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This weblog is part of the OpenCourseWare project of Delft University of Technology. We will inform you about updates of OCW-website and other interesting things around OpenCourseWare.
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Being involved in open & online education has reignited the spark to improve learning for students in the oourses we offer on campus in many ways. Using existing materials developed by others is one of them. Here’s a story from Prof. dr. ir. Herman Russchenberg, who is involved in both a DelftX MOOC on Water and Climate and several campus courses, where he introduced the Flipped Classroom principle based on video’s developed for the MITx MOOC on Global Warming Science in the Master course on Climate Change: Science and Ethics.
Climate Change: Science and Ethics: A flipped approach
Prof. Russchenberg is about to offer the Master course in Climate Change: Science and Ethics in flipped format for the third time. The course used to be a course in the traditional lecture model: students were asked to prepare for their lectures and the full contact time was used by offering traditional lectures, offered by the professor. However, students did not seem to prepare very well. And the hours on which the course was taught, were not very stimulating either. The combination lead to students staying away from the lectures.
‘In the time where we were developing the MOOC on Water and Climate, we decided to change the course setup. We applied the Flip the classroom model, where students needed to prepare before class starts and we applied more interactive elements in the contact hours’, Prof. Russchenberg mentions.
‘In preparation for the Water & Climate MOOC I was looking for MOOCs already offered on the subject and I stumbled upon a MOOC offered by MITx on Global Warming. The video’s offered there were not immediately useful for the MOOC we were creating, but I remembered the video’s. And in redesigning the master course we decided to use some of these video’s. Students need to study the video’s before class. In class, we would not repeat the contents, but only spend time on the ‘white spots’, to explain on the connection between the MITx video’s and the context of our course. After that we used FeedbackFruits <https://feedbackfruits.com/> to stimulate active discussions and interaction with peers to process the contents on a deeper level and have side discussions as well. This new setup really led to a more engaging atmosphere.’
Besides the flipped setup, students also need to do practical work in the course. This practical work involves modeling with an online tool, with which you can model the impact of climate elements on earth. First students discuss what they expect to happen when a certain intervention is applied, asking students to actively process the theory they studied. Later, the assumptions were tested by using the tool to model the problem, and results were compared.
Using MITx video’s in TU Delft Campus Education
Prof. Russchenberg stumbled upon the MITx video’s used in the TU Delft Master course by chance, in preparation for the development of the DelftX MOOC on Water & Climate. The video’s would fit the course content-wise, but not all of them, and not the entire MOOC. So Prof. Russenberg decided to offer the video’s in the university’s learning environment to his students. ‘The entire MOOC was too much, went too deep, for our students in the course time we have in this course. And not all the topics covered are covered the way we like it.’
‘Most students liked the material. But they do complain that the studyload for the course is too high and it is too much. But in fact it isn’t. Students just have to actually meet the hours required for the course related to the amount of ECTS. Where in the past students could get away with not preparing for the lectures and study for their exams just in time, the current setup does not allow this anymore. The workload seems to have shifted a bit to students, but the amount of EC was the same. Students now have to make the hours that stand for the EC’s.’
‘Also, students seem to appreciate the current structure as a whole very well. Students seem to have a better understanding thanks to this structure. The course contents stick better, since there is always interaction, students need to actively participate, and they get to understand the contents much better.’
‘This is the third year we run the course in this way and it works well. You get a very lively atmosphere in the classroom among students. And by using the video’s offered by MITx I save time. Initially it took me some time to redesign the course. But now I reap the benefits. I still spend my hours to prepare my lectures, but it gave me time: I don’t have to offer the lecture anymore, and can go into discussions more. I can go deeper into the contents or talk about it in a wider context.’
From day one the mission of KienHoc was clear and simple: to make world-class education accessible for every Vietnamese. Kienhoc believes that high-quality education should and could be made totally free, or at minimum costs. Eight Massive Open Online Courses from renowned western Universities have been translated to Vietnamese. This has already enriched the learning experience of over 2000 people who had limited exposure to such high-grade content previously. This is a story about how open sharing of education (via Creative Commons licensing) and crowdsourcing impacts the lives of thousands of learners by increasing access to education.
Kienhoc is a Vietnamese nonprofit organisation, founded in September 2015, by a team of young Vietnamese with a passion for education. At that time, MOOCs (massive open online courses) had already become mainstream through platforms like Coursera, edX, Udacity, and Udemy offering thousands of online courses to millions of people worldwide. There was enthusiasm about their potential to democratise education for every person on this planet.
The problem was that most of these courses are delivered in English, and it can be an enormous challenge to study in a foreign language, especially for highly technical subjects. They realised that these incredibly rich and wonderful contents remain distant to the people most in need, in developing countries like Vietnam. So the founders of Kienhoc decided to team together to change that situation by closing this gap.
Standing on the shoulders of giants
Kienhoc: “Our current approach is to stand on the shoulders of giants when it comes to sourcing educational contents. We take courses (in English) offered by top universities under the Creative Commons license, which lets us reuse and adapt the materials for the local audience. Admittedly, this model has a limitation as at the moment only a handful of MOOCs have such a license. This is regrettable because making MOOCs truly open, like the second ‘O’ in its title, can bring huge benefits to both universities and learners. Releasing educational materials under an open license is unlikely to put any extra burden on universities as most MOOC courses are free to audit, for example on platforms like edX and Coursera. Yet doing so will put the community in the driver’s seat and allows them to not only translate but also create derivative or additional works that are more friendly toward learners like ours. So we see this as a very practical solution to democratising college and higher education.”
A community of learners, translators and experts
Kienhoc: “Translation of courses is done via crowdsourcing with the help of hundreds of volunteers. We place a very strong emphasis on the quality of the output of this process: All translations are reviewed by subject-matter experts, whom we call course advisors, to assure that there is no loss in the translated versions, and that the new contents are comprehensible for learners. Experts are also responsible for designing a syllabus that fits the interests of local learners, including the creation of quizzes, assignments and exams.”
“Initially they are recruited from our academic network, but increasingly more experts choose to work with us because they believe in our cause. They may be postdoctoral researchers, university lecturers, or someone who has expertise in a certain field. They live in Vietnam or overseas in different continents. But they all do this out of their passion for spreading knowledge and doing so as volunteers. Another aspect we care about is learners’ experience and their participation in a course. For this we are actively promoting course discussions using a common study group on Facebook, which is frequently monitored by our team and course advisors. Soon we will try other approaches such as having online sessions where students can interact and have their questions answered by instructors in real time.”
The first courses
Kienhoc officially launched their first two courses in March 2016, which were the popular CS50 – Introduction to Computer Science from Harvard, available on edX, and the first module in the self-paced course Fundamentals of Biology from MIT, available on MIT OCW. Since then they have released six additional courses, among which two courses from TU Delft: Frame101x – Framing: how politicians debate, and Ex101x – Data analysis: take it to the MAX(), and others like Justice from Harvard; Fundamentals of Biology Part II from MIT; Introduction to Psychology and Financial Markets from Yale.
A number of factors contributed to this initial selection of course catalog, most notably the limited availability of Creative Commons courses and accessibility to subject-matter experts, who had to be recruited but were persuaded by their mission. In the near future Kienhoc plans to have more liberal art courses, including those in social science that are in high demand.
Kienhoc: “We would also like to have a few foundational courses for each field of study so that anyone who is interested can start their journey from scratch with us. Furthermore, more in-depth programs like a specialisation or series on Coursera and edX are also being considered.”
Kienhoc: “So far we have got some encouraging feedback, and our team would like to thank our wonderful community of volunteer translators, collaborators, reviewers, and advisors, for making it possible. At the time of writing we have over 2,000 active learners who registered over 3,500 enrolments in the eight courses. Most students are aged from 18 to 25, a sizable number are with a bachelor or higher degree. The majority of users live in Vietnam but we do see people residing in other countries enrolling in our courses, too. Together they have watched over 83,000 hours of video lectures. Our two most popular courses are CS50 and Psychology, the latter attracted over 1,000 learners within the first day of launching.”
“One of our initial concerns was that learning through English lectures with Vietnamese captions may not be effective. So we spoke to our users and contrary to our thought, most of them said that was not an issue. In fact they are happy that they can now study with subtitles whereas before a significant amount of time had to be spent on the language matter. Students are also very excited to experience Western education and pleased with the content which has not been accessible to them previously.”
This week, during the annual Open Education Global Conference, TU Delft received an Open MOOC award for the Pre-University Calculus MOOC.
“The Open Education Awards for Excellence provide annual recognition to outstanding contributions in the global Open Education Consortium community. These awards recognize distinctive open education sites, technological innovations, notable open courses, and exemplary leaders in Open Education worldwide. The Open Education Awards for Excellence are annually issued by the Open Education Consortium.”
We are very proud to receive this award as a recognition for our efforts to enable global learning in the field of Science, Design and Engineering. And we are very proud of the course team responsible for developing this course.
This award is a great new addition to the awards TU Delft has won in the past. An overview is available on our new OpenCourseWare website.
“TU Delft started sharing Open Educational resources back in 2007. Now, TU Delft Open Education has matured in such a way that we are ready to take the next step: offering credits for MOOCs.
As I mentioned before, offering credits for MOOCs is a big step for brick and mortar universities.
Currently TU Delft aims at setting up an alliance with several international partners, like the University of Queensland, the University of British Columbia, EPFL, Rice University and Australian National University. Their shared ambition is to recognize and integrate MOOCs in (formal) campus education. This would mean that in the future any student registered at one of the partner universities can take any MOOC offered by these universities and be awarded formal Credits for it.
Please join us at the Open Education Seminar (March 10th, 14:00h, TU Delft campus)! During the Seminar:
- We will share our vision on the next steps in Open Education, supported by our alliance partners.
- The opening presentation will be followed by a range of guest speakers who will share their experience and ideas about bringing Open Education closer to formal education, leading to an increase in quality of learning for our students.
- The Seminar will be closed with a debate, where everyone present can share his or her opinion and vision.
The idea of free and open sharing in education is not new. In fact, sharing is probably the most basic characteristic of education: education is sharing knowledge, insights and information with others, upon which new knowledge, skills, ideas and understanding can be built. TU Delft has been active in the field of Open Education since 2007, when the OpenCourseWare program was started. Since 2013 the portfolio has been complemented with Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), reaching nearly a million learners worldwide. Now, it is time to take the next step in Open Education.
During the Open Education Week (March 7 – 11), we will organise several workshops and an Open Education Seminar at Delft University of Technology, where you will learn more about the basics of Open Education, how to connect and/or integrate Open Education in formal education and how you could use open education to increase the learning experience for your campus students.
If you do not have time to visit all the events, use this short overview to make it easier to choose:
Learn about the basics of Open Education
Would you like to know more about what Open Education is and what sets it apart from online education? Then we’d recommend to register for:
- Action Lab: getting started with Open Education – Monday, March 7th, 14:00 – 16:00h
- Open Cinema – Wednesday, March 9th, 10:00 – 11:00 / 12:00 – 13:00 or 15:00 – 16:00h
Learn more about connecting and integrating Open Education in formal education
Would you like to learn how you could use open education to increase the quality of your course, how to enhance the learning experience of your students or what plans the university has in this area, we’d recommend to register for:
- Action Lab: Create your own course design – Tuesday, March 8th, 14:00 – 16:00h
- Open Education Seminar & Debate – Thursday, March 10th, 14:00 – 17:00h
Learn more about options to make your own recordings
- Visit the New Media Center – Monday, March 7th or Tuesday March 8th, 10:30 – 12:00h
We hope to see you there!
a new course of the master Engineering and Policy Analysis published in TU Delft OpenCourseWare: Technology Development and Impact Assessment.
This course is also available as online master course and will start the 18th of April 2016.
The course gives knowledge of and insight into
(1) technology development from a societal perspective,
(2) a wide range of impact assessment procedures and methods to assess and regulate the potential impact of technological projects, programmes and technology policies, and
(3) ethical theories and tools to judge and manage social consequences of these initiatives.
Ad (1) To overcome one-sided Technology Push and Market Pull approaches of technological innovation, a (quasi-)evolutionary model of technological variation and social selection will be presented. Relevant concepts are ‘socio-technical system’ (technology plus actors involved) and ‘technological regime’ (rule-set). Consequently, a simple Technology Assessment step-by-step plan will be introduced as a base for the methods and techniques of Impact Assessment and as a base for a comprehensive ethical evaluation.
Ad (2) New technology-related plans, programmes and policies have all kinds of effects, including ‘second order’ effects, which should be assessed and managed in accordance with social aims and expectations. Hereto the course presents four different forms and applications of impact assessment:
– Environmental Impact Assessment
– Social Impact Assessment
– Social Cost Benefit Analysis
– Risk Analysis.
Ad (3) Ethical theories and tools will be presented to analyse and balance new technologies and the range of effects that could be expected on the basis of the series of impact assessments. This leads to an ethical-strategic perspective for action and transition (Strategic Impact Assessment).
Several theoretical viewpoints concerning the interrelationship and dynamics of technology and society, resulting in a view of co-evolution and co-construction of technology
– The conceptual difference between goals and effects and between scoping and screening
– A step-by-step plan on the basis of which a series of impact assessments and associated ethical evaluations can be carried out
– The existence, application, requirements and structure of a number of impact assessment methods, esp.:
• Environmental Impact Assessment
• Social Impact Assessment
• Social Cost Benefit Analysis
• Risk Analysis
– How to match the demands of a specific policy context with the appropriate modifications of an assessment technique
– Ethical theories and tools for reflecting on the gathered Impact Assessment data- Understanding the (ethical) assumptions underlying the above methods and their inherent limitations
– How to draw conclusions on the basis of the ethical analysis in terms of Strategic Impact Assessment
After taking the module the student will be able to:
– Identify and redefine problems in which developments of technology and society are intertwined, i.e. in terms of socio-technical systems and technological regimes
– Delineate system and context as well as goals and effects
– Determine which impact assessment method(s) is/are required in a given situation and (ethically) reflect on the chosen impact assessment(s)
– Design a global organizational set-up of an impact assessment study and justify the scope and delineation of the chosen approach
– Assess the quality of existing impact studies and reports
– Formulate ethical criteria that could help in comparing different technologies (for instance nuclear power plants and hydropower dams)
– Apply the assessment techniques to interpret policy principles (such as the Precautionary Principle)
This year, three TU Delft courses have won Awards for OpenCourseWare Excellence from the world-wide Open Education Consortium. This consortium is the largest international organisation in the field of open education. Hundreds of educational institutions and similar organisations that share course material freely via the internet are affiliated to the consortium. The awards will be presented at the annual Open Education Consortium conference, which this year will take place in Banff, Alberta, Canada, between 22 and 24 April.
Free online courses
The Open Education Consortium presents three awards for free open online courses (open MOOCs). ‘Open’ means that the material may be used by third parties (for non-commercial purposes). Two of these awards have been won by TU Delft.
Solving Complex Problems, by Alexander de Haan, is about Complex Multi Actor Systems, ‘spaghetti situations’ in which everything appears to be interlinked and many factors influence each other. Consider, for example, a situation in which new energy technology is introduced into an existing energy market. In such situations, people often talk about solutions, but nobody is exactly sure what the question is, or the best solution. Quantitative and qualitative models can help people understand such complex issues. Course participants will acquire practical tools and methods with which to structure and analyse complex problems.
Delft Design Approach, by Jaap Daalhuizen, has also received an Award of Excellence in the ‘Open MOOC’ category. The Delft Design Approach is a structured approach that helps designers cope with complex design projects – from the formulation of a strategic vision and mapping users and their contexts to developing and selecting meaningful designs for products and services. TU Delft hopes that this MOOC will introduce participants to its own unique approach to design, using several models and design methods, and drawing upon the knowledge and experience of experts from both education and practice. The online course allows participants to compare their results with those of students studying on campus at Delft and designers from the profession.
The Human Controller, by David Abbink, is a course in the Mechanical Engineering Master’s degree programme. The course material (video lectures, exercises, articles, exam questions, etc.) is freely available as OpenCourseWare (OCW) on the internet. The Open Education Consortium has awarded the course as an ‘Outstanding (OCW) Course’.
The course studies man’s abilities and limits with regard to controlling machines. Various human sensors are explained, and participants learn how muscles work and how movement is coordinated. Man’s ability to control is explained within the context of control technology – a tricky subject that is made somewhat easier by considering examples from the practical situation. Two of the course assignments involve students doing their own experiments to demonstrate that the theory also applies to them. In one of these projects, the students download software that requires them to follow a moving dot with their mouse. This game allows the students to experience just how difficult it can be to control different types of systems, and teaches them how to measure their own control behaviour and construct mathematical models.
TU Delft considers sharing knowledge with the rest of the world to be one of its core tasks. It has therefore been publishing course material online as OpenCourseWare since 2007. Some 150 courses have now been published, which are visited by 1,500 people per day.
TU Delft has been offering MOOCs free of charge to anyone with internet access since September 2013. Up until now, the courses have reached more than 350,000 people across the globe. At present, TU Delft is running 17 MOOCs. The MOOCs at TU Delft stand out because they are totally open (i.e. published under a free or open licence), which means that the material may be used by third parties for non-commercial purposes.
As you know, last week many activities have been organised to celebrate Open Education during the Open Education Week, and it was a great success. We are very happy with all the attention for the activities we organised and the response we got from the participants.
Following a successful Research Seminar in the morning, the Education Seminar for instance covered many experiences on the opportunities and impact of Open Education for both online and campus students and learners worldwide, both by teaching, research and support staff from our own university, and several speakers from other institutions (like Fontys University of Applied Sciences, The Hague University of Applied Science and Leiden University) shared a balanced mix of experiences. We are very thankful for all of their contributions.
The other activities have also reached a lot of (teaching) staff, who got a better understanding of what it takes to design a(n open) course design, what it takes to record video’s at the New Media Center and what challenges lie ahead for Open Education. We’ve seen a lot of people renewing their enthusiasm or being inspired with new creative ideas around Open Education.
For some activities recordings have been made. These recordings and in most cases the presentations are now available on the website.
The Open Education Week once again gave way to new enthusiasm and inspiration for Open Education in our University. We are very thankful for all contributions and participation and we’re looking forward to continue to work on Open Education.
Two courses published: Introduction to Drinking Water Treatment and Introduction to Credit Risk Management
Since January two new former MOOCs have been published:
Introduction to Drinking Water Treatment
Learn about urban water services, focusing on conventional technologies for drinking water treatment.
This course focuses on conventional technologies for drinking water treatment. Unit processes, involved in the treatment chain, are discussed as well as the physical, chemical and biological processes involved. The emphasis is on the effect of treatment on water quality and the dimensions of the unit processes in the treatment chain. After the course one should be able to recognise the process units, describe their function, and make basic calculations for a preliminary design of a drinking water treatment plant.
Introduction to Credit Risk Management
What is credit risk? Why is it so important, in modern economies, to correctly deal with it? This course combines theory with practice to answer these questions.
You are a bank and a big part of your daily business is to lend money. Unfortunately for you, lending money is definitely a risky activity: there is no 100% guarantee that you will get all your money back. For example you may expect losses in your portfolio because of the default of your counterpart. Or, in a less extreme situation, the credit quality of your counterpart may deteriorate according to some rating system, so that your loan becomes more and more risky. These are typical situations in which credit risk manifests itself. According to the Basel Agreements, credit risk is one of the three fundamental risks, together with market risk and operational risk, a bank (or another regulated financial institution) has to face when operating on the markets. As the 2008 financial crisis has shown us, a correct understanding of credit risk and the ability to cope with it are fundamental in the world of today. The aim of this course is to provide an introduction to credit risk modeling and hedging. At the end of the course, the students will be able to understand and correctly use the basic tools of credit risk management, both from a theoretical and, most of all, a practical point of view. This will be a quite unconventional course. For every methodology, we will analyze its points of strengths, but we will also stress its points of weakness. We will try to do this in a rigorous way, but also with fun. In addition to the video lectures and exercises, recent economic developments will be discussed in the forum based on news articles, and key practitioners from the financial world will share their views through interviews.
At the end of December two courses published in OpenCourseWare:
Both are former MOOC’s
Technology for Biobased Products
As fossil-based fuels and raw materials contribute to climate change, the use of renewable materials and energy as an alternative is in full swing. This transition is not a luxury, it is has become a necessity. We can use the unique properties of microorganisms to convert organic waste streams into biomaterials, chemicals and biofuels. This course provides the insights and tools for biotechnological processes design in a sustainable way. Five experienced course leaders will teach you the basics of industrial biotechnology and how to apply these to the design of fermentation processes for the production of fuels, chemicals and foodstuffs. Throughout the course, you will be challenged to design your own biotechnological process and evaluate its performance and sustainability.
Solving Complex Problems
Solving Complex Problems addresses complex multi-actor systems; so called ‘spaghetti situations’ in which everything is connected to everything, and everything influences everything. Situations, for instance, in which innovative new energy technologies emerge into the existing energy system. Or new health technology, medicine, treatments or screening technologies are being developed and society has to decide about whether they should be allowed and what they may cost.
Want to know more about these free courses and other OpenCourseWare courses go to TU Delft OpenCourseWare