Welcome to the Open Education Week (4-8 March)

28 Feb 2019

The annual International Open Education Week is about to start! Founded in 2013 by the Open Education Consortium, the goal of the Open Education Week is to raise awareness and showcase impact of open education on teaching and learning worldwide. What’s in it for you?


Why is open education important?

  • Open Education builds upon the Open Science philosophy to share information and knowledge with those who have no or difficult access to (higher) education.
  • Open Education has the potential to contribute to ‘inclusiveness’, flexible and adaptive education and quality of education.
  • Education becomes FAIR (findable, accessible, interoperable and reusable).
  • Students can get additional information, viewpoints and materials to help them succeed and teachers can find new ways to help students learn.
  • Researchers can share data and develop new networks and professionals can learn things that will help them on the job.


What is in it for UM?

‘Going open’ does not necessarily refer to MOOCs or mean that you need to offer education to the whole world. You can also start by making your own material, course, or curriculum available to everyone on campus or invite students to search for additional and updated material on the internet on top of what you offer. Actually fitting the Problem-Based Learning (PBL) tradition very well, by expecting students to (learn to) search and judge (open) educational resources beyond a literature list, and from a multidisciplinary perspective. Interesting to know: the more courses, educational videos and other material are shared under Creative Commons, the less dependent teachers and learners become of publishers.

Similar to the Open Access development, university libraries often are the ones to take the lead in creating awareness and supporting open initiatives at faculties.

At UM, the library plays an essential role in managing and offering learning materials and facilitating the distribution and learning activities around these resources in the learning management system and the reference list. Or regarding tooling like FeedbackFruits, which helps to annotate and interact within the learning materials. For that reason, the UM Executive Board has delegated the Library to the Digital Teaching & Learning Materials zone of the VSNU-SURF Acceleration Plan, a four-year plan focusing on educational innovation with ICT.


Open Education initiatives at UM

We share open educational practices taking place at the UM on the dedicated webpage on Open Education. In the open education week, we put some new initiatives in the spotlight. This years’ selection:


  • AnatomyTOOL project
    Maastricht University (UM) joined forces with Leiden University Medical Center (LUMC) and other Dutch and Flemish anatomy departments. Their aim is to develop an open platform in which quality-controlled anatomy content and learning resources can be made freely available. In the second phase (started September 2018), the university library facilitates in building a curated collection with specific attention to metadating and copyright issues and creating awareness on creating, sharing and reusing open material and searching for staff and selecting qualitative open educational resources for students.
  • DariahTeach-platform for Digital Arts & Humanities
    The DariahTeach platform is a multilingual, open source, community-driven platform for high quality teaching and training materials for the digital arts and humanities. The platform (still in beta) has been launched on 23 March 2017 in Lausanne, Switzerland, with four courses and two workshops, originally developed as part of an Erasmus+ program. FASoS has obtained a new grant to support the further development of the platform. Facilitated by the library, they are currently focusing on developing online teaching and training for students of the cultural and creative industries.
  • Open badges at FSE
    Together with the library, UNU-MERIT and MGSoG are currently creating open badges for extra-curricular courses students (also from other faculties) can choose to attend. They make use of the open Badgr infrastructure created last year by SURF in a proof-of-concept in which the UM also participated. Read more on open badges.
  • Online module on digital information skills
    In the light of a growing amount of available resources on the Internet, the library created a tutorial, which provides information, tips and tricks in finding relevant and trustworthy audio-visual learning materials on the worldwideweb. There are currently two versions (placed in the context of FHML and FASoS), but we can of course discuss a tailor-made version for your faculty. Contact Henrietta Hazen via Ask your Librarian.

Author: Gaby Lutgens, Team coordinator Blended PBL Support 


This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) License.


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