Policies for OER Uptake - presentation to EDEN Synergy workshop


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This is the first public airing of the three EU-level policy clusters put together for universities, colleges (further education, VET) and schools

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Policies for OER Uptake - presentation to EDEN Synergy workshop

  1. 1. EU-level policies for OER Uptake – for the three formal education sectors Paul Bacsich – Sero Consulting (co-authored with Giles Pepler & Barry Phillips) EDEN Synergy Workshop, 19-21 October2013, Budapest
  2. 2. POERUP – Policies for OER uptake POERUP is part funded by the European Commission’s Lifelong Learning Programme. The overall aim of POERUP is to develop policies to promote the uptake of OER, especially across the EU, in all main educational sectors. The project has already created an inventory of more than 400 OER initiatives worldwide which are documented on the project wiki. POERUP put substantial effort into understanding the state of play of OER in a range of countries, within the policy context and as part of the wider development of online learning in these countries. The project has already produced 11 country reports and 15 mini-reports, each covering individual countries and an overall report for the Gulf States. Each report provides an overview of the educational system, internet policy and provision, state of elearning, copyright law, and major OER initiatives in that particular country.
  3. 3. Types of policy interventions • interventions that link OER to open access to research and to standards • interventions that foster the phenomena (including access, cost and quality; but also others such as development and informed citizenry) that OER is said to facilitate (even if so far without sufficient evidence). • interventions that serve to reduce or dismantle the barriers to creation of innovative institutions and innovative practice (including OER, MOOCs and open educational practices).
  4. 4. This presentation • Summarises “rel 1” policy recommendations for HE and VET (Paul and Giles) • Draws some conclusions from research in OER in K-12 (schools, ISCED 2 and 3) (Barry) • Summarises “rel 1” policy recommendations for schools (Barry) • Begins on a synthesis of these, and with Opening Up Education policy recommendations
  5. 5. Current final proposals for ISCED Levels 4, 5A & 5B We are proposing recommendations in ten areas: 1. Innovation – new institutions 2. Accrediting of institutions – new accrediting bodies and mutual recognition 3. Quality agencies 4. Competence-based, not time-based assessment 5. Assessment and accreditation of modules 6. Funding mechanisms for programmes, institutions and content 7. IPR issues 8. Developing the European Qualifications Framework (EQF) 9. Initial academic training and CPD 10. Research into the benefits of OER The first area is specific to higher education; the other nine areas are applicable to ISCED Level 4 as well as Levels 5A and 5B
  6. 6. Innovation •The Commission should set up a competitive innovation fund to develop one new “European” university each year with a commitment to low-cost online education around a core proposition of open content.
  7. 7. Accreditation of institutions – new accrediting bodies and mutual recognition • The Commission should foster the development of transnational accrediting agencies and mutual recognition of accreditations across the EU. • The Commission should reduce the regulatory barriers against new kinds of HE providers (e.g. for-profit, from outside the country, consortial, etc). • The Commission should establish a European quality label for content produced in Europe.
  8. 8. Competence-based, not time-based assessment • The Commission and related authorities developing the European Higher Education Area should reduce the regulatory barriers against new non-study-time-based modes of provision: in particular by developing a successor to Bologna based primarily on competences gained not duration of study. • Vocational qualifications should be funded on competences achieved, not learning hours amassed.
  9. 9. The European Qualifications Framework (EQF) The Commission should drive forward the development of the EQF through: (a) Reviewing the current timetable, which has fallen behind schedule; (b) Establishing a revised timetable and regularly monitoring progress
  10. 10. Initial academic training and CPD • The Commission should support the development of online initial and continuous professional development programmes for teachers and trainers, focussing on online learning with specific coverage of distance learning, OER, MOOCs and other forms of open educational practice, and also IPR issues. • The Commission should encourage member states to do this also and recommend their use of incentive schemes for teachers and trainers engaged in online professional development of their pedagogic skills including online learning.
  11. 11. Innovation and research into the benefits of OER • The Commission should create an innovation fund for the development of online learning resources. • The Commission should fund research into the verifiable benefits of OER, with greater efforts to integrate such analyses with its ongoing research on distance learning, on-campus online learning, and pedagogy; and recommend the same to member states. • The Commission should sponsor research into sustainable business models for OER initiatives.
  12. 12. The state of play on OER in K-12 • • • • • • It appears that there are “millions” of European OERs which are potentially appropriate for K-12 education The European Commission and national governments have invested significant sums in these resources The European Commission has subsequently financially supported the development of Repositories, Federations, Portals and Tools to make it easier for teachers, students and parents to use, re-use and share these resources A significant proportion of resources emanate from the “cultural sector” (museums, galleries, archives, national broadcasters) OER have the potential to be a valuable element in policy responses to austerity OER have the potential to improve the learner experience in the school sector
  13. 13. And now to schools…. Or K-12 as they say in the US
  14. 14. Policy aspects (K-12) • OERs have been an important component of two of the Commission’s most significant policy initiatives with regards to education (specifically including K-12) Opening Up Education and Rethinking Education • “OER” is not a phrase with common currency in the European K-12 sector and few K-12 teachers are aware of OERs • There are very few national OER policies explicitly targeting the schools sector (e.g. Poland re textbooks) • The various schemes for quality in OER are so far not widely recognised by governments • There appears to be some confusion surrounding the (Commission’s?) message concerning the availability (or otherwise) of K-12 OER – is is a definitional issue? (OER stricto sensu, OER lato sensu, OR?) • Inequities of the ICT in education infrastructure across European Union will severely hinder schools’ ability to exploit the potential of OER
  15. 15. Barriers and disincentives (K-12, only?) • • • • • • • • • • National and institutional strategies and initiatives are often oriented towards infrastructure and seldom encourage the development of educational content Lack of awareness of educators about the availability and opportunities Confusion (and fear) concerning intellectual property rights Confusion (and fear) concerning appropriate pedagogies Quality assessment and assurance Lack of reward and/or incentivisation by institutions Lack of knowledge sharing culture and re-use Infrastructure insufficient in some countries Need for OER to be contextualised (particularly – but not solely – language issues) Inability to engage with educational taxonomies (unfamiliarity with metadata and vocabularies)
  16. 16. Recommendation – Communications • The Commission should clarify its position with regards to the abundance or scarcity of appropriate resources currently available and should communicate clearly this message – including with the definitions it uses
  17. 17. Recommendations – Funding • • • • • • The Commission should ensure that any public outputs from its programmes are made available as open resources under an appropriate license. (e.g. CC) The Commission should encourage member states to do likewise for their national research and teaching development programmes. The Commission should encourage states to promote to publicly funded schools and federations the benefits of making resources available under an open license. The Commission should continue to promote the availability and accessibility of open resources created through its cultural sector programmes. The Commission should encourage member states to do likewise for their domestic cultural sector programmes and to make these available across EU Member states should ensure that budgets for digital educational resources are flexible to support the development/maintenance) of openly licensed materials.
  18. 18. Recommendations – Quality • • • • • Where member states have Quality Assurance or materials approval processes they should ensure that OER are allowed to be included on approved instructional materials lists The Commission and member states should require (within reasonable expectation) OER to meet (disability) accessibility standards. The Commission should ensure that accessibility is a central tenet of all its OER programmes and initiatives Member states should consider establishing and funding an OER evaluation and adoption panel. This panel should include lead teachers, content experts and accessibility experts Member states could consider establishing a specialist OER function/post to undertake an in-country cost-benefit analysis to asses the potential savings (or otherwise) which might be achieved through implementing an OER strategy
  19. 19. Recommendations – Infrastructure • The Commission should continue its focus on improving the ICT in education infrastructure in members states (and levelling out disparities of access) so that they are able to exploit potential pedagogical and financial advantages of OER • Where nations (or institutions) are providing digital devices they should ensure that all considerations have been taken to maximise the effectiveness (economically and pedagogically) of devices, support and strategy with regards OER
  20. 20. Recommendations – Other • • • Member states should establish (and adequately fund) a professional development programmme to help teachers and administrators understand the benefits and uses of OER and open licensing. The Commission should continue to promote the OER related initiatives – repositories, federations, portals and tools – it is currently funding (should also encourage member states?) and through them to promote the creation, sharing, use and reuse of high-quality OERs The Commission should fund research into the verifiable benefits of OER, with greater efforts to integrate such analyses with its ongoing research on distance learning, on-campus online learning, and pedagogy; and recommend the same to member states. Future K-12 OER research should explicitly embrace Repositories, Federations, Portals and Tools and should consider off-campus learning (both institutional – virtual schools – and self-directed or home-tutor led).
  21. 21. The integration is up to us - and you! Paul Bacsich For the POERUP EU-level policy team Policies in preparation for/with UK(x3), Ireland, France, Netherlands, Spain, and Poland; We want to work with other EU countries too
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