EDEN 2014: Open Distance Learning: Doing Things Better: Doing Better Things

Alexandra Okada, Thursday 30 October 2014

EDENRW8, which was held in Oxford on 27-28 October 2014, provided a good overview of the current state of online, open and distance learning in Europe.  This event was organised by Professor Antonio Moreira Teixeira, President of EDEN from the Open University of Portugal, and Professor Belinda Tynan, Pro Vice-Chanchellor on Learning & Teaching at the Open University UK, with official Rapporteur, Professor Tony Bates.

Ale Okada presented “Developing 21st Century Skills through Colearning with OER and Social Networks”. Her research focuses on COLEARN, an open research network constituted by communities of educators, students and researchers who have been participating in various OER international projects, including OpenLearn (2006-2009), OpenScout (2010-2012) and weSPOT(2013-2015).This study presented a group of skills that emerged in the COLEARN network during the production of the research book “OER and Social Networks”. The coauthoring process was based on colearning approach with OER and social networks. Her work presented in EDEN was also published in the book “Key competences for colearning in the digital age” by WhiteBooks Publishers in Portugal, which was launched during the event.

Almost 150 participants from more than 30 countries presented over 40 selected research papers. There were lots of opportunity for deep dialogues and feedback on our research through very interactive sessions: team symposia, ‘research-speed-dating’ papers, demonstrations, poster sessions, a connect lounge and informal sessions.

Tony Bates presented great comments during the workshop and in his blog, which were summarised below. Research on Open Education:

  • Most practitioners – instructors, teachers and computer scientists  – are unaware of the major research findings and best practices about online  teaching a