Open & Online Learning in Higher Education (in the Netherlands)

Until now, with most of the posts I’ve written for this blog on elearning, I’ve focussed on small business/individuals.  I started teaching part time at The Hague University of Applied Sciences around 18 months ago, and last week, I really enjoyed listening to a colleague, Peter Becker, talking at a BFM (Business, Finance and Marketing) faculty lunch about OER and MOOCS (open and online learning) in Dutch Higher Education.

I was silly enough to not take a notepad but am glad he’s been kind enough to record a voice over version of the Prezi here, and has allowed me to share it on this blog:

That in itself is pretty exciting, I didn’t realise you could record a voiceover with Prezi, I’ll have to try it soon!  There are so many presentations I’ve been to, where I wish I could “rewind” so will be watching this again shortly.  The only thing I am missing in Prezi is a counter, so that I can see how long the presentation is in total, and refer to certain sections.

Peter’s native language is Dutch and I hope he doesn’t mind me sharing that he confided in me he wasn’t sure how he went in English – but I think he did a great job!  Certainly better than I would done in Dutch, and I appreciate that with our international faculty, often events are in English.  Like Peter, most Dutch people I know are really good at English (even if they don’t feel it initially).  My Dutch is fairly good, but if this presentation had been in Dutch, I think I wouldn’t have resonated as strongly.  As it was, I came away really inspired.

The Trend Report he talks about is also in English and you can download a copy here.  His presentation was essentially a summary of this report.  I’m already processing all the information, but will reading through this soon.
Screen Shot 2016-03-15 at 14.42.14

Here’s a few of my own notes/thoughts/things I want to look further into:

David Wiley: a pioneer of OER.  

Basic principles of OER – 5 R’s: Retain, Reuse, Revise, Remix, Redistribute.

(I just found David’s website here: – he has a blog and TEDx talk I want to look into)


Peter talked about the concept of data and information created by public institutions (funded by taxpayers) should be open to all.  I have always been one to lean more towards collaboration rather than competition.  When I studied my Bachelor of Business (Marketing & Tourism), I found I always felt uncomfortable for some reason with the focus on competition, competition, competition.  Sure, a business needs to make money, and teachers work hard to develop their classes, which can be seen as their IP (intellectual property).  However in recent years, the “sharing economy”, where companies such as WordPress demonstrate a business model where you can give away your core product for free and still run a sustainable business excite me.  (Also sometimes called “Freemium“).  In fact, I attended an event also at The Hague University last year on this topic…that’s another blog post!

But back to this concept of sharing, sharing, sharing.  I still have to figure our exactly where the policy is within my university (and I don’t think there really is one yet) but am totally inspired by how many universities are completely opening up their materials and sharing with the world.  So how do they still make money and attract paying students is the cry?  I don’t have the exact answer to this yet but strongly feel, there is still a way, and that sharing is the way of the future.

It’s certainly supported by the current Dutch Education Minister, who has made the statement (see the presentation):

I aim to ensure that all Dutch higher education institutions have made their teaching materials available in open format by 2025.


The way we lead our lives is changing – we are so much more mobile and “busy”!  Open education helps people deal with this.  Take today for example.  I’m supposed to be in a class for my Masters.  However I’m at home with my sick little girl.  With compulsory (physical) attendance for this course, I can basically write today off.  However, I am still completely capable of learning the same materials.  Sure, I’d much rather be there, but with some kind of online learning system (for example, if it was broadcast on Google Hangouts), I could still “be” there and absorb the same amount of knowledge.

I’m sure I will be writing a lot more about this topic!  I may even end up writing my Masters thesis in the field. Would love to connect with others interested, feel free to comment below.



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