OE Global Blog

As we get ready to meet, learn, and share at #OEGLOBAL18, we are pleased to keep you informed about the conference, events, and the program.

Webinar: Welcome to OE Global 2018!

Thank you to everyone that took the time to attend and to contribute to the OE Global webinar!  We hope that the information that we shared will help to enhance your conference experience.  Below is a link to the presentation.  The recorded webinar will be posted soon. See you soon in Delft!

Welcome to OE Global 2018_webinar




Alive and Well at the Forefront of Open Education

Open education is growing and flourishing around the world. OEGlobal 2018 shows just how alive and well it is. This years conference at TU Delft in the Netherlands features over 150 presentations done by open education leaders from over 50 countries. Sessions cut across nine open education tracks including; open education practices, policies, research, tools, innovation, connections, institutionalizing, formal education and student perspectives. A complete program schedule can be found at http://oeglobal.sched.com/.

Special keynotes will cover such diverse topics as:

  • The (digital) future and transformation of universities
  • Working at the intersection of open research and open education
  • UNESCO policy update
  • Innovative learning in a museum context, and
  • Free-range learning in the digital age: the role of open resources in defining what the future holds

We’re pleased to announce that we’ll be making the keynotes open to all, even those unable to attend in person, through a livestream available off the OEGlobal conference website.

Preceding the OEGlobal conference, TU Delft is hosting a pre-conference on Monday 23 April where it will share its involvement in open & online education and introduce you to some of the exciting projects TU Delft has to offer. TU Delft is a world leader in open education and recently launched a strategic framework that includes openness so this event is sure to be illuminating.

As of April 3rd there are 314 OEGlobal registered attendees from 57 countries. Intriguingly over 50% of them are attending for the first time. To help newcomers get the most out of attending the Open Education Consortium is hosting a webinar on April 10. Interest in open education is high and more and more people are getting involved.

In addition to the formal program, the Open Education Consortium will be handing out the Open Education Awards of Excellence on Tuesday April 24 at an opening reception and awards ceremony. Award recipients have already been announced. Find out who they are and learn more about their work at http://www.oeconsortium.org/projects/open-education-awards-for-excellence/. Help us congratulate and amplify their outstanding work through social media.

Attendance at OEGlobal is very social and we encourage you to meet new people and form networks of connections with others that you can learn from or collaborate with. To foster social networking the Open Education Consortium is hosting a Gala Dinner Wednesday April 25 in the historic courtyard of the Museum Prinsenhof Delft.

And to close things out, after the conference, Delft will be engaging in King’s Day celebrations. This makes for a wonderful end to the conference with celebrations throughout the city centre – bells sound, bands play, children perform, deals are made, bargains are found, drinks are consumed, and above all, love, laughter and smiles abound. What a send off to OEGlobal. I look forward to seeing you all there.

Paul Stacey
Executive Director, Open Education Consortium

New sponsors announced for OE Global!

The Open Education Global Conference is pleased to announce the addition of new sponsors:






Join the King’s Day Celebrations!

Stay an extra day in Delft to join in the celebrations the King’s official birthday!  The King’s official birthday in the Netherlands is a festive occasion that is annually celebrated on April 27.

King’s Day is an official public holiday in the Netherlands. Banks, post offices, and many businesses are closed. Opening hours in stores vary. Some stores are open as usual, some are open for part of the day, and some are closed all day. Public transport runs according to a normal or a special timetable and there are extra train services to take people home from large celebrations. However, buses and trams in the center of large cities may have different or shortened routes to avoid the crowds. Restaurants may be shut, open as usual or only serving special “King’s Day” meals. Cafes and restaurants may close earlier than usual.

The celebration. In many towns and cities, the King’s Day celebrations begin on the evening before. During the day you will be able to visit flea markets where you will be able to make great bargains for second-hand goods and King’s Day themed products in many city and town centers. King’s day in Delft is worth to visit. It is crowded if you get there after Noon. In specific streets children will sell their toys/books etc.

Also, the city of Delft will be organizing a big festival on the market square as a part of the King’s Day Celebration. The ‘Orange fever’ festival will be crowded, but a great experience if you like to party like the Dutch. Starting time for the festival is 18:00 on the 27th. Feel free to purchase tickets for the festival and enjoy it on your own initiative.   



OE Global Announces Two New Sponsors

Open Education Global Open Education Conference Committee is proud to announce the addition of two sponsors, D2L and URKUND.  


About D2L

D2L believes learning is the foundation upon which all progress and achievement rests. Working closely with clients, D2L has transformed the way millions of people learn online or in the classroom. Learn more about D2L for schools, higher education and businesses at www.D2L.com.



Automatic plagiarism prevention is a Swedish invention and URKUND has been at the forefront of its development since 1999. During this time, URKUND’s constant development has meant that the academic service has evolved to become the most effective plagiarism prevention and detection system available on the market.

Today, interest is shown not only from Scandinavian and European universities but from all around the world. University publishing houses, government organisations and private enterprises have also seen the benefits of URKUND and use the system to assure that expensive consultant reports and texts for publication have not been plagiarised.

URKUND is a Germanic word, its meaning is something along the lines of “original document”, “unaltered original” or “deed”. Its English pronunciation is similar to how one says “gherkin”: i.e. “erkin” [ɜːkɪn].


Open education can make universities more inclusionary

The following is an excerpt from: McKiernan EC (2017) Imagining the “open” university: Sharing scholarship to improve research and education. PLoS Biol 15(10): e1002614. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pbio.1002614  It is republished here under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license.

Universities are by nature exclusionary — there are limited spots and often only those with the highest grades and test scores are accepted. In the 1940s, people began referring to academic institutions as ivory towers, where an elite few engaged in intellectual pursuits, largely “disengaged” from the concerns or needs of the public (Shapin, 2012). If anything, the perception of universities as ivory towers has only grown over the last decades, as competition for student and faculty positions increases, leaving many more on the outside. As Shapin writes, “Today, almost no one has anything good to say about the Ivory Tower and specifically about the university in its supposed Ivory Tower mode” (Shapin, 2012).

How can institutions move away from this negative image and become more inclusionary? Increasing acceptance rates is not feasible for economic and infrastructure reasons. However, universities can allow everyone access to the knowledge created inside their walls. Open educational resources (OERs) are a prime example of openness increasing inclusion (Bossu et al., 2012; Conole, 2012) and are especially important for increasing access to education in developing countries (Kanwar et al, 2010; Kumar, 2009). When universities make lecture notes, exams, and textbooks openly available online, even those who cannot attend in person can benefit from what the institution has to offer. In fact, 20%-50% of surveyed visitors to open courseware (OCW) websites identify as “self learners” (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, 2007). Educators also benefit from OCW sites, making up around a quarter of visitors from regions like Latin America, Eastern Europe, and the Middle East and North Africa (Carson, 2006). As an educator in Mexico, I use open textbooks available through projects like OpenStax, run by Rice University, because I know my students cannot afford expensive textbooks but still need access to quality information to learn. 

Read the full blog at blog_OpenEd_Erin

What does Transforming Education through Open Approaches mean to you?

The main theme for the OE Global 2018 conference is ‘Transforming Education through Open Approaches.” To me, being involved in open education at a technical university (TU Delft) this theme describes 2 different aspects and the relationship between them. On the one hand, ‘transforming education’ translates strongly towards innovation of education. On the other, ‘through open approaches’ marks how open approaches, in the area of informal education, impacts innovation in formal education.

Open approaches can consist of many different elements. Starting your first OCW or MOOC project for some institutions could be the first spark to ignite innovation in formal education. Where one uses it to expand the reach towards more learners around the world, the other would grasp the shared resources to flip the entire course design, where in the next situation, ultimately, the entire formal educational practice could be influenced by whatever was done in informal education. Developments in informal education, from simply increasing access to your contents, towards providing more flexibility to formal students and informal learners, changing business models based on openness, the ability to acknowledge the learning outcomes of informal courses such as MOOCs and translate them to formal credits, etc can have a big impact on formal education, as a spark to innovation at teacher level to larger scaled innovation and evolution at an institutional level and eventually education as a whole.

A second element I would like to highlight is that open approaches do not only happen in an educational context. Openness happens in many other contexts, such as research, data, software, etc (check the Year of Open perspectives for instance.

The foundations of openness are more or less the same in every context, and whether you are involved in one open context or many, all have the power to impact innovation in education, and transforming education and universities.

We are honored to be able to host the OE Global conference in 2018 and are looking forward to meeting and discussing other perspectives, examples, experiences and new developments on how open approaches you are involved in might transform education as we know it. And I look forward to sharing ideas and exchanging experiences between April 24-26 at TU Delft!



2018 Open Education Global Conference Sponsorship Announcement

The conference planning committee is pleased to announce that Canvas is the first major sponsor of the eleventh annual Open Education Global Conference, to be held on April 24 – 26 in Delft, the Netherlands. 2018.  This will be the 3rd year that Canvas has supported the Conference.  

Launched in 2011, Canvas is now used by more than 3,000 universities, school districts, and institutions around the world.  Through open, usable, cloud-based technologies, Canvas enables easy integration of the content, tools and services that teachers need and students want. Canvas was recently recognized as a silver winner in two categories and gold winner in three categories by THE Journal’s Reader’s Choice Awards.  

Learn more about Canvas at www.CanvasLMS.com.   



Long and Winding Road to a Program for OEGlobal18

On the 1st of December, notifications of acceptance and rejection were submitted to the authors. Before this was made possible, a trajectory of opening a call for proposals, waiting for the submissions, closing the call, divide the proposals among reviewers, waiting for the reviews and, finally, based on the reviews, per proposal reach a decision about acceptance or rejection has been walked.  Read more about the interesting and informative long and winding road of building a program for the Open Education Global Conference 2018!




“Sustainability” has gained substantial currency in education internationally and is an important motivation for open educational practices, although the definitions educators attribute to this term may differ from what is meant institutionally. Uses of “sustainable” or “sustainability” in higher education range from taking into consideration students’ future needs, to notions of cost effectiveness, accessibility and environmental footprint, synonymous with economics and ecology, and viewed as a business model. The future brings many as yet unknown challenges which will certainly require access to lifelong learning opportunities for growing populations.

Learning and teaching are human activities which take place through communities of practice, often but not exclusively formal institutions such as schools and colleges. In higher education and beyond, knowledge sharing is no longer limited exclusively to academic publishing and conferences. Technological developments have enabled social interaction through social media tools which are rapidly changing the way we live and work, providing new networks for learning. In this article, we explore the assumptions underpinning the terms “sustainability” and “open education” as they are utilised in current university policy via a meta-analysis of published policy documents. We posit that notions of “sustainability” are simultaneously one of the most important triggers of and obstacles to Open Educational Practices, and examine to what degree Australian (and international) university polices address these issues.  Read more

Transforming Education Through Open Approaches – different perspectives







This years conference theme is ‘Transforming Education through openness’ and offers many sessions in different tracks. We realize that the main conference theme could inspire different perspectives. Therefore, we will regularly reflect on the main conference theme from different perspectives. Visit the first perspective below by Robert Schuwer, OE Global Program Chair.

Keep an eye on this blog and do not hesitate to share your opinion.

What does transforming education through open approaches mean to you?

The current conference theme, Transforming Education Through Open Approaches, is the result of a discussion with the program committee earlier this year. However, the large variation in topics from the more than 200 proposals received is an indication that analysis of this theme leads to many interpretations.

My interpretation of the theme is mainly determined by my interpretation of “transforming”. The Cambridge Dictionary provides the following description of transform “to change completely the appearance or character of something or someone, especially so that that thing or person is improved”. For me, the goal “is improved” is key. The change can be completely (e.g. from 100% campus-based to a mixture of campus-based and online education or even 100% online education, from teacher-centered approaches to learner-centered approaches), but at the end of the day these changes should have led to a situation for the learner which is better than it was before: better results and a nicer learning experience.

Openness in all kinds of forms can help to achieve this improvement. Depending on the start situation of the learner, openness can reach from improved access to quality learning materials because these materials are openly shared, to improved learning results because of a pedagogy better suited to achieve the outcomes and made possible by forms of open education. Achieving these improvements through openness is what motivates me to be active in this field, hopefully for many years to come.


Endorsement of Dutch Ministry of Education

The ministry of education is excited that the Open Education Global Conference 2018 will be held in the Netherlands.

Juriaan van Kan, policy advisor for open education in the Netherlands, believes that open education supports the ministry’s mission to ensure a knowledgeable, skilled and cultured country. He also sees the Open Education Global Conference as a perfect opportunity for Dutch education to share the experiences of Dutch universities and learn from the global community to accelerate the adoption of open education.

The former Minister of Education, Jet Bussemaker, received the 2017 Open Education Leadership Award of Excellence for her work in open education creating a structural granting programme supporting bottom-up initiatives for universities.

The Dutch Ministry of education is pleased to endorse the conference and highly recommends everyone interested in open education to attend this conference in April 2018 in Delft.