November 20, 2017

Conference in Crete on quality in open education

Heraklion, Crete

Heraklion, Crete: but the conference may not be here

What: SCOPE 2014: Changing the trajectory: quality for opening up education

‘In order to make open learning and education more relevant and feasible for organizations as well as learners, innovations have to be combined with well-proven learning traditions and flexible quality standards. In addition new models for recognition of open learning are needed: education institutions need a better understanding of how open education processes can contribute to excellent learning and high quality education provision, and certification schemes need to incorporate more flexible concepts of open education.

Who: EFQUEL (European Foundation for Quality in e-Learning)

When: 7-9 May, 2014

Where: Somewhere on the Greek island of Crete in the Mediterranean: the exact venue will be announced soon 

How: Submissions of scientific papers related to the conference (max 8 pages) must be sent to papersubmission@efquel.org by February 10th, 2014 using the official template (see http://eif.efquel.org/call-for-papers/). Interactive workshop proposals can make use of another template also available on the website.

How to make an omellette without breaking eggs: innovation and open-ness in university teaching

The EFQUEL forum in Granada, Spain

It has been impossible for me to blog about online learning over the last four weeks because I have been on holiday for most of the time, in places deliberately chosen because there were no Internet connections.

The EFQUEL Innovation Forum

However, the first week away was spent at a very interesting forum organized by the European Foundation for Quality in e-Learning (EFQUEL). The focus was in the interface between open learning and innovation in post-secondary education. There were about 120 participants from all round Europe, including Russia and Serbia, as well as the usual suspects from the UK, Spain, Finland, Germany, Italy and Belgium.

One of the goals of the conference was to enable EFQUEL to identify its priorities over the next 12 months, in a context where most European governments are grappling with austerity and the resulting financial pressures on universities. Online learning of course is being heavily promoted by governments as a means of increasing productivity through innovation, and the bulk of the participants were anxious to ensure that the issue of maintaining or increasing the quality of the educational experience through online learning received as much attention as the technology and cost issues. In particular, papers and keynotes concentrated on the relationship between open educational resources, innovation, and quality.

Somewhat to my own surprise, I found myself in my opening keynote arguing the case for sustaining innovation rather than disruptive innovation for universities, because I want the core values of universities (knowledge preservation and creation; rationality; evidence-based research) to be maintained, while improving quality and cost-effectiveness. Thus the trick is to bring about the necessary changes without destroying the very benefits that make universities so important to our society. Thus my talk was titled: ‘How to make an omellette without breaking eggs.’ In fact, some eggs will get broken, but the egg will still be there in the omelette.

I argued that for innovation to succeed in universities, it needed to be supported and to some extent managed, and I discussed several strategies for supporting innovation in teaching and learning. A copy of my slides can be downloaded from Dropbox. You will need to request this by sending me an e-mail to: tony.bates@ubc.ca. Please ask for my EFQUEL presentation.

The conference provided a pretty good overview of the European context regarding approaches to open educational resources (full copies of the paper presentations can be accessed here.) The challenge in Europe as elsewhere is to find ways to integrate and build on OERs, but the focus still tends to be too much on just making materials open without any thought of how they can best be used. However, the forum provided a good way to bring players from all across Europe together to share ideas and to promote better quality in e-learning through the use of open content and approaches.

 

On the road again

Granada, viewed from the Alhambra

I am speaking on innovation in higher education at the EFQUEL conference this week in Granada, Spain. I will be speaking on the difference between disruptive and sustaining innovation in higher education, and (somewhat to my surprise) I will be arguing the case for sustaining innovation for universities. Slides from the presentation will be available later.

If you are attending the EFQUEL conference, and haven’t met me yet, please say hello – it’s always great to meet the readers of this blog and get your feedback.

I will also be taking some holiday in Spain, France and England, before returning to la belle Rouyn-Noranda in Québec to visit the University of Québec at Abitibi-Temascamingue, and will spend a week working in Ontario (mainly Toronto and Ottawa).

This means there will be some disruption to my usual blog service, I’m afraid. I’ve worked all through the summer, and need a break, to get over my summer paranoia! I have actually found two areas in Spain and France without Internet access for my vacation. I hope it doesn’t become addictive.

I also hope the higher education system in Canada will still be in place when I get back to Vancouver on October 6, although I am expecting some big changes in both Québec and Ontario while I’m away.

For everyone else, welcome back to university and college and keep up the great work of changing the system for the better.

 

 

Reminder: EFQUEL forum on innovation in higher education

Detail from wall in the Alhambra, Granada

This is a reminder that EFQUEL (the European Foundation for Quality in e-Learning) is holding a three day forum on ‘“Learning for Open Innovation…. Transformation and Change for Future Learning” between September 5-7, 2012. Registration is open and there are still places left.

Scope
The forum is focusing on the following questions: How can we turn our traditional educational institutions into (r)evolutionary leading organisations? How can innovation be stimulated? It will observe and analyse how open innovation can be used to transform today’s educational institutions. Educational institutions have mostly taken an evolutionary approach to respond to the challenges of the modern world. But the incremental innovation of our educational institutions is not sufficient to cope with the ongoing fundamental transformation of societies.
The forum offers key decision-makers in government, institutions and faculties the chance to offer and discuss strategies and actions that can foster radical change within post-secondary education.

Where

The University of Granada, Granada, Spain

Who

Keynote speakers:

  • Stephan Atsou is a pioneer in online learning in Belgium and an expert on the evolution of corporate e-learning.
  • Graham Attwell, a specialist in research and development into pedagogies for technology enhanced learning, will explore the grey zone between formal and informal learning and the challenges the formal sector faces in trying to incorporate “free-range” learning. Can higher education find ways of validating workplace learning and experience?
  • Ana Garcia is Project manager at the European Network of Living Labs – ENoLL.  She deals with a wide range of Open Innovation and User Driven Innovation projects and innovation communities.
  • Tony Bates is the author of eleven books in the field of online learning and distance education. He will discuss future models for teaching and learning to meet the challenges of the 21st century which fully exploit the potential of technology, while still preserving the core values of higher education.

Read more about the call and the topics to address on the Call for Papers page

Registration
For registration and information about fees, click here
Further information
The forum has an extensive newsletter, available at: http://eif.efquel.org/

European forum on quality in e-learning: promoting innovation in education

The Alhambra, Granada (photo: © Tony Bates, 2009)

What

EFQUEL (the European Foundation for Quality in e-Learning) is holding a three day forum on ‘“Learning for Open Innovation”…. Transformation and Change for Future Learning.’ From the program:

How can we turn our traditional educational institutions into (r)evolutionary leading organisations? How can innovation be stimulated? The conference will observe and analyse how open innovation can be used to transform today’s educational institutions.

When

September 5-7, 2012

Where

The University of Granada, Granada, Spain

Who

Keynote speakers:

  • Stephan Atsou is a pioneer in online learning in Belgium and an expert on the evolution of corporate e-learning.
  • Graham Attwell, a specialist in research and development into pedagogies for technology enhanced learning, will explore the grey zone between formal and informal learning and the challenges the formal sector faces in trying to incorporate “free-range” learning. Can higher education find ways of validating workplace learning and experience?
  • Ana Garcia is Project manager at the European Network of Living Labs – ENoLL.  She deals with a wide range of Open Innovation and User Driven Innovation projects and innovation communities.
  • Tony Bates is the author of eleven books in the field of online learning and distance education. He will discuss future models for teaching and learning to meet the challenges of the 21st century which fully exploit the potential of technology, while still preserving the core values of higher education.
Call for papers
The Call for Papers for the EFQUEL Innovation Forum has been extended till the 30th of May.

The conference is focusing on the following questions: How can we turn our traditional educational institutions into (r)evolutionary leading organisations? How can innovation be stimulated? It will observe and analyse how open innovation can be used to transform today’s educational institutions. Educational institutions have mostly taken an evolutionary approach to respond to the challenges of the modern world. But the incremental innovation of our educational institutions is not sufficient to cope with the ongoing fundamental transformation of societies.

Read more about the call and the topics to address on the Call for Papers page

Registration
For registration and information about fees, click here
Further information
The forum has an extensive newsletter, available at: http://eif.efquel.org/