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Posted in March 2015

TU Delft wins 3 Open Education Awards for Excellence

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.

OpenCourseWare
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.

Sharing knowledge
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.

Open Education Week 2015 – Thank you!

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.

© 2011 TU Delft