|Open University of Catalonia|
My highlights of the conference
- We are at last moving from a divided view of quality in education (traditional/e-learning) to a single concept of learning and teaching. Representatives of the major European higher education organisations ENQA, EUA, EURASHE and ESUwere all active contributors and ready to start a common discussion about how the area of e-learning quality can be integrated into traditional quality assurance criteria for higher education. This feels like a major breakthrough and hopefully specialist e-learning quality organisations will be able to contribute actively to the development of mainstream quality assurance in higher education.
- MOOCs have taken the discussion of e-learning into the spotlight and will force even the most traditional universities to review the way they use technology and focus on quality. Even if MOOCs are mostly about informal learning the hype has made universities think about how they work with online learning in general and MOOC lessons will be applied to campus courses.
- The tyranny of university ranking systems that focus only on high profile research universities could soon be over as new more comprehensive ranking systems that include vital criteria such as quality of teaching, student satisfaction, internationalisation and regional engagement. One such system was highlighted in Barcelona, U-Multirank.
MOOCathon in progress
- The three session long MOOCathon that I ran together with my board colleagues Ulf Ehlers and Ebba Ossiannilsson was a success with all seats taken all the way. My fears that it would be like a real MOOC with standing room only at the start and then only a handful left at the end proved to be unfounded though we did have a number of participants who opted in and out during the day but the total number remained fairly constant. We are now compiling and reviewing all the ideas and comments from the session for a new post on the MOOC Quality Project site and hope to write an article about the whole process in the near future.
- Isn't it time for us to review and redefine our own terminology? We all use terms like e-learning, net-based learning, distance learning, online learning, technology enhanced learning etc sometimes interchangeably. If we are not clear about what we mean it's no wonder that other people get confused. Let's work together and define our terminology. At the same time I hope we can soon dump MOOC as a confusingly all-embracing term for many different types of learning arena.
|Main conference hall|
Let's hope the momentum can be maintained and we can have more detailed discussions next year when we meet in Crete, 7-9 May.
I also made a Scoopit magazine for the conference with many of the presentations and related articles as well as a selection of mini interviews I did with some of the key speakers and other participants.