Abu Dhabi

Keynote on Open Learning at International IEEE EDUCON

Christian StrackeHeerlen (NL), March 2016 - Dr Christian M. Stracke, Associate Professor for Open Education and Innovations from the Open University of the Netherlands, will deliver the keynote on open learning at the International IEEE EDUCON Conference 2016. The presentation is entitled “Open Learning for Smart Education: Open educational policies, strategies and access for all”. 

Dr. Stracke commented, “I’m very honoured to be invited and to address the need for open learning to change education.” He will present current policies and practices, as well as new initiatives such as MOOQ for the quality of MOOCs.

The leading questions of his keynote on open learning will be

  • What is open education?
  • Why do we need to change education?
  • How can we collaborate and share our methodologies and resources for mutual benefits?

There is broad consensus that education has to change in order to reflect and address the challenges of rapidly growing globalisation and changes in societies - both of which lead to uncertain needs, even in the short term.

One frequently heard suggestion is that education should “open up”, but what does this mean? Open education is manifold and can involve quite diverse approaches and understandings. Generally, open education is related to learning innovations and improvements in learning quality that redefine the educational environment and offer learners a range of novel methodologies, tasks, and resources.

Policies for opening up education by innovations like technology-enhanced learning, online cooperation, and digital courses including Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) and other phenomena have achieved first awareness and agreement. These include UNESCO’s OER Declaration, the European Commission’s newly launched policy “Opening up Education”, and the Philippine government’s 2014 “Open Distance Learning Act“.

MOOCs have attracted the masses, even though “MOOC” is just another label for a variety of online learning scenarios and methodologies that were already developed and implemented many years ago. On the other hand, MOOCs have, in some ways, prepared the future path for opening up education. The current European initiative “MOOQ”, which addresses the quality of MOOCs, has started to develop a common quality reference framework for improving, assessing, and comparing the quality of MOOCs.

Christian M. Stracke is looking forward to initiating the discussion of this timely subject with all EDUCON participants, as well as with interested stakeholders worldwide. The international IEEE EDUCON Conference is among the leading annual events worldwide, attracting more than 1,000 participants. This year’s gathering takes place 10-13 April in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates.