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The Journey from Informal to Formal Learning

Presented by Martin Bean at the EDEN Annual Conference in Valencia, 2010

1 of 32
THE JOURNEY FROM INFORMAL ,[object Object],TO FORMAL LEARNING,[object Object],Martin Bean,[object Object],Vice-Chancellor,[object Object],The Open University,[object Object]
The changing nature of HE,[object Object],Globalisation| Massification | Privatisation,[object Object]
The changing nature of HE,[object Object],Globalisation| Massification | Privatisation,[object Object]
The changing nature of HE,[object Object],Globalisation| Massification | Privatisation,[object Object]
Our collective challengeConfronting the new digital divide,[object Object]
Our collective challenge,[object Object],Need to educate citizens for new types of work,[object Object]

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The Journey from Informal to Formal Learning

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Editor's Notes

  1. HE has changed and is changing - key issues : GlobalisationMassification, and Privatisation “Globalization, a key reality in the 21st century, has already profoundly influenced higher education. “Altbach, Reisberg & RumbleyTrends in Global Higher Education:Tracking an Academic Revolution UNESCO ReportScale of migration is huge - 2.73m students currently studying outside home country - predicted to hit 7m by 2020Harmonisation programmes - Bologna (Europe), African Union Harmonisation Strategyboth attempts to gain mobility across national HE systemsHuge growth in distance learning – students in Singapore have a choice of ~200 accredited online MBA programmes
  2. Massification of HEhas been driven by: The shift to post-industrial economies The rise of service industries and The knowledge economy.Resulting in:Some 150.6 million tertiary students globally, roughly a 53% increase over 2000Demand for HE is outstripping anything that can be met by scaling the traditional methods Different thoughts and approaches are neededClearest argument for embracing technology and what it can help us achieve.
  3. Privatisation of HE Tax-funded HE for public good in retreat in many regions of the world - paralleled by massive growth in private provision: more than 1 in 3 students globally currently studying in private sector in the US - for-profit, which has now reached almost 10% of all enrolments, is now fastest growing segment of higher education. In the UK: Currently four private providers with degree awarding powers, including BPP Ltd Several other organisations currently applying for degree awarding powers and others plan to do so 60 -100 other overseas universities have campuses in UK; mainly American, also European Small private colleges targeting international students growing rapidly - many offer accredited qualifications at lower fees than awarding institution
  4. Who are the digitally excluded?Europe suffering from a growing ICT skills shortage 150 million Europeans – some 30% - have never used the internet - mainly people aged 65 to 74 years old Europe's educational and training systems have not kept up with the ICT skills needed in today's digital job marketalso lagging behind its industrial partners eg US and Japan on investment in ICT research and take-up of ultra high-speed networks only 1% of Europeans have access to fibre-based high-speed network compared to 12% Japanese and 15% South Koreans the EU is spending only 40% of US levels for ICT research and development(Europe’s Digital Agenda 2010 (http://ec.europa.eu/information_society/digital-agenda/index_en.htm)
  5. UK skills profile improving over time BUT too many people still in danger of being left behind:one in eight adults of working age have no qualificationsmore than a quarter are not qualified to GCSE at grades A*–C ; and just shy of a half are not qualified above GCSE at grades A*–C ; Moreover, other countries are improving their skills profile too so our relative position has changed little:Indeed, many are improving faster.(2009 UK Commission for Employment and Skills Report ‘Ambition 2020:World Class Skills and Jobs for the UK)
  6. Learning in the workplace needs to become an integral part of all jobs.Part-time higher education is a powerful engine of change in the British economy, equipping today’s workforce with the high level skills necessary to remain competitive internationally. Key facts:39% of all undergraduate students in English universitiesstudy part-time.The vast majority are:over the age of 25 (79% compared with 13% of full-timers) and work in full-time jobs.Two-thirds of part-time undergraduates study for vocational and professional qualifications compared with just over a tenth of full-time students.
  7. Education in science, technology, engineering and mathematics subjects is key to maintaining a competitive workforce in the global economy:Best way to compete is to move into high-value goods, services and industriesAn effective science and innovation system is vital to achieve this objectiveNot possible to predict where new jobs will emerge in the future BUT many opportunities for companies to create new products and services, and for new industries in areas like aerospace, pharmaceuticals, creative industries and education.
  8. A knowledge-based society requires workers who can transform information into meaningful, new knowledge.A plethora of information of widely varying quality is now readily available through various media:Google alone serves up approximately 10 million search results per hourAccording to Did You Know? 4.0, created for The Economist’s Media Convergence Forum in 2009, Americans currently have access to:1 trillion web pages 65,000 iPhone apps 10,500 radio stations 5,500 magazines 200+ cable TV networks
  9. “Information is everywhere: the challenge is to make effective use of it.” Horizon Report 2010p 13“In.…a world (in which information is everywhere), sense-making and the ability to assess the credibility of information are paramount. Mentoring and preparing students for the world in which they will live, the central role of the university when it achieved its modern form in the 14th century, is again at the forefront.” Ibid p 3
  10. A longstanding issue“We are drowning in information but starved for knowledge……….. Uncontrolled and unorganized information is no longer a resource in an information society, instead it becomes the enemy.“John NaisbittMegatrends1982“The summation of human experience is being expanded at a prodigious rate, and the means we use for threading through the consequent maze to the momentarily important item is the same as was used in the days of square-rigged ships.”Vannevar Bush As We May Think 1945
  11. A longstanding issue“We are drowning in information but starved for knowledge……….. Uncontrolled and unorganized information is no longer a resource in an information society, instead it becomes the enemy.“John NaisbittMegatrends1982“The summation of human experience is being expanded at a prodigious rate, and the means we use for threading through the consequent maze to the momentarily important item is the same as was used in the days of square-rigged ships.”Vannevar Bush As We May Think 1945
  12. Increasingly, without HE, you will be left out of this world.
  13. Many of today’s students have never known a world without the internet, mobile phones, texting, video on demand or digital music. A UK Office for National Statistics survey in 2009 reported that:93% of young people aged 16-24 have used the Internet77% of 16-24s access the Internet every day or almost every dayThe most common Internet activity is sending or receiving emailsOver 60% of young people aged 16-19 have a profile on a social networking site
  14. Today’s students value: Personalised learning Flexible, yet structured and transferable, courses Readily accessible study resources An education which is more than just subject knowledgeWe know from our own students that their motivations for study include:Personal developmentCareer progressionTo change their career To complete a qualification
  15. If we are going to employ technology in the learning environment then it is critical we think about: the blend between the digital lifestyle that students enjoy and the digital work style that we are expecting them to adopt
  16. Permanent reach (in users’ time)Two years ago we were invited to join iTunesUWe wanted to find new ways to reach new audiencesKey facts:Over 19 million downloadsOver 1.9 million visitors downloaded filesCurrently averaging over 264,000 downloads a weekDelivering over 1 Terabyte each week 89 % of visitors from outside the UK1 in 15 downloaders go on to visit the OU websiteOU nearly always featured by Apple in top 10, and often top five most popular
  17. Talking points:A glimpse of the future…imagine a world where we could think of putting a whole course on this, or 10 point, 30 point, 60 point courses, fully loaded. What does that mean for mobile anytime learning and the concept of full-time personalised courses?And now we’re thinking about other possibilities, so, we had some moon rocks lying around [click to play video] ....The Virtual Microscope is an excellent tool in allowing teachers and students to share a common view down a microscope without the complexities and difficulties of a real microscope. This allows students to gain an understanding of what they will be looking for so they are better prepared when they use a real microscope, and gives mobile learners greater flexibility of when and where they can learn – including out in the field!This demonstration illustrates the use of the Virtual Microscope by geologists, where thin rock sections, in this case from a Martian meteorite, are examined under the microscope [grey slide – pan/zoom] under Plain Polarised Light (PPL) and then under Cross Polarised Light (XPL) [colour/grey slide swap, then pan/zoom].The use of these filters allows for identification of minerals – however, this process is greatly improved by rotating the sample [click on red circle area, which zooms in to circular view which rotates] providing a kaleidoscope like effect. The exact angles over which different minerals repeat their changes further helps to identify the minerals.[returns to start] The key teaching points are for students to learn the different characteristics minerals exhibit under the microscope so that when they study samples from the field they can correctly identify rock types, a fundamental element of Geology.
  18. Reach with course materialsOpenLearn: family of free COURSE materials from The Open UniversityDelivered over 8000 hours of study materials in 12 subject areas from access to post graduate level courses.Over 10 million visitors, 80% new to OU , more than 50% international.Over 460K visits a month and growing – most via Google search – leading to course enquiries – with high rates of conversion to registrationAt least 6 thousand students have been influenced to register for OU accredited courses.
  19. Higher education needs to: recognise the importance of informal learning and remove artificial barriers between the informal and formal sectors.
  20. Institutional learning: is not always able to meet demand has significant barriers to entry is highly structured – with pre determined routes, method and outcome
  21. Informal life long learners start with passions and areas of interest & need: Gentle slopes Small steps Ways to access quality content in new ways Support outside of the institutional setting Ways to gain credit/recognition for their activities Routes to (re)enter formal
  22. Our interest is to understand and develop components of the social learning network: to connect learners to each other and mentors to help learners evidence their learning process and products to help them receive appropriate recognition with external validity to be technically open to the huge innovation in the cloud to be conceptually open to the different learning frameworks that educators want to follow
  23. From institutional adaptation to truly personal adaptation Openness that encourages institutional remixing, reworking, and localisation. Increasingly interested in what it means to deliver this on a more personal level…. And what happens when learning and social networking meet Many folk would add “scary’ to the adjectives Folk creating great things in public with each other… and mostly giving it away to each other
  24. Higher education needs to revolve around the learnerTraditionally, HE has offered very prescribed products on a ‘take it or leave it’ basis.However, the new empowerment of learners through their direct control of technology is making them increasingly intolerant of this. HE needs to revolve around the learner not the other way round.