While technology brought disruptive change in many industries, education is only now hovering at the brink of fundamental changes.
- 160,000 self-learners joined Stanford’s course on Artificial Intelligence last year.
- more than 21,000 Open Course Ware courses are available to everybody, for free.
- MIT and Harvard decided to invest $60 million in Open Education.
A learner can now take a course taught by Yale professors from the comfort of his living room in a remote part of the world. This means that the higher education scene is changing and open and online education are now challenging traditional brick and mortar institutions. But one significant problem of education, assessment, still needs to be reinvented. Open Study and the Open Course Ware Consortium, two organisations active in the field of open and online education, have joined forces to explore new ways of assessment and certification.
How will the workshop be set up?
Preetha Ram and Anka Mulder will both give a brief introduction, after which we will have 15 minutes of questions and answer. This will be followed by group discussions focused of three dilemmas. Groups will report back and the facilitator will summarise the outcome of the workshop.
In this session Preetha Ram will present
a. Open Study and b. informal certification (soft skills and crowd sourcing).
Preetha Ram will describe a strategy for reporting on three soft-skills that users have demonstrated on a social learning site, OpenStudy: teamwork, problem solving and engagement Evaluation is performed through a combination of system wide usage analytics data combined with crowd-sourced validation of skills. Preetha will also present the current Open Study – OpenCourseWare credentialing project and ideas on how we can take this to the next level by offering testing.
Anka Mulder will address
a. the Open Course Ware Consortium and b. the role of traditional, formal institutions in online education and certification.
While interest in informal certification is growing, there is also still a huge demand for formal certification by accredited institutions: a university diploma is an investment in a student’s career. UNESCO has calculated that higher education demand will increase enormously: 80 million more potential students by 2025. A growing number of traditional institutions are getting involved in online education. But there are dilemmas as well, notably around assessment and certification. How do you verify the student’s identity reliably online? How do you monetize open online education? And last but least: is there a future for traditional universities, or will informal learning and informal organisations take over?
Points for discussion:
- Traditional educational institutions are very well placed to provide campus as well as online education. At the same time they have to find ways to monetize open online education to cover their expenses. Which are the business models they can develop?
- Students as well as employers still rely heavily on formal certificates and diplomas provided by accredited institutions. In order to become successful, recognition of informal certificates by employers is essential. What can be done to encourage this?
- Verification of a student’s identity is essential in assessment, notably for institutions that provide accredited diplomas. How can we make online assessment more reliable?
The Workshop will take place on Thursday the 6th of September at 16:00 CET and is led by: Preetha Ram (OpenStudy), Anke Mulder (OpenCourseWare Consortium), Alastair Creelman (Linnaeus University)
About Preetha Ram
Preetha Ram is a co-founder, Dean for Education and Chief Marketing Officer for OpenStudy. In addition to these awesome responsibilities that she embraces with ease and enthusiasm, she is currently on leave from her position as Associate Dean for Pre-Health and Science Education at Emory College and co-director of the Emory-Tibet Science Initiative. She received her BS from the Women’s Christian College in Chennai, India, her MS from the Indian Institute of Technology New Delhi, India, and her PhD in Biophysical Chemistry from Yale University and also holds an Executive MBA from Emory’s Goizueta School of Business. She loves a good book, travelling and is positive that she was an Italian in her previous life.
About Anke Mulder
Anka Mulder, M.A. serves as the president of the OpenCourseWare Consortium. While providing an international voice for the organization, Mulder provides leadership direction from her native country The Netherlands. She will offer her strategic vision to assist in the growth of the Consortium and help build awareness for the global OpenCourseWare movement.
Mulder is currently the Secretary General and Director of Education and Student Affairs at Delft University of Technology. As Secretary General she is responsible for the management and steering of the policy agenda of Board of Directors of the University. As Director of Education she is responsible for the university’s educational strategy and policies and student facilities. Mulder is involved with implementing projects related to educational innovation, including the initiation of an opencourseware project for the university. She oversees the program, ensures the adoption of movement within the school, administers the internal and external communications of the program and helps define the university’s future strategy with the OpenCourseWare movement.