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Innovative OER in European HE
Start date: Oct 1, 2009,

The Bologna process beyond 2010 has to focus on the supply of enhanced educational opportunities and the quality of teaching and learning in the Area of HE. The EAHE will get more in depth by creating open and flexible teaching and learning spaces in all domains, for all ages and all over Europe.The Open Educational Resource (OER) movement, initiated by MIT only some years ago and now expanding globally, is enabling the best products of universities to be made available to all capable of learning at the tertiary level, whether they have yet to enter higher education or wish to continue their study beyond graduation. The new Bologna must embrace the core of traditional university-centered education and the far larger penumbra of university-generated learning opportunities, of which OER’s are one.The OER movement has come to Europe only recently, but with a different approach, in the Open Courseware Consortium referred to as the second generation of OER. Frontrunner is OpenLearn of the British Open University. OpenEr of the Dutch OU has followed and next the EADTU MORIL project (Multilingual Open Resources for Independent Learning). It is the roll-out of a concept with learning modules (not just content) in three tracks: (1) access to open courses, (2) access to courses through free registration for services like assessment of competencies and learning communities and (3) access to intensive tutoring, examinations and certification. MORIL: Multilingual Open Resources for Independent Learning, has spurred awareness about OER among ten Open and Distance Teaching Universities (ODTUs) within the EADTU membership. Start up activities within MORIL have been executed with OUUK,OUNL, Spain, Aberta (Universia), Nettuno, Anadolu. A strong conceptual basis for OER in Europe is created with links to social learning and constructive learning with peers. This approach is respected in the world (OCW Consortium, UNESCO). At the other hand, large differences are observed between the frontrunners (OU UK, OU NL, MORIL) and the other European universities. A lot has to be realized in line with the innovation cycle in successive phases of awareness raising, strategy building - institutional frameworks, pedagogic models, business cooperation, and pilot experiments. All individual efforts the EADTU members are to be consolidated under one prospective portal pointing to member OER repositories. This European project is to valorise the members' best practices concerning the development of OERs: pilot studies will be conducted into areas where OER functionalities can be achieved. This European project distinguishes (a selection of) five "study" workpackages: 1. OER widening participation (best practice test beds), 2. OER multi campus (associations' stakeholder sessions), 3. OER internationalisation (manuals), 4. Quality in OER (criteria for OER), 5. European OER portal (accessible open courses). The total of all workpackages will generate a composite manual, a handbook, on how to deal with OER. The project is composed of an:(1) Observatory: all the Open and Distance Teaching Universities, for development questions, monitoring and guiding the activities of the pilots (2) A core group (of the observatory): OUNL, OUUK and FernUni for performing editorials of the composite manual, the handbook on dealing with OER.(3) Workpackage leaders: running and writing the five workpackage results, for providing chapter reports to the final manual on: 1. OER widening participation (OUUK), 2. OER multi campus (KU Leuven association), 3. OER internationalisation (OUNL), 4. Quality in OER (EADTU), 5. European OER portal (EADTU).As with the concern of Lisbon, educators will have also to play a new role in the education and training of 25+, since the demographic change will reshape a demand for complex skills for many more people (New skills for new jobs, Anticipating and matching labour market and skills needed, 2008).
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