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The butterfly effect: how connecting digital learning materials to the constructive alignment theory may accelerate adoption of OER


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On 1 January 2019, an ambitious program took off to boost innovation of Higher Education in the Netherlands using ICT. The shared ambitions of this program are: better connection to the job market, making education more flexible and learning smarter and better by using technology. The program is divided into 7 areas (zones. In each zone, institutions of HE cooperate to realize these ambitions.

One of the zones is called “Towards digital (open) educational resources”. In this zone, 7 universities and 2 UoAS collaborate to realize the ambition that in 2023, HE institutions in the Netherlands are able to offer teachers and learners the opportunity to determine and use an optimal mix of learning resources. To accomplish this, a.o. improving the technical and organisational infrastructure and enhancing an open infrastructure seamless and transparent with a more closed one is needed. Stimulating the use of open resources is part of the ambition, but open is not considered a dogma in the optimal mix. This is an important difference compared to other programs aiming at stimulating sharing and reuse of OER, treating openness in isolation with non-open resources. We believe that this difference, together with taking the educational vision of the teacher as starting point will widen adoption of open sharing and reuse.

For 2019, the main activity of this zone is to conduct research into the ways students and teachers determine their optimal mix of learning resources and the underlying principles. The results will be the basis for the zone activities in the remaining time of the program. Other activities in 2019 comprise improvements to the available national technical infrastructure and creating awareness among teachers about the opportunities of open pedagogy and open educational practices. In the presentation we will report about the activities and the results of the research.

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The butterfly effect: how connecting digital learning materials to the constructive alignment theory may accelerate adoption of OER

  1. 1. digitale leermaterialen The Butterfly Effect
  2. 2. digitale leermaterialen 2 The Cast • Association of Universities of Applied Sciences (UAS) – 36 UoAS • Association of Universities in the Netherlands – 14 Universities • The collaborative ICT organisation for Dutch education and research (SURF) • Ministry of Education, Culture and Science
  3. 3. digitale leermaterialen 3 History • 2017 Study trip to Boston • Innovation needs a boost • Join forces • November 2017: launch of Innovation Agenda
  4. 4. digitale leermaterialen 4 From agenda to plan • May 2018: Launch Innovation Plan • 8 Zones (topic area) • Per zone a team – Members from Dutch HE Institutions – Team Captain – Connector • Program runs 1-1-2019 to 1-1-2023
  5. 5. digitale leermaterialen 5
  6. 6. digitale leermaterialen 6 Three shared ambitions • Better connection to the job market • Making education more flexible • Learn smarter and better by using technology
  7. 7. digitale leermaterialen 7 How to accomplish acceleration? • Collaborate on shared ambitions on innovation – Connect to institutional innovation activities – Use program to boost institutional innovation activities – Accelerates institutional developments and (second order) national developments • Collaborate on realizing results on national level • Financial support – € 3.8M per year – Investments (in kind) from HE institutions
  8. 8. digitale leermaterialen 8 Towards digital (open) learning materials
  9. 9. digitale leermaterialen 9 Ambition • By 2023 teachers and students will have the opportunity, in learning and teaching processes, to easily determine and use their optimal mix of learning materials.
  10. 10. digitale leermaterialen 10 Action Plan • Creating insight into how teachers and students achieve an optimal mix of learning materials • Develop models and toolkits to support teachers in determining an optimal mix of learning materials • Develop a digital infrastructure for sharing and finding open and closed learning materials • Working on a greater awareness and adoption of open sharing and re-use of learning materials among teachers and students.
  11. 11. digitale leermaterialen 11 Learning outcomes Teaching and learning activities Assessment Constructive Alignment Closed Open Infrastructure (Technical, organisational, accommodating policy) Learning materials Principles
  12. 12. digitale leermaterialen 12 Adoption of OER • Not an explicit goal • Assumption: – Connecting to practices of constructive alignment aiming to improve these + – OER as part of a mix of learning materials – Will lead to larger adoption of OER by the early and late majority
  13. 13. digitale leermaterialen 13 Results 2019 • Three studies – Shared image of learning and the role of learning materials in 2035 – Current practices of creating the optimal mix of learning materials – Practices of reuse • Requirements for (national) platform of sharing and finding (open) resources • White paper on practical handles for teachers for using Open Pedagogy – Initiated and created by the Dutch SIG Open Education
  14. 14. digitale leermaterialen 14 Next year • Testing a candidate platform • Develop a tool for teachers for applying Open Pedagogy • Involve publishers • First step in implementing recognition and reward for adopting OER