inclusion, innovation, excellence: only connect

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Presentation of Susan D’Antoni, Athabasca University, held at the EFQUEL Innovation Forum 2010. More information:


  • EFQUEL Innovation Forum 2010Opening Education:Inclusion, Innovation, ExcellenceOeiras, Lisbon8-10 September 2010

    Inclusion,Innovation, Excellence: Only connect

    Susan DAntoniAthabasca University

  • Introduction

    Only connect.

    E. M. Forster, Howards End

  • The strandsInclusion as context

    Innovation as response

    Excellence as goal

  • Inclusion: the context

    Venerable and calm, with all its treasures safe locked within its breast, it [the library] sleeps complacently and will, so far as I am concerned, so sleep for ever. Never will I wake those echoes, never will I ask for that hospitality again, I vowed as I descended the steps in anger.Virginia Woolf

  • Universal educationEveryone has the right to education. Education shall be free, at least in the elementary and fundamental stages. Elementary education shall be compulsory. Technical and professional education shall be made generally available and higher education shall be equally accessible to all on the basis of merit.

  • Education for AllExpand and improve comprehensive early childhood care and education, especially for the most vulnerable and disadvantaged children.

    Ensure that by 2015 all children, particularly girls, those in difficult circumstances, and those belonging to ethnic minorities, have access to and complete, free, and compulsory primary education of good quality.

    Ensure that the learning needs of all young people and adults are met through equitable access to appropriate learning and life-skills programs.

  • Achieve a 50 % improvement in adult literacy by 2015, especially for women, and equitable access to basic and continuing education for all adults.Eliminate gender disparities in primary and secondary education by 2005, and achieve gender equality in education by 2015, with a focus on ensuring girls' full and equal access to and achievement in basic education of good quality.Improve all aspects of the quality of education and ensure the excellence of all so that recognized and measurable learning outcomes are achieved by all, especially in literacy, numeracy and essential life skills

  • Library of AlexandriaIndistinct, majestic, ever-present, the tacit architecture of that infinite Library continues to haunt our dreams of universal order. Nothing like it has ever been achieved, though other libraries (the Web included) have tried to copy its astonishing ambition.Alberto Manguel

  • Building Knowledge SocietiesThe aims associated with the desire to build knowledge societies are ambitious. Providing basic education for all, promoting lifelong education for all, encouraging the spread of research and development efforts in all countries of the world all these efforts towards the participation of all in knowledge-sharing and the establishment, even in the most disadvantaged countries, of a true knowledge potential, represent a considerable undertaking. Are such ambitions within reach? UNESCO. Towards Knowledge Societies

  • Innovation: a responseNever before in history has innovation offered promise of so much to so many in so short a time. Bill Gates

  • Open Educational ResourcesAt the heart of the movement towards Open Educational Resources is the simple and powerful idea that the worlds knowledge is a public good and that technology in general and the Worldwide Web in particular provide an opportunity for everyone to share, use, and reuse it.

  • Universal library the Library of Alexandria was set up to do more than merely immortalize. It was to record everything that had been and could be recorded, and these records were to be digested into further records, an endless trail of readings and glosses that would engender in turn new glosses and new readings.

  • Acceptance of innovationAwareness





  • The issues...Advancing the movementAwareness raisingCommunities and networkingResearch

    Enabling creation and re-usePoliciesStandardsTechnology toolsQuality assuranceCapacity development

    Enabling learning with OERLearning support servicesAssessment of learning

    Removing barriers to OERAccessibilityCopyright and licensingFinancingSustainability

  • The priorities...

  • Excellence: the objectiveI have the simplest tastes. I am always satisfied with the best. Oscar Wilde

  • Hewlett FoundationThe focus of this component is on creating exemplars of academic content that are free and accessible to all on the web. these exemplars will help raise the level of quality of academic content by setting a standard of practice One criterion for our support of education content made freely available on the web is that it must set quality benchmarks and potentially establish new models for organizing and delivering content.

  • Some questionsDoes free mean second grade?

    Does no certification mean no quality?

    Antony Stella

  • JISC OER Programme general lessonsInstitutions and communities are becoming aware of the need to strategically manage content, and in some cases this is being done around an open content agenda. Creative Commons licensing and release to an open repository is an achievable goal for the majority of learning and teaching content developed in UK HEIs. However, there remains a risk-averse culture around IPR and the possible impact of repurposed resources on institutional and individual reputations.

  • Sustainability of OER depends on embedding open practices into institutional policies and services, and on encouraging open sharing in existing communities such as subject networks. Further development is needed to make open repositories more attractive to contributors and end users.

  • qualityOpen content requires somewhat different quality considerations, arising from the delivery medium (typically online) and the self-directed mode of study. When content is quality enhanced for open release typically by enhancing its accessibility, interoperability, discoverability, usability and re-usability its quality is generally enhanced. *However, there is an ongoing perception that good quality teaching does not make extensive use of 'other people's resources'.

  • Teachers and students both need additional skills to assess the quality of open content and its relevance to their needs.

  • P2PUFor most people, it is very difficult to learn on their own. The question that led to the creation of P2PU was: Given all the material that is openly available online, can we add the social element?

  • The quest for greater access to quality education has special resonance in countries such as India and China Access to knowledge is an important indicator of social mobility Collaborative learning experiences can result in a movement for open learning. Everyone can teach a course. You don't have to be an expert. It doesn't matter what your background is.Stian Haklev

  • a word of cautionI part company with this new movement when it argues that validation of knowledge acquired through OERs should come more from peers in the form of reviews and peer-reflections than from external criteria. In some circumstances OERs can indeed be a useful resource for learners , but it is dangerous to prescribe this approach. ODL has succeeded where it its learners, despite the diversity of their starting points, have had the knowledge acquired in their studies validated against external standards set by academic and professional communities. We bypass those standards at our peril.Sir John Daniel

  • Our challengeOur collective task here is to continue to reflect and to interact in the sessions as we develop a vision for opening education to bear in mind the context and social objective of inclusion and to be innovative, while ensuring quality and promoting excellence.

  • Thank you for your attentiveness




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