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OpenCases: the AGH case study

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OpenCases is a study which is part of the OpenEdu Project. It is a qualitative study consisting of a review of literature on open education and nine in-depth case studies of higher education institutions, a consortium of universities, a private organisation and a national initiative. It analysed the rationale and enabling conditions for involvement in open education, open education activities, strategies, impact, challenges and prospects. The main outcome of this study is evidence that a large number of OER have reached a large group of learners. However, completion rates of MOOCs are low. Accreditation is not formalised and in general its impact on employability is not measured.

The Open AGH E-Textbooks initiative provides a good example of one approach to open education. Specifically, a public university is able to provide enhanced support to students and reduce students’ costs by creating an OER repository, which is made available to the public for free through the internet. The programme appears to have gained widespread acceptance throughout the University and interviewees mentioned that it has generated international interest. There are a few other points about the case that are particularly noteworthy:

• The philosophical commitment to the concept openness in education was reported to be widespread. This commitment is espoused by the University leaders, noted in its websites, and reflected in its use of open licensing and adoption of open source software. • The unique example of partnership with local schools shows that the benefits of OER in Higher Education do not need to be confined to Universities. In the case of AGH, collaboration with schools facilitates progression from secondary school to University, because students become more familiar with the University and what it offers. Other institutions might seek ways to work with external partners – including but not limited to secondary education. • The University has adapted the open education approach to fit its needs. Specifically, it has created resources that can be used in the context of blended learning as required by its degree programme, but the resources are shared so they may be used in other purposes.

The University is very active in national and international networks on open education and is presenting its views and research in these forums. These networks include the Open Education Consortium and the Coalition for Open Education. It will host the Open Education Global Conference (associated with the Open Education Consortium) in 2016.

The full document is available online at http://publications.jrc.ec.europa.eu/repository/bitstream/JRC101533/jrc101533_opencases%20case%20studies%20on%20openness%20in%20education.pdf.

This extract comes from the the OpenCases: Case Studies on Openness in Education document which states that reproduction is authorised provided the source is acknowledged. Source: Souto-Otero, M., Inamorato dos Santos, A., Shields, R., Lažetić, P., Castaño-Muñoz, J., Devaux, A., Oberheidt, S., Punie, Y. (2016) OpenCases: Case Studies on Openness in Education. Institute for Prospective Technological Studies, Joint Research Centre, European Commission. EUR 27937 EN, doi:10.2791/039825