The open learning infrastructure is not only meant for Learners. Another important role is reserved for a role we call the “Content Creators”. Often active as a teacher, researcher and / or as a field specialist, these are the experts in their field.
They have multiple tools available, like the player to access content, the forum tool that links to discussing teaching materials and the chat tool which links to the open learning communities. But as a “Content Creator”, one tool is of particular importance. A tool we call the “Uploader”. In your role as creator of educational material, you can approach this tool, which currently still is in prototype phase. Via this tool, everyone will be able to either upload original stand-alone content, like a certain topic or even an entire course, or you could provide improvement suggestions for already existing content.
Connection with the Player The uploader is connected with the player, so your content ends up in the player. If you want to end up in officially validated curricula where people earn for example ECT’s, the responsible teacher from that institution or even a panel depending on the approach needs to approve your upload before integrating / accepting it in their course. On the one hand, this means new available validated and unvalidated courses. On the other hand, this also means that current courses can easily be improved or supplemented with for example relevant developments for that particular topic. We aim to make this upload process as simple as possible: you just click on the button and go through the user-friendly steps of the content process. So to be sure once more: how do you guarantee quality? If you want to be included in the curriculum of validated education, like for example in one of the Bachelor programs at THUAS, you will have to go through various standardised checks of that particular institution. This will be done in collaboration with the local teachers and their educational support services of the curriculum in which you would like to be integrated. If you are already a teacher yourself and are working at such an institutions, this entire process is a bit simpler. You know the routes and you can go through the standard procedures for ensuring your quality of the material and the spot in the curriculum. This luxury of one lecturer knowing all the answers is not always the cause though, nor desired, and often depends on the complexity of the subject or the necessity to connect with others to secure the quality of the content. Very small topics could be done by a single lecturer, but like with our blockchain course for example this was not desired, hence in the course of time we formulated an informal panel of lecturers, researchers, field specialists and public and private national and international organisations. Currently still centrally secured by the responsible lecturer of the course, but soon to be more decentralised.
New routes Each university could follow our way of doing things at the THUAS in The Hague, but could also do it their own way like the ATU does in Accra. This does result in different micro-certificates and badges for each region and is sometimes not desired. Like is the case with our collaboration with the national board of finance & control programs “LOOFC”, where we eventually expect to form panels of multiple universities that decide the standard per topic together resulting in interchangeable certificates and badges. But still with room for regional nuances. Work together, specialise or do a hybrid? The beauty: it is all up to the responsible entity providing the certificates or badges to determine this for their selves.
Upload on other open platforms as well! Fun fact: you don’t always need to upload the content via KOIOS. It is merely important for us that the content is uploaded in an open environment, like via our own servers, but multiple others like YouTube will do fine as well. Once more: this all depends on the Content Creator and their vision. Do note: an upload on a private environment like Blackboard is not suitable, because Learners would need to log in and in the of private learning environments like Blackboard, not everyone is allowed nor able to do this, resulting in for example a lack of reach of non-student Learners.
The process & challenge! For validated education it is important that quality and level are demonstrated. In this automated process, you will be asked, for example, what your teaching objectives are, what the levels are and how you test these, including the test matrix, which curriculum it ends up in, etc. Also particularly important: which competences are achieved according to which framework? And with what type of badges would you like to reward? Despite the fact that this is all technically possible now, this process naturally raises various fundamental educational challenges which we must jointly investigate and answer with collaborations between educational institutions and field partners.
However, we now have an unprecedented luxury that we can immediately test it, just like the player and other tools, and iterate in closed sandbox / test environments such as out THUAS minors. Even failing in this process we still have learned a lot about innovating education!