2nd GO-GN Seminar 

April 21 – 25 in Ljubljana, Slovenia

In conjunction with OCWC Global Conference

See video lectures and slides.

Visit the 2n GO-GN Seminar portal clicking here.

Visti the OCWC Global Conference clicking here.

The first GO-GN seminar finished with success

The feedback from the participants to the first Global OER Graduate Network seminar was reallly positive and enriching. The following points were higlighted In the wrap-up meeting:

  • Joined meeting with ROER group was really useful, specially their workshops on statistics methods, creativo commons, etc.
  • Students reported that the replaning of the PhD, and the different perspectives offered were really helpful.
  • Students reported that the PhD presentations helped them to Identify weak point on the research
  • Networking. Put faces to the names.
  • Some people were isolated in their research …and in the location. Here they find people that speak "in the same language" (interest topic).
  • Timing and combination with the other groups
  • It is face to face. And not online.

As a consequence of this work, different intereactions are happening. Share your experience on what the first event triggered in your research posting a blog entry!

The Global OER Graduate Network (GO-GN) group at the 1st Seminar (Dec 2013)
The presentations are alrealdy available here. We have also made them available in slideshare. Soon will follow the video recordings.
live as you learn

I believe it’s important to live as you learn and want to see if we can start a conversation about that…. Let me take three examples:

  1. Have you signed the Cape Town Declaration on Open Education? http://www.capetowndeclaration.org/


  1. Have any of you ever used the WikiEducator? http://wikieducator.org

I know that there are many different tools available but I want to explore this possibility but wonder how to start….is it an idea to collaborate on a mutual project? ...should we suggest a webinar on this or what do you think?


  1. Have you published in open access journals? I believe it is a problem that most of the open journals have low impact factor, especially when you are a PhD-student. I have published in “closed journals” that turned out to be “hybrid journals”. Recently I contacted the two different editors and tried in this way to get the right to publish in parallel journals but the editors rejected. They pointed at the possibility to pay for parallel publishing in open access. But to me this plays in the hands of the “closed journals”. I find it ridiculous that journals like Open Learning are closed. Maybe we as a network of PhD students have the power to put pressure on editors and one suggestion is to take the initiative to write a letter to the editor of Open Learning? Please, publish your views on that…

It is a pleasure to be in Ljubljana attending the second GO-GN conference. We miss Bernard, Glenda and Deepak that coundn’t make it this time……

All the best


From eMOOCs2014 and Onward: Partnerships to Open Up Higher Education

The eMOOCs2014 has been a trigger of insight on best practices to expand positive impact of MOOCs to underprivileged settings. One of the emerging practices that were discussed at the conference is partnerships between MOOC producers and stakeholders in developing settings’ education. Such partnerships have already started: EPFL that hosted the EMOOCs is already partnering with the International Institute of Water and Environmental Engineering (Burkina Faso) and the Ecole National Supérieure Polytéchnique Yaounde (Cameroon) for experimenting MOOCs in these African institutions. Representatives from those African partners also attended the conference and one of them presented as a panellist.

EPFL also expressed the intention to expand its partnership in Africa. This intention emerged in the key note address from the EPFL President who very accurately articulated the enormous need for higher education on the continent. From the same conference, an EPFL official planned a visit to Tanzania and Rwanda to explore possibilities of expanding partnerships in those countries.  

However, the expression of the intention of such partnerships did not pass without scepticism. One of the most frequent questions in MOOC, OER and Open education conferences and webinars re-emerged in the conference. “Can’t such partnerships mask a hidden agenda of extending Neo Colonialism or Cultural Imperialism?” A similar question had been asked in the Cape Town Global Congress on Intellectual Property, Innovation and the Public Interest on 12 December 2013, and similar concerns had been repeatedly expressed in almost all webinars on MOOCs and OER I attended. Tendency has, however, been avoiding this question. Its frequency probably hints that this is an issue that need an open discussion.

My initial thought on the concern is that it all depends on the degree of freedoms offered to the end users. On the one hand, if a MOOC producer releases the content and wants to impose the way the content should be used, then, the fear of Neo Colonialism or Cultural Imperialism would make sense, and such partnership proposal should probably be declined. On the other hand, however, when the end users have freedoms to transform the content, redistribute it using media that are appropriate to create value to learners in their respective settings, create from the content derivative work and share it, then, the concerns of Neo Colonialism or Cultural Imperialism would have no significant foundation. This would rather be a cross-cultural exchange of content, skills and expertise that fosters innovation by both MOOC producers and users, both in developed and developing settings.  Most MOOCs in their original models and formats as offered on various platforms are not ready yet for having a widespread impact on many developing settings. More work from local experts is needed to adapt these courses to learners in those settings. Fortunately, this seems to be consent between most Western MOOC producers and stakeholders in developing countries who are interested in creating partnerships.

That said, however, some restrictions may be made on the content to avoid its abusive uses. For instance, any recipient’s attempt to prevent others from having access to the content should be prohibited. This would probably help in using the content to expand access to high quality education to more learners who would not otherwise be included in education system in their respective settings.

GO-GN members meet at EMOOCs 2014 in Lausanne

The EMOOCs 2014 conference marks the calendar half-way point between our research seminar in Capetown and the upcoming seminar attached to the OCWC conference in Ljubljana. So it was a joyous reunion for those GO-GN members directly involved in MOOC research this morning in the Rolex Learning Center of EPFL in Lausanne. Fred Mulder is part of the program commission, of course, Bernard Nkuyubwatsi is presenting a paper, Marta Cáceres Piñuel is attending as part of a large Spanish contingent and yours truly is here to listen and learn.

EPFL's Center for Digital Education under the leadership of Pierre Dillenbourg is succesfully establishing itself as a European center of gravity in the MOOC discourse as exhibited both by the turn-out of many influential stakeholders and the unbridled enthusiasm in the opening keynote. Only six months have passed since the first EMOOCs conference here, but in the MOOC galaxy, that is a small eternity. On the one hand, some of the early enthusiasts have been backpedalling recently, on the other hand, the wave is barely reaching mainstream in many parts of Europe (such as my native Germany). Take a look at the research landscape in the conference proceedings.

"Of course, we are not saying it is all great!", said Pierre Dillenbourg introducing the first speaker, EPFL president Patrick Aebisher, intending to set the tone for the coming three days: "It is very difficult, just like any ambitious educational project would be." It became clear during Aebischer's review of the past year's MOOC experiences, however, that EPFL intends to be at the forefront of what it sees as an impending revolution, with a clear commitment to the long haul. This includes a strong focus on Africa, where EPFL has a distinct advantage, being able to offer highly reputable content in both French and English.

The conference attempts to structure a fluid, multi-facetted debate into four broad tracks, with many speakers appearing in more than one: policy, research, experience and business (models). This may serve as an indicator of how all-encompassing this rapidly developing topic is for institutions, policy-makers, practitioners and students in European higher education.

Sessions include everything from hands-on video production tips and problems of certification all the way to panel discussion on mutli-stage governance mechanisms for national and EU policies on open online education. I was quite baffled at the early-morning pre-conference session, to find a lecture hall packed and 150 mid-career academics listening in rapt attention to the do's and don'ts of setting up a studio and organzing smooth production processes vor educational video.


Upcoming events on OER
UNESCO. Mobile Learning WeekMLW 2014 will explore how mobile technologies can help teachers work more effectively in different contexts.
Paris, France from 17 to 21 February 2014.
Registration is now open for the Symposium on 18 and 19 February, and can be completed online.
The third annual Open Education Week takes place from March 10-15, with both online and locally hosted events around the world.
Submissions by 28 February 2014
Hosted by Newcastle University at the Centre for Life
Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom
28-29 April 2014
More information: www.oer14.org
Enquiries: enquiries@medev.ac.uk Twitter: @oer14
      The call for papers is open, deadline is December 1.
On the Creative Commons workshop at ROER4D

This post aims to make visible some of the ideas shown at the Creative Commons licensing & open the workshop by Timothy Vollmer 11st December 2013 in Cape Town ( South Africa ) . First seminar of the GO- GN (Global Graduate OER Network) of UNESCO. http://portal.ou.nl/en/web/go-gn-event/programme

Nowadays, the familiar encyclopaedia or the city library are not the main source of information when generating learning contents. The information available on the Internet is not a scarce source and the number of resources available for reuse in subsequent content is incalculable. However, most authors of contents do not sufficiently know the different types of licenses at the time to create, re- mix and share content. Often happens that images, text or other resources available on the Internet are not repurposed by not knowing how they should be cited in the new content, and fear that a policy punishment might emerge from reusing.

This blog entry aims to describe in a simple way the types of open licensing to encourage creativity, sharing and innovation OER (Open Educational Resources). While this post is focused on educational content, licenses apply to the creation of any type of content, educational or not. OERs have been defined by the UNESCO as eaching or learning resources in any medium, digital or otherwise, that reside in the public domain or have been released under an open license that permits no-cost access, use, adaptation and redistribution by others with no or limited restrictions". Inspired on this definition, it is necessary to identify these resources in a framework of open and internationally known licenses.

Creative Commons develops, supports and legal and technically manage a number of licenses that maximizes digital creativity, sharing and innovation. The site provides educational information http://creativecommons.org/ as to the different types of existing Licensing. These licenses are internationally accepted and gradually more popular on the Internet. The following url [ http://creativecommons.org/choose/ ] proposes a wizard where you can manually scan existing licenses , the icon and the regulatory text that applies in each case. Of particular practical use your image search, audio resources, etcetera available http://search.creativecommons.org/ .

All Creative Commons licenses are combinations of the 4 elements:

  • Attribution / (BY): The licensee has the right to copy, distribute, perform the work and make derivative works provided s/he recognize and cites the work in the manner specified by the author or the original licensor .
  • Non-commercial / (NC): The licensee has the right to copy, distribute and display the work and make derivative works for purposes provided they are not commercial .
  • No-derivatives / (ND): The licensee only has the right to copy, distribute and present verbatim copies of the work and has the right to produce and modify the original to derivative works.
  • Share-alike / (SA): The licensee has the right to distribute derivative works under a license identical to the license that governs the original work.

These four elements can be combined so that the licenses are illustrated in Figure 2:

Figure 2 . Existing licenses Creative Commons

The inverted pyramid illustrated in Figure 3 represents the hierarchy in levels of restriction when defining a content license . The top " MOST OPEN" is the least restrictive license. The basis of the same " LEAST OPEN" represents the most restrictive

Figure 3. Levels of freedom Creative Commons licenses

The figures illustrated in this post were are part of the material presented and shared in the workshop:

Creative Commons licensing & open the workshop by Timothy Vollmer 11st December 2013 in Cape Town ( South Africa ) . First seminar of the GO- GN (Global Graduate OER Network) of UNESCO. http://portal.ou.nl/en/web/go-gn-event/programme

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GO-GN is a member of the Open Education Consortium

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Paula Cardoso

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Glenda Cox
South Africa

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Francisco Iniesto

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Gino Fransman
South Africa

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Igor Lesko
South Africa

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Tim McNamara
Stanford University

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Bernard Nkuyubwatsi

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Dimitar Poposki

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Jos Rikers
Open Universiteit

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Bernardo Tabuenca

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Nicolai van der Woert

The GO-GN initiative is supported through a grant by the Netherlands Ministry of Education, Culture and Science.