Transform your course into a MOOC: Impossible mission ?

Professor Juan Quemada has been teaching software engineering at the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (UPM) for many years. He was approached by the Spanish MOOC platform MiriadaX, with the request to develop a MOOC .

He took the challenge. The decision paid off: over 200.000 persons have registered in the 8 editions of Juan’s MOOC since 2013. As Prof. Quemada found out, transforming a course into a MOOC was not a technology issue, but deals primarily with deeply revising the concepts and activities of the course, so as to keep the learners’ attention high and, at the same time, to replicate the intensity of the classroom teaching. Three years later, in 2016, Juan and his team consolidated the lessons learnt through the AMMIL methodology (Active Meaningful Micro Inductive Learning), that aimed to improve the quality and effectiveness of self-learning materials used in MOOCs, flipped classrooms and online courses. 

Do you want to know more? Check out Practice 2.2 in the OpenGame Handbook of Successful Open Teaching Practices.

Teaching foreign languages through the use of OER


Dr. Jula Titus, from Yale University, is currently using Open Educational Resources (OER) in her Russian language course , making them available through an openly accessible website. In this particular practice, OER are used to teach Russian by using poems, complemented by additional background information. They also include a glossary of terms, a series of exercises, an audio file of the poem, with direct access to detailed information relating to the poet. Everything is openly licensed and can be used in a variety of academic settings, from traditional to a blended classroom, even in online learning enviroments. Best of all,  it is easily adaptable to other foreign languages!

Do you want to know more? Check out Practice 2.3 in the OpenGame Handbook of Successful Open Teaching Practices.

Have you ever heard of “open flipped-classroom teaching”?

Professor Anna Förster from the University of Bremen in Germany has revolutionised the introductory course on Computer Science she delivers by adopting an inverted classroom format. She has rearranged the course structure, transforming face-to-face sessions into hackathons, where students  work in groups on practical exercises in sessions of 4-to-5 hours. Further, all the self-study content she produced for the course as well as the content developed by students during these Hackathons is released as OER. They are available on both the university learning platform and Youtube, therefore facilitating reuse and improvement by peer colleagues and students. 

Do you want to know more? Check out Practice 1.3 in the OpenGame Handbook of Successful Open Teaching Practices.

Can MOOCs be used in classroom-based teaching?

Despite MOOCs are usually designed as distance courses, they could also represent a great support to improve classroom teaching.  Educators at TU Delft, one of the world-leading MOOCs provider with over 2 million learners, are encouraged to use MOOCs in campus education, mostly in a blended model. As an example, one of the authors of the MOOC “Introduction to Water and Climate”, launched in 2015, found additional MOOCs from other universities which he considered useful to support his on-campus teaching and started using them using a flipped-classroom approach. 

Do you want to know what it takes to replicate this idea? Check out Practice 1.2 in the OpenGame Handbook of Successful Open Teaching Practices.

Online Course on Open Education, copyright, and open licensing

UNESCO has partnered with the OERu and the International Council for Open and Distance Education (ICDE) to provide free access to an online micro-course on Open education, copyright, and open licensing in a digital world (LiDA103). This professional development opportunity is open for all educators.

Commencing on 9 September 2020, the UNESCO / ICDE Chair in Open Educational Resources (OER) in New Zealand will facilitate a cohort offering of LiDA103 over two weeks. Registered participants will also receive free access to take an online competency test to earn the Certificate of Competency in Copyright and Creative Commons Licensing.


Further information



Open Education Global Conference 2020

The Taipei Medical University and Open Education Global, with the support of eCampusOntario, and Delft University of Technology, will organise of the 2020 Open Education Global Conference, which will take place online from 16th – 20th November 2020.

The conference theme will be Connecting the Global Open Education Community, and will be a great opportunity to discuss how opening education helps to achieve universal access, equity, innovation and opportunity in education.

The theme and structure of the conference intentionally aims to support the unanimously adopted Recommendation on Open Educational Resources (OER), approved during the 40th General UNESCO Conference in Paris, France.

The conference will address five different topics: a) Technologies for Open Education, b) Innovation through Moocs Practices; c) Application of Open Education Practices, Open Pedagogy and Open Education Research; d) Global Collaboration, Strategies, & Policies in Open Education; and e) Connecting Open Education to primary and Secondary Education.

The call for proposals deadline is scheduled for this coming June, the 30th 2020.

Nantes Pedagogical Initiatives Week

On Wednesday, 5th of February 2020, the European project for strategic innovation partnerships, Open Game, with leader Universidad de la Rioja (Spain) was presented to participants passionate about building serious games during Pedagogical Initiatives Week organised by the University of Nantes.

The OPENGAME project (Promoting open education through gamification) aims to contribute to the adoption of open educational resources and open educational practices among higher education educators in an innovative and motivating way, developing, testing and trivializing learning experiences through an open education form of play.

The UN works on this theme with a consortium of 5 European partner universities: Universidad de Salamanca (Spain), Universidade Abierta (Portugal), Duale Hochshule Baden-Wurttemberg (Germany), Dublin City University and the leader Universidad de la Rioja (Spain).

This project is in line with the priorities of the European Commission and UNESCO for the development of free education resources and practices and their promotion in the higher education sector.

Open Game Starts!

OpenGame is an Erasmus+ project intended to promote the inclusion of open educational resources and open educational practices into higher education. To achieve that goal, one of the results of this project will be a gamified experience for high education teachers, which will be based on real practices collected from other European colleges.

Further to provide a set of materials, this project intends to be an inspiration for teachers who do not know about open education or who are not motivated to include it into their daily teaching. Then, the three specific goals to promote the use of the open are: fostering awareness of goodness of open practices by providing teachers with other colleges’ practices; increase motivation by providing them with an attractive training environment; and give them the tools and capacities to put it into practice with their students.

In OpenGame, a set of 6 European Universities share and interchange their knowledge and experience, and work together to design and develop an attractive and effective gamified training program which broaden the introduction of the open philosophy into Universities.

The coordination of the project is in charge of Universidad Internacional de La Rioja (UNIR), in Spain. Also from Spain, Universidad de Salamanca; from France, Université of Nantes; from Portugal, Universidade Aberta; from Germany, Duale Hochschule Baden-Württemberg; and from Ireland, Dublin City University. And the consortium is completed by two important networks: the Open Education Consortium and the International Council for Open and Distance Education (ICDE). They form an interdisciplinary team which is already at work!

Actually, the kick-off meeting was held in Madrid in October this year, giving the opportunity to the partners to stablish the basis of work and to schedule the tasks to be reviewed in the next f2f meeting in Lisbon, next March. The engine is working!


ThingLink has released free 360-degree images to UNESCO World Heritage Sites

ThingLink,  2018 Winner of the UNESCO ICT in Education Prize,  has just released free 360-degree images to UNESCO World Heritage Sites and invites teachers to take part in the ThingLink Teacher Challenge 2019.  Teachers from all over the world will have an opportunity to include virtual trips in their lesson plans and create immersive learning experiences in multiple languages that will allow learners to discover different cultures in an interactive way.

More information about the Teacher Challenge

Check out ThingLink 360-degree images:

Ancient building complex in the Wudang Mountains, China

Sagarmatha National Park, Nepal

ThingLink is a web tool and an application, which allows teachers and students to easily enhance visual media with text, voice, photos, videos and 360-degree images with a view to increasing knowledge sharing and learning engagement.

You can find more information about ThingLink here and here

UNIR participates in Keystone third project meeting

Last 20-21st March, the third partners meeting of Keystone: Knowledge, Enterprise and Young People – supporting youth transitions in the new economy took place in Lisbon.

During the session, the partners revised the developed activities in the project since the last meeting, and they set the basis for the launch of the social innovation programme to be implemented with young people in risk of exclusion. The programme will be launched in Italy, Greece, UK and Portugal in the next weeks.

The meeting was hosted by the Portuguese partner, Portuguese Catholic University, and represented by the 5 project partners: Arcola Research (UK), Borgorete (IT), Mind2Inn (GR), Univ. Católica Portuguesa (PT), and UNIR (ES). The social innovation programme will be launch in the named ‘community lablets’, physical spaces were the young participants will work with their mentors, and virtually through several online tools implemented by UNIR.

The project started on February 2018 and has a duration of 24 months. It consists on the development of a collaboration programme for young people in risk of exclusion, with the objective of fostering their abilities and teaching them skills requested by the labour market.

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