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OpenMed Open Symposium
Tue 3 May 2016, 13:30 – 16:30 BST
The idea of Open Educational Practices and Resources have gained ground over the last decade, attracting the interest and support of many universities along with philanthropic organisations, governmental agencies and public bodies – including UNESCO, the European Commission and the US Department of Education, just to mention a few. This half-day symposium focuses on the opportunities and complexities of openness in education, drawing on examples from different geographies and institutional contexts.
This event is organised as part of OpenMed (http://openmedproject.eu/), an Erasmus+ project aimed at widening participation and adoption of Open Educational Resources (OER) and Open Educational Practices (OEP) to support the modernisation of the Higher Education sector in the Arabic Mediterranean Countries.
The Battle for Open, by Prof. Martin Weller
Many aspects of open education have begun to enter the mainstream of academic practice. Open access publishing has been mandated in many countries, and similar arrangements are now in place for open data. Open education resources (OERs) and Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) have reached millions of learners. Open scholarship practices see academics sharing content, making new connections and utilising new technologies and methodologies. However, there are also issues involved in the growing acceptance of open – the manner in which it is used as a marketing term, the control of open approaches by publishers, and new pressures on scholars in establishing online identities. In this talk Martin Weller, author of the book The Battle for Open, will explore the rise of the open approach, and these current tensions.
Martin Weller is Professor of Educational Technology at the Open University in the UK. He chaired the OU’s first elearning course in 1999 with 15,000 students, and has been the VLE Director at the OU. He was part of the team that initiated the OpenLearn project and is currently Director of the OER Research Hub project. He is author of the books The Digital Scholar and The Battle for Open. He holds the ICDE Chair in OER. He blogs at edtechie.net
The Open Badges Initiative at Coventry University, by Jacqui Speculand
The Disruptive Media Learning Lab is tasked with innovation in pedagogy and transforming education at Coventry University. One of our biggest disruptive projects at present is the Open Badges initiative. From small beginnings in one module it has spread through academic, support and student areas and now extends into the local community with employers and charities as well as local government looking to work with us. Managing the diverse reach of the projects has led to a growing team of researchers and activators as well as the project lead. Together we have developed a framework that loosely defines the areas for the badges, and attempts to maintain a systematic and coherent methodology for development and implementation of new badges. We are working with the careers department, employers, local employability tutors and with charities to increase awareness and validation for badges, which, in turn, should create more momentum amongst students and increased appetite for the badges.
Jacqui leads the Open Badges team with researchers Gemma Tombs and Koula Charitonos, projects and communities assistant Oliver Wood, and project activator Lauren Heywood.
Break / Time for networking
Opportunities and Challenges of OER in the MENA region, by Prof. Sana EL Harbi
The MENA region is at the midst of redefining its political system. Education is at the heart of vibrant social movements, it is the focal point of interactions between societal values, economic constraints and internationalization challenges. Despite its potential in promoting knowledge and its beneficial effects on boosting economic opportunities, open educational resources originating from the region are rare and open practices are far from entering the mainstream of academic practices. Yet, the MENA region is replete with young people who are naturally very exposed to internet and social media and receptive to digitized contents. This young population is a window of opportunity that would underpin the use of open educational practices. Sana Harbi analyses the challenges and opportunities of open practices in the education field in the MENA region and the potential implications they may have on local communities as well as on the region.
Sana Harbi is a Professor of Quantitative Methods at the University of Sousse (Tunisia). She initiated the team of Open Education Resources at the University. She involves her students and colleagues in activities and projects that reflect open education practices. In the last years, her academic interest focuses on the economic value and the business model underpinning OER. In addition, Sana Harbi is a member of the University board and the academic commission at the Higher Education Ministry. She was recently honored as a UNESCO Chair in OER.
Cover Image: CC BY:SA Brigham Young University: www.flickr.com/photos/benhosking/4880851876/