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April, 2016


April, 2016

EDEN Conference News

EDEN Annual Conference 2016
14-17 June 2016, Budapest

Re-Imagining Learning Environments



Visit the Online Registration Form to join the event.


The Conference programme includes plenaries, parallel sessions with paper presentations, workshops, short training courses, moderated poster, demo sessions and synergy strand. The programme structure can be seen here.

"We should focus in the short term more on MOOCs than on OER."

A special Oxford-Style Debate session will be held about the above statement of the standing of MOOCs and business models of openness. Debaters will be Paul Bacsich (Coordinator, Open Education Working Group, and Senior Consultant, SeroHE) and Stavros Panagiotis Xanthopoylos (Vice-President of the Brazilian Distance Education Association - ABED, Board member of Open Education Consortium).

Young Scholars Support

We are pleased to announce that EDEN’s support scheme to young scholars will be offered again. Two young researchers‘ attendance at the Conference will be supported with €600 each. The colleagues awarded should have a submission (paper or poster) accepted for presentation at the Conference. Read more...

New keynotes announced!

We are happy to announce that three new keynote presenters, Yves Punie, Michael G. Moore and Stavros Panagiotis Xanthopoylos will be joining the Annual Conference.

Sponsorship opportunities

EDEN is offering sponsorship packages linked to the event. For further details about sponsorship, please consult the Sponsorship Brochure and the Conference Secretariat.











9th EDEN Research Workshop
4-7 October 2016, Oldenburg

Forging new pathways of research and innovation in open and distance learning: Reaching from the roots

Building on its success of the research workshop in Oxford, EDEN is pleased to announce its Ninth Research Workshop organised in collaboration with the Institute of Education and the Center for Lifelong Learning at Carl von Ossietzky Universität Oldenburg in Oldenburg, Germany.

Invited keynote speakers include

  • Olaf Zawacki-Richter (Germany), Carl von Ossietzky Universität Oldenburg
  • Paul Prinsloo (South Africa), University of South Africa
  • Inge de Waard (UK), Open University UK
  • George Veletsianos (Canada), Royal Roads University
  • Adnan Qayyum (USA), Pennsylvania State University
  • Isa Jahnke (USA/Germany), University of Missouri
  • Som Naidu (Australia), Swinburne University of Technology




Community Update

New Vice President of EDEN

We are delighted to announce that Wim van Petegem was elected as Vice President of EDEN during the last Executive Commitee meeting in April, his position taking effect immediately.

Professor van Petegem is currently active at KU Leuven's Faculty of Engineering Technology as Expert in Multicampus & Engineering Education. He has been serving in the EDEN Executive Committee since 2009.



#EDENChat: Live from Budapest - an EDEN Conference Special is coming up in June

#EDENChat is a regular, scheduled online discussion event on Twitter where anyone can join in and contribute to the discussions on current issues in distance, open and e-learning. The latest #EDENChat on 23 March was entitled "Which personal technologies?", moderated by Steve Wheeler. Read the archived discussion on this dedicated web page where previous #EDENChats are listed with access to their storified archives.

The next #EDENChat will be the EDEN Conference Special - Live from Budapest on 14 June. Stay tuned for the anouncements by following us on Twitter.


Reinventing Universities: The critical role of leadership

In this guest post Belinda Tynan, former EDEN Executive Committee member, reviews the different styles of leadership, shares insights on her rich personal experiences as follower and leader and analyses the impact executive officers can have today in complex organisations such as a University in the midst of the current challenges of our field. Finally, she reminds us of the importance of context in institutional transformational processes.


Taking the Hype out of the Hype Cycle

In this guest post Mark Brown, EDEN Executive Committee member, discusses the deterministic narrative used in educational technology discourse and suggests an alternative new ecological perspective which builds up on the metaphor of digital resilience. His point being the importance of focusing innovation on the internal transformation of organizational culture instead of imposing it to educational institutions from the outside.


European Commission's Corner

New Erasmus+ website launched

Redesigned and mobile-friendly, the new Erasmus+ website has new sections written for individuals and organisations and pulls together information previously split across 4 websites.


Education as a tool for the economic integration of migrants

This new report describes the educational achievement of immigrants in Europe and examines the factors explaining why their educational outcomes differ with respect to non-immigrants. After investigating how the organization of school systems affects the education of immigrant children, the authors turn to the question as to whether the share of immigrants in schools affects the school performance of non-immigrants. Finally, they discuss whether the education of the population can help in mitigating anti-immigration sentiments, thereby favouring the integration process of immigrants. When reviewing the existing research, particular interest is given to studies that can identify causal effects, as it is the presence of these effects that can motivate policy intervention. While the focus is mainly on Europe, relevant evidence from the US is also considered.


How are Higher Education Institutions Dealing with Openness? A Survey of Practices, Beliefs, and Strategies in Five European Countries

This report presents results of a representative a survey of Higher Education institutions in five European countries (France, Germany, Poland, Spain and the United Kingdom) to enquire about their Open Education (OE) practices, beliefs and strategies (e.g MOOCs). It aims to provide evidence for the further development of OE to support the Opening Up Communication (European Commission, 2013) and the renewed priority on Open Education, enabled by digital technologies, of ET2020.


Projects, practices, showcases

Is privacy a showstopper for learning analytics?

The Learning Analytics Community Exchange - LACE project has just published a new LACE Review Paper: Is privacy a showstopper for learning analytics? The review considers the dangers that might be raised by learning analytics, explores the ethical perspectives on privacy and data which are relevant to these dangers, and then discusses a number of current proposals from institutions which propose how to avoid these difficulties.


Interviews from the Learning Analytics Experts Workshop in Amsterdam in March 2016

This Expert Workshop focused on the current state of the art of learning analytics in Europe and on prospects for development over the next 10-15 years. It forms part of a study that is considering the impact, potential and limits of learning analytics in order to provide recommendations for European education policy that will guide and support the take-up and adaptation of this technology to enhance education in Europe.

For interviews with experts and keynotes of LACE events visit the project website.


Two new research reports by the D-TRANSFORM project are available on digital transition of higher education institutions

The report Business models for opening up education is about the sustainability of MOOCs, OER and related online education approaches in higher education in Europe, designed to provide guidance for senior managers in higher education institutions, mainly in four Member States of the EU – France, Italy, Spain and UK – when they come to consider whether to deploy MOOCs and related approaches, and how to justify such decisions in terms of business models and strategic relevance.

The Open Educational Resource, a lever for digital transition of higher education? report starts with a reminder of historic and geographic perspectives related to OER and MOOC before providing a general background in terms of digital governance and digital services offered to teachers and students in the various studied institutions.

Both reports are available in English and in French.

Highlights from EDEN Members and Partners

European open and distance teaching universities decide on the large scale delivery of certified short learning programmes

European open and distance teaching universities decide on the large scale delivery of certified short learning programmes during the EADTU-EU Summit by signing a Memorandum of Understanding. Considering the modernisation and skills agenda of the European Commission and anticipating on next steps in the Bologna process, the Rectors of all 12 European open and distance teaching universities associated in EADTU have signed a MOU confirming their intent to promote short learning programmes (SLP) in their provisions and to valorise these as full-fledged learning paths. Also, they will mutually recognize modules and courses belonging to these programmes and develop joint short learning programmes with related virtual mobility schemes. Read more...


The University of the Future

The university of the future will be more digital, more flexible and more specialized. These are some of the main conclusions of a research project presented at the UOC Research Week on the university of the future, which for a year has been prepared by around fifteen researchers from the eLearn Center, a UOC online education research and innovation centre, in collaboration with around fifty international and MIT experts. Read more...


Success & the City

In the recent issue of Global Focus, the EFMD Business Magazine Ivan Bofarull looks at the role of cities in attracting and developing scarce human talent. Read more...

Amazon, Google and Apple - How these three big players are changing the higher education landscape

In the same week that Amazon acquired an e-learning company and announced that it intended to strengthen the value of its Kindle device by offering e-learning for schools, colleges and universities, Alphabet (Google’s parent company) became the largest company in the world by revenue. Google offers education supports from a free version of office products, through thousands of applications which run on any device to the devices themselves. And then there is Apple, which dominates the mobile device market and is extensively engaged in supporting open educational resources (OER) for learning through iTunes University.

Three questions come to mind when considering these developments:

  • What are the plans and strategic intentions of these companies?
  • How disruptive might they be?
  • Will their growth and development change the post-secondary landscape?

Let’s explore.

Publications and Events

OEB 2016: Reduced participation rate for EDEN Members

This year's theme of the Online Educa Berlin conference is Owning Learning and the new world of the empowered learner is guaranteed. Contribute your stories, thinking, experiences, expertise and research: the Call for Proposals for OEB is open until June 1st, 2016

EDEN is joining the event as Association Partner. For EDEN members OEB participation is available on a reduced participation rate. Please, contact Krisztina Tátrai to receive your registration code and benefit from a reduced conference fee of 600 € (instead of 790 €).


Trends Shaping Education 2016

Did you ever wonder if education has a role to play in stemming the obesity epidemic sweeping across all OECD countries? Or what the impact of increasing urbanisation might be on our schools, families, and communities? Or whether new technologies really are fundamentally changing the way our children think and learn?

Trends Shaping Education examines major trends affecting the future of education and sets the background on upcoming challenges for policy makers and education providers alike. This work does not give conclusive answers: it is not an analytical report nor is it a statistical compendium, and it is certainly not a statement of OECD policy on these different developments. It is, instead, a stimulus for thinking about major tendencies that have the potential to influence education, and conversely, the potential of education to influence these trends.


US university dominance challenged by new ranking

From University World News

Supported by the European Commission, U-Multirank claims to be the largest global university ranking. This year it looks in detail at the diversity of strengths of more than 1,300 universities from some 90 countries, challenging the United States’ dominance of the international university rankings.

While North American universities dominate research performance, the picture is more varied when it comes to knowledge transfer, international orientation, regional engagement, and teaching and learning. Read more...


Schooling Redesigned: Towards Innovative Learning Systems

The report draws as core material on analyses of innovative learning initiatives from about 25 countries, regions and networks. It describes common strengths around a series of Cs: Culture change, Clarifying focus, Capacity creation, Collaboration & Co-operation, Communication technologies & platforms, and Change agents. It suggests that growing innovative learning at scale needs approaches rooted in the complexity of 21st century society and "learning eco-systems". It argues that a flourishing middle level of change around networks and learning communities provides the platform on which broader transformation can be built.

This report is not a compendium of "best practices" but a succinct analysis presenting original concepts and approaches, illustrated by concrete cases from around the world. It will be especially useful for those designing, researching or engaging in educational change, whether in schools, policy, communities or wider networks.


Perception and Reality: Measuring Digital Skills in Europe

How do you measure digital skills? How do you work out whether a candidate for a job has the skills and competences that they will need to do the work? Letting people self-assess their skills can seem like a simple solution, but it brings a big risk that they will misjudge their abilities. This new position paper from ECDL Foundation shows the danger of relying on self-assessment to demonstrate digital skills.


Learning in Virtual Worlds: Research and Applications

Three-dimensional (3D) immersive virtual worlds have been touted as being capable of facilitating highly interactive, engaging, multimodal learning experiences. In this authoritative collection (the book is also available as a free pdf download), a team of international experts outlines the emerging trends and developments in the use of 3D virtual worlds for teaching and learning. They explore aspects of learner interaction with virtual worlds, such as user wayfinding in Second Life, communication modes and perceived presence, and accessibility issues for elderly or disabled learners. They also examine advanced technologies that hold potential for the enhancement of learner immersion and discuss best practices in the design and implementation of virtual world-based learning interventions and tasks.


The State of Open Universities in the Commonwealth: A perspective on performance, competition and innovation

The report critically examines specialist open and distance learning (ODL) universities. Institutions such as The Open University (UKOU), Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) and the University of South Africa (UNISA), have pioneered instructional and support methods, opening pathways for many non-traditional students. What is the relevance of these institutions in a world where most colleges and universities now offer ODL courses and programs?


On the Public Good of Public Research Universities

Public research universities are anchors of stability and growth in their regio

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