Premiere Conference on Quality in Open Education and E-Learning Successfully Concluded
Conference organisers from LINQ and EFQUEL welcomed an international gathering of learning and quality experts in Rethymnon, Greece from May 7 to 9, 2014. The high level of engagement among the participants and their experiences in international education and learning research contexts facilitated a valuable exchange of knowledge and experience. Furthermore, accessible keynote speakers from diverse learning traditions and approaches provided participants with an intellectually intimate conference ambiance, tempering this exchange.
LINQ and EIF 2014 Participants Convened in Crete from May 7 to 9 to Discuss and Develop Quality for Opening up Education
This year’s dialogue on quality for opening up education was introduced through a preconference “European Workshop on Opening Up Education in Schools” on May 7, led by the European initiative Open Discovery Space (ODS). ODS presented their new portal and communities for and by more than 2,000 teachers as well as innovative e-Learning services and teaching tools. In the afternoon 60 teachers from the Greek Network of Rural Schools demonstrated best practices that were also highlighted in the Greek press and television.
After a warm greeting by the conference chairs Christian M. Stracke (LINQ) and Ulf-Daniel Ehlers (EIF) to open the conference on May 8, keynotes Vijay Kumar and Zhu Zhiting provided participants with an enthralling contrast between US and Chinese approaches to innovation in learning. Mr. Kumar, Senior Strategic Advisor for Digital Learning and Director of the Office of Educational Innovation and Technology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), was able to go into detail regarding his experiences guiding the creation of one of the most well-respected online learning repositories. Mr. Zhiting, Dean of the School of Open Learning and Education at East China Normal University, provided a fascinating counterpoint through an exploration of Smart e-Learning in China, student-centric and adaptive education linked across learning institutions.
Following the first day’s keynotes, participants joined one of the four different conference strands taking place from May 8 to 9, hosting workshops, papers, and project presentations. These strands elaborated various aspects of quality in open learning, such as overviews of available digital learning repositories, approaches towards learning quality and transparency, and even the collaborative creation of a MOOC on “Quality in E-Learning”. The most important result of one workshop, facilitated by Christian M. Stracke representing ICORE and Ignasi Labastida representing OEC, was the development of a “Declaration of Crete for Openness as a Default”, detailing that open and free publication should be the default for education and research results. Evaluation through social tagging and references should thereby address the quality of these publications instead of formal, closed review processes.
Keynote speaker June Breivik, Development Manager for e-Learning at the BI Norwegian Business School, initiated the second day of the conference with her insights into the future of MOOCs and what they mean for open education and quality. Pat Manson, Head of Unit of DG Connect at the European Commission, had the honour of holding the concluding keynote and in doing so tied the conference dialogue to progress in EU policy and support systems.
Immediate feedback related to the conference was overwhelmingly positive. The interactive sessions engaged participants so that all involved found them to be a productive, valuable experience. Conference organisers intend to build upon the experiences of this year’s conference and continue dialogue on quality in open education in 2015.
All presentations and the complete conference proceedings are available online free-of-charge. To access the conference proceedings, including all papers and project descriptions from the conference, please visit www.learning-innovations.eu. For presentations, consult the conference Slideshare at www.slideshare.net/eiflinq2014.
As always, the latest conference news and promotional opportunities can be found at the official LINQ website www.learning-innovations.eu, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/LINQConference and on Twitter at @LINQ_Conference and #EIFLINQ2014.
About the 3rd European Conference on
Learning Innovations and Quality:
“Changing the Trajectory –
Quality for Opening up Education”
The main goal of Learning Innovations for Quality Conference (LINQ), this year in conjunction with the EFQUEL Innovation Forum (EIF), was to bring together a variety of academics and professionals active in the field of innovations and quality in lifelong learning. LINQ 2014 supported an innovative exchange of the latest developments in education and training innovations and quality on both a European and international level. Potential points of access to this field included new learning methods and design, technology-enhanced learning (TEL), quality standards and certification, human resources development, competences and skills, digital resources, learning materials, and online collaboration and communities. LINQ 2014 took place at the Iberostar Creta Panorama Hotel in Rethymnon, Greece from May 7 to 9.
LINQ 2013 attracted hundreds of submissions from throughout Europe, as well as Asia, America, and Africa. LINQ 2013 thus showed a continuation in the high level of interest which made LINQ 2012 such a successful conference. LINQ 2014 continued this trend in partnership with the EIF 2014 conference (eif.efquel.org).
More information about LINQ online:
LINQ 2014 Contact:
University of Duisburg-Essen
Universitaetsstr. 9 (ICB)
45141 Essen, GERMANY
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