diverses, mais reflètent remarquablement l’engagement des acteurs et des élèves.
On a pu ainsi découvrir l’activité de l’école Saint-Germain de Bourgueil qui, depuis 5 ans, forme des reporters internet dans la classe de CE2, avec rédaction d’un journal d’école, agenda en ligne, charte de bonne conduite, création de blogs … L’école Carlepont, dans l’Oise, donne accès à un ENT et distribue un Netp@ssport, l’école Cadirac de Foix a réalisé sur son site déjà bien développé un aide-mémoire synthétique pour les élèves, fort utile en cas de maladie ou d’absence, l’école des Jonquilles à Montpellier réalise une grande fresque historique, …
La campagne de labellisation 2012 s’ouvrira en mars et se terminera en septembre. Le formulaire d’inscription est disponible sur le site, qui décrit également en détail les initiatives des écoles. Un montage video de la remise des labels et des interviews de participants y seront en ligne dès la semaine prochaine.
Today computers, tablets and smartphones have become an everyday part of the learning process. However, this technology often fails to live up to the promises made for it. The lack of concern for the quality of the courseware has been one of the key reasons of this failure with the consequent reluctance of potential users to adopt eLearning approaches. Now a worldwide consortium of experts is addressing this gap by developing an international quality label for eLearning resources – the “epprobate”.
It is difficult to rate the quality of educational material since it depends on each context and also on how the resources are used. The quality of eLearning courseware can not be objectively measured by size, length or weight. For this reason, subjective oriented criteria play an important role and naturally shift the challenge to the evaluators themselves, their selection and their own perspective.
‘epprobate’ provides an international quality label for eLearning courseware, but more importantly offers a consultative and collaborative improvement process by taking into consideration the points of view of the different stakeholders. According to Harvey Mellar, director of ‘epprobate’, the objective of ‘epprobate’ is to complement rather than to compete with the existing quality initiatives: “Many of our colleagues who are participating in ‘epprobate’ are already running a national quality label; however, their particular interest in coming together in ‘epprobate’ is to build an international consensus ”.
Starting in last May 2011, the ‘epprobate’ initiative developed its first prototypes including the review process and the quality grid in July. Rolf Reinhardt, managing director of the ‘Learning Agency Network’ and one of the co-founders of ‘epprobate’, explains that one of the key factors in achieving a fruitful and enriching scenario was the collaboration of more than 16 experts from all over the world: “During our benchmark analysis we compared existing quality grids from different nations - in the end, we agreed on a flexible grid with 11 indicators, with the courseware to be rated on each one by excellence and importance”.
The group rejected the use of a simple formula based on numerical processing of scores on the indicators, which is the classic basis for excellence ratings. Instead, the international awarding committee will hold discussion meetings with the client, provide feedback reports, and communicate the agreed ratings on each of the indicators. The decision to award the label will be based on a transparent process of weighting of indicators by their importance. ‘epprobate’ has already identified national partners from 28 countries in Europe, Africa, Asia, the Pacific region, as well as in North and South America.
The official roll-out of the label will be in March 2012, to coincide with an informative and festive event in Brussels.
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The SEVAQ+ partners chose Online Educa Berlin (30th Nov – 2nd Dec 2011) for the public launch of the third and final version of their online tool for the shared evaluation of quality in technology enhanced learning. This major international conference, which attracts over 2000 delegates from more than 100 countries, was selected as the perfect setting for maximum impact. Deborah Arnold, coordinator of the SEVAQ+ project, also gave a specific presentation at Online Educa, introducing the tool, scenarios of use and policy recommendations developed by a group of experts.
SEVAQ+ now offers a range of products and services to meet the needs of different types of users from different educational sectors (Higher Education or Vocational Education and Training) and levels (executive managers, department / training managers, tutors / trainers / teachers, IT / admin).
For the individual user, the use of the Standard version of the web tool is free of charge, while the
premium version can be used for a modest annual fee.
For use in teaching or training organisations that have a decentralised or bottom-up approach to evaluation, the Premium group is a cost-effective opportunity. It offers the full benefit of the Premium version to a range of users, with discounts starting at 50%.
For organisations that have a well defined evaluation strategy that is being deployed top-down, the Pro and the Global solutions enable the organisation to analyse results across the organisation, its various units and training sessions, and sift through all the data that has been collected using a multi-dimensional approach. While the Pro version is ideally suited to organisations that only need selected services because they already have some of the components of the evaluation approach in place, the Global version offers the full range of options and services; it is also the only one that allows an organisation to benchmark itself against the publicly available data from all users matching certain criteria across Europe (the Observatory).
The Standard and Premium versions are already available with version 3.0. The Pro and Global solutions are scheduled for 2012.
Access to the tool and practical advice on how to use it can all be found here: http://www.sevaq.eu
SEVAQ+ has now integrated the portfolio of products and services offered by EFQUEL (European Foundation for Quality in eLearning).
For all information about the project, tool and approach, please contact email@example.com
EFQUEL website: http://www.efquel.org
Belgian entry Monkey Tales Games is the winner of the MEDEA Professional Production Award 2011 and Austrian entry The Merchant of Venice is the winner of the MEDEA User-Generated Award 2011.
The European Collaboration Award 2011 sponsored by SMART was awarded to The European Chain Reaction by Qworzó Primary School (Belgium) and this year’s special Award recognising excellence in the use of media to support volunteering was awarded to Changing Lives by Drogheda Special Olympics Club (Ireland).
This announcement was made during the MEDEA Awards Ceremony (sponsored by Adobe) which took place on 24 November 2011 as part of the Media & Learning Conference in the Flemish Ministry of Education and Training in Brussels.
The fundamental feature of the UNIQUe approach is to support institutions of higher education to measure how successful they are in technology-enhanced learning and to allow for continuous improvement.
The quality of both products and programmes in the field of technology-enhanced learning varies widely. The UNIQUe quality label is a unique concept of quality improvement which is theoretically sound and at the same time is meeting the expectations of practice.
Many of the existing quality initiatives in this field focus heavily, if not solely, on online instructional design. The UNIQUe approach goes above and beyond this, focusing on the use of ICT to enhance educational provision and learning support, throughout the entire breadth of activity of the Higher Education Institution. This sophisticated approach demands an applicant to meet high quality standards for programme objectives, programme structure, content, resources and learning processes.
UNIQUe accelerates quality improvement and Innovation
The UNIQUe criteria demand proof of continuous iterative innovation in all aspects of pedagogical design and course provision. In addition, they have been designed to be complimentary to the European Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance in Higher Education, thus allowing for quality improvement in TEL, in alignment with on-going adaptation of systems in line with the Bologna reforms.
The label focuses strongly on innovation in all its criteria. Since systemic processes of innovation are bound to enhance the use of information-technologies, the label will take note of, and evaluate, the institution’s entire innovation ecosystem.
The end result of a UNIQUe review is not just a quality certification, but also a set of recommendations to improve TEL quality at the institution in question. Since the UNIQUe certification is valid for three years, each subsequent evaluation, takes into account the recommendations from the previous meaning that an institution must continuously improve its processes and procedures to keep the certification. In addition, researchers at the European Foundation for Quality in e-Learning continuously go over the observations from audit reports, and update guidelines for peer-review teams accordingly, ensuring that reviews take the very latest state-of-the-art into account when conducting a review.
UNIQUe is the result of extensive testing and research
The UNIQUe system and criteria have been based on nearly ten years of research into quality certification of technology enhanced learning. The Certification was designed by the European Foundation for Quality in e-Learning, the European Foundation for Management Development (EFMD), the MENON Network, and EUROPACE – all of whom have decades of expertise in technology enhanced learning. The UNIQUe criteria themselves are based on ten years of research and development activities which included:
- Three European Commission-funded development projects, bringing together 15 partner institutions from around Europe, looking into various aspects of quality certification of e-learning,
- A wide process of consultations with researchers, quality experts and European stakeholders
- A series of UNIQUe pilots tested the criteria and the process with ten Higher Education Institutions over two years
- The current set of criteria were further reviewed based on the feedback received by the first UNIQUe applicants, and from quality assurance agencies in Europe, as well as in Eastern Europe and the Middle-East.
UNIQUe offers a transparent and reliable certification
All the UNIQUe criteria, together with supporting descriptions and documentations are publicly available on the web for all to see. The system is divided into six distinct stages, which offer a formalised approach in each step. In addition, the final decision on certification is made by an independent awarding body, based on the recommendations of an expert peer-review team.
Institutions are publicly awarded at an annual awarding ceremony held during the EFQUEL Innovation Forum, and are given a label to publicise their achievement on their websites and promotional materials. In addition, EFQUEL regularly creates compilations of best-practice in collaboration with certified institutions, and from time-to-time invites them to share their practices in various academic fora.
The 1172 schools awarded the European Quality Label are already listed. In addition to the school name (and teacher name) there is information on the project that got them their Quality Label.
eTwinning Quality Labels are granted to teachers with excellent eTwinning projects. They indicate that the project has reached a certain national and European standard. For this reason, there are two labels: the National Quality Label and the European Quality Label.
The European Quality Label is a second mark of success and is awarded automatically by the Central Support Service to schools in a project where at least two partners have already received the National Quality Label. As of October 2009, the European Quality Label is awarded only once a year and featured through the eTwinning Portal.
The European Quality Label is required to participate in the European eTwinning Prizes competition.