OCW @ KU Leuven

Posted on donderdag 6 september 2012

Tags: kuleuven, opencourseware

OCW @ KU Leuven

Recently KU Leuven (Belgium) decided to dive into the OpenCourseWare adventure, by running an educational project led by Prof. Dr. Frederik Truyen, who also participates in the European OCW Project, and Prof. Wim Van Petegem. Project assistant Stephanie Verbeken is responsible for the development of the website http://ocw.kuleuven.be

In our opinion, there are several good reasons why KU Leuven released OpenCourseWare in this project. First of all, KU Leuven is proud of the expertise amongst its employees. Not to make use of this expertise would be a missed opportunity. It's not so much the specialized knowhow that we want to show to the world through OCW (therefore our researchers publicize in the peer-reviewed journals of their research domains), but in OCW it's the broad basic insights that are at stake. These insights are typical for the university courses taught at the Bachelor's (and sometimes Master's) courses at KU Leuven. A broader spreading of the Lifelong Learning idea is the logical consequence. Further, through OCW, KU Leuven wants to carry out innovative knowledge and state-of-the-art knowhow. Finally, under the umbrella of the European OpenCourseWare project, KU Leuven wants to increase student mobility. In the possibility of taking courses abroad without moving physically lies a great opportunity for OCW.

At this point six courses, currently organized as more or less regular courses at university, were chosen as pilot courses. They have been selected amongst more than 8000 existing Blackboard courses, each for their own characteristics when it comes to didactics, content, and especially their target groups. These pilots will be converted to fully functional Open Courses.

It is KU Leuven's ambition to setup these courses in such a way that students in OCW are able to take a course fully independently. It goes without saying that the use of study guides is very crucial.

There are currently only two courses available: one in Dutch (Leren, Onderwijzen en Evalueren) and one in English (Online Publishing). Please feel free to visit them. We are currently working on the other pilot courses in order to 'open' them as soon as possible. When all the pilot courses are online, we are planning to survey the users of these courses. After an evaluation, the courses will be optimized.

Besides the more common way to use OpenCourseWare (namely as an Open Course where people from all over the world can get access to the Open Educational Resources that KU Leuven has to offer) we also want to use the OCW website to provide the regular KU Leuven students with additional study tips and guidance. We hope they will approach their studies differently by using OpenCourseWare next to their regular courses, namely as an extra learning material.

The output of the project will consist of several aspects. First, the courses themselves are a form of output. Second, we will develop a handbook, which professors and lecturers at KU Leuven will be able to consult when they want to transform their course into an Open Course. Third, we will offer advice to the university in order to embed OCW structurally in the education KU Leuven has to offer.

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