The Federation of Responsibility: Quality for Open Educational Resources and Open Educational Practices

Download Report here!

In a new EU Commission report, issued by the EU research center on prospective technological studies, my colleagues Anthony Camilleri, Prof. Dr. Jan Pawlowski and myself on behalf of European Foundation for Quality in E-learning (EFQUEL) have authored a comprehensive analysis of quality issues around open educational resources and open educational practices.

On 25 September 2013, the Commission presented a new Communication to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions on “Opening up Education: Innovative teaching and learning for all through new technologies and Open Educational Resources”. The aim of the initiative is to bring the digital revolution to education with a range of actions in three areas: open learning environments, open educational resources, and connectivity and innovation. The initiative contributes to the Europe 2020 strategy, acknowledging that a fundamental transformation of education and training is needed to address the new skills and competences that will be required if Europe is to remain competitive, overcome the current economic crisis and grasp new opportunities.

Quality assurance for the emerging new ways of learning and teaching enabled by ICT is mentioned in the Communication as a crucial issue that should be tackled to further develop the use of Open Educational Resources (OER) for learning. It is also acknowledged by experts and practitioners as a key challenge. This report has been prepared by my colleague Anthony Camilleri, Prof. Dr. Jan Pawlowski and myself for the  European Foundation for Quality in e-Learning (EFQUEL) on behalf of IPTS.

It presents an overview and analysis of quality issues related to OER and Open Educational Practices (OEP). It is a contribution to the construction of a knowledge base on Opening up Education and is part of a wider scientific agenda on ICT and Learning being developed at IPTS, mainly in collaboration with DG Education and Culture. In this report, we show  that quality assurance of OER and Open Educational Practices (OEP) requires a complex mix of quality tools. In general, these tools enable many more users to be involved in quality processes, and for a greater variety of learning scenarios to be taken into account. From the perspective of stakeholders, the federation of responsibility described above can also lead to a democratisation of the processes of quality review. Therefore, the determination as to the quality of open education (whether materials or practices) will depend on the judgements of two overlapping trust-networks.

The first is the ‘open’ network of users, reviewers and teachers working together for quality improvement of resources, teaching and learning. The second is the existing trust-network in place in the publishing industry and in formal education. In the evolution of quality approaches, the interaction between these trust-networks will be an area of intense interest in coming years. We thus highlight an urgent need to link developments in open education to the existing trust networks, so as not to reduce quality in the field.

Download Report here!

About Ulf-Daniel Ehlers

Prof. Dr. phil. habil. Ulf-Daniel Ehlers is Vicepresident for Quality and Academic Affairs at the Baden Wurttemberg-State University in Stuttgart, Germany. He has been appointed Professor for Educational Management and Lifelong Learning at the same university. Before he has held positions as Associate Professor in the University Duisburg-Essen (Germany), Professor for Technology Enhanced Learning in the University Augsburg (Germany) and Associate Professor of the Graduate School for Management and Technology of the University of Maryland University College (USA). Ulf is an educational scientist and holds degrees in English Language, Social Sciences and Educational Sciences from the University of Bielefeld, where he finished his Ph.D. with honors in the field of Technology Enhanced Learning in 2003, and was awarded his habilitation in 2008 from the University of Duisburg-Essen. He has created many international, European and national projects and was involved in founding the European Foundation for Quality in E-Learning, in which he served as Vicepresident and President for several terms. He has also served as President and Vicepresident of the of the largest german speaking e-learning Association, the Society for Media in Science (GMW e.V.) as well as serving on advisory boards to several professional associations in the field. Before his career in academia he has been a successful and award winning entrepreneur in the field of webbased IT Technologies and founder of several companies.
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One Response to The Federation of Responsibility: Quality for Open Educational Resources and Open Educational Practices

  1. Pingback: Calidad para los recursos educativos abiertos (REA/OER) y para la prácticas educativas abiertas | Calidad en la educación virtual

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