Contributed by Martijn Ouwehand, Product Manager Open Education TU Delft
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!