Emerging issues – MOOCs
COL is hosting an online discussion on the emerging issue of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). MOOCs have been the most reported technology development in education over the past year...
Please join our discussion...
CIDA Minister visits COL
11 April 2013 – Harper Government reaffirms commitment to education and training for women and girls (Government of Canada).Photos...
The Honourable Julian Fantino, Minister of International Cooperation visits COL
Connections/EdTech News, March 2013:
Includes: PCF7: Empowerment and transformation; Growing more ginger and turmeric in Sri Lanka, Preparing Jamaican farmers to face Hurricane Sandy; In Focus: COL’s leadership role in open educational resources; Women’s voices and women’s issues (community radio); Fair Comment: ODL and the capability approach; New Resources and EdTech News: Classroom without walls.
New Journal from COL
COL is preparing to launch the Journal of Learning for Development. The new journal will provide a forum for the publication of research with a focus on innovation in learning, in particular but not exclusively open and distance learning, and its contribution to development. Content will include interventions that change social and/or economic relations, especially in terms of improving equity.
PCF7 Call for abstracts and proposals
Abstracts of papers and proposals for various formats of PCF7 participation are invited. All papers and proposals must address Open Learning for Development: Towards Empowerment and Transformation through one of PCF7’s five themes. COL’s Seventh Pan-Commonwealth Forum on Open Learning is a dynamic event with a variety of formats to enable participation, knowledge sharing, learning and networking on the five themes.
PCF7: 2 – 6, December 2013 in Abuja, Nigeria
In response to several requests, the submission deadline for abstracts and proposals has been extended to 15 June 2013.
Call for Nominations: Excellence in Distance Education Awards
COL is seeking submissions for its 2011-2013 Excellence in Distance Education Awards. These awards, which will be presented at the Seventh Pan-Commonwealth Forum on Open Learning in Abuja, Nigeria in December 2013, recognise excellence in four categories: the overall institutional level, the development of learning materials, a lifetime's work as an educator and student accomplishment.
Deadline for submissions: 31 May 2013
Perspectives on Open and Distance Learning: Open Educational Resources: Innovation, Research and Practice
Open Educational Resources (OER) – that is, teaching, learning and research materials that their owners make free to others to use, revise and share – offer a powerful means of expanding the reach and effectiveness of worldwide education. This book, initiated by the UNESCO/COL Chair in OER, is one in a series of publications by the Commonwealth of Learning (COL) examining OER. It describes the movement in detail, providing readers with insight into OER’s significant benefits, its theory and practice, and its achievements and challenges. The 16 chapters, written by some of the leading international experts on the subject, are organised into four parts by theme: OER in Academia, OER in Practice, Diffusion of OER, Producing, Sharing and Using OER.
Perspectives on Open and Distance Learning: Open Educational Resources: An Asian Perspective
The 25 contributors to this book bring an impressive level and breadth of expertise, innovation and dedication to researching, developing and advocating for OER. Through a combination of quantitative studies and qualitative analyses, they provide valuable, instructive information and insights from throughout Asia. Open Educational Resources: An Asian Perspective demonstrates that OER development is thriving in Asia — in different economies, amongst different types of stakeholders and with varied approaches to open licensing.
Perspectives on Open and Distance Learning: Open Educational Resources and Change in Higher Education: Reflections from Practice
The 28 contributors to this book bring to many questions about open educational resources (OER) a wealth of knowledge, experience and insights about OER policy and practice at both national and international levels. With some astute caveats, their findings collectively affirm the promise of OER as a way of providing enhanced quality education to potentially greater numbers of students. Policy makers and practitioners will be able to draw many precepts and possibilities from the rich variety of experience and reflection contained within this volume.
Survey on Governments’ Open Educational Resources (OER) Policies
This report provides an overview of the findings of the COL/UNESCO survey on OER policies and activity across all countries of the world, and puts forward some suggestions for promoting the use and development of OER and overcoming current obstacles to its implementation.
Knowledge Series: Marketing and Branding of Open and Distance Learning
The marketing and branding strategies described in this guide should help leaders of ODL institutions in their efforts to successfully position their institutions within their respective education systems.
Quality Assurance Toolkit for Open and Distance Non-formal Education
Non-formal education and training is an extremely wide field, encompassing themes with an enormous and ever-increasing need, including adult literacy, basic education for out-of-school children, life skills, work skills, gender equity and community development. Evidence of direct and tangible benefits to individuals, communities and economies must be demonstrated if these programmes are to receive the funding and support that they need. QA systems applied in educational contexts are generally concerned with inputs — how much money is spent, what staffing, resources and support are provided, what kinds of teaching and learning are involved, and so on. There is an assumption — not always fulfilled — that the higher the standards of the inputs, the higher the quality of the outputs. In this toolkit, we propose a different approach: the evaluation of the programmes’ outcomes, outputs and impacts.
Guidelines for OER in Higher Education
Stemming from the open educational resources (OER) policy forum last December and wide consultation, UNESCO and COL have developed Guidelines for OER in Higher Education. The guidelines are intended to help key stakeholder groups (governments, higher education institutions, teaching staff, student bodies, quality assurance/accreditation bodies and academic recognition bodies) as they assess the implications of OER for their future policies and actions. Sir John Daniel and UNESCO Director-General Ms. Irina Bokova will launch the publication at the UNESCO General Conference on 1 November.
A Basic Guide to Open Educational Resources (OER)
Prepared by Neil Butcher for the Commonwealth of Learning & UNESCO
Edited by Asha Kanwar (COL) and Stamenka Uvalić-Trumbić (UNESCO)
A summary of the key issues as FAQs: to provide readers with a quick and user-friendly introduction to Open Educational Resources (OER) and some of the key issues to think about when exploring how to use OER most effectively.
Plus: A comprehensive analysis of these issues.
And: A set of appendices, containing more detail.
Instructional Design Tool
Developing quality course materials requires a specific set of skills. COL’s new Instructional Design Tool is a rigorous, yet simple resource that supports the development of quality courses and learning materials. Through this tool, COL is encouraging institutions to maximise the effectiveness, efficiency and appeal of the learning experience.
The Commonwealth of Learning Review and Improvement Model (COL RIM) for Higher Education Institutions
COL’s blog is encouraging interaction, discussion and knowledge sharing on issues related to education for development. The blog explores areas such as e-learning, gender, educational technology, livelihoods, best practices, news and book reviews. COL’s Educational Specialists will also contribute podcasts to help expand dialogue on relevant issues.
COL's Gender micro-site has been designed to provide a one-stop, comprehensive platform to access print and electronic resources on gender and open, distance and technology-mediated learning (ODL) with a special emphasis on information and communication technology (ICT). The main purpose of developing this gender micro-site is to provide knowledge and information on gender and ODL/ICT so as to raise awareness and to provide tools to ODL policymakers and practitioners to help them address gender concerns in their areas of competence.
Quality Assurance micro-site
COL's Quality Assurance micro-site has been designed to provide a single, convenient access point to existing resources in quality assurance in open and distance learning (ODL). We hope that it will be of particular use to institutions, researchers and governments seeking to establish benchmarks for quality provision and to all those who are interested in devising effective systems for the review and evaluation of ODL programmes.
Virtual University for Small States of the Commonwealth (VUSSC)
On behalf of Commonwealth Ministers of Education, COL is co-ordinating the development of a Virtual University for Small States of the Commonwealth (VUSSC). Twenty six countries are now actively engaged in making the VUSSC a reality. VUSSC countries have chosen to focus on creating postsecondary, skills-related courses in areas such as tourism, entrepreneurship, professional development, disaster management and a range of technical and vocational subjects. These non-proprietary, electronically-held course materials, which can readily be adapted to the specific context of each country, are used in the offering of credit-bearing qualifications in the countries' post-secondary institutions, strengthening their educational capacity and outreach. Small states thus become active contributors to global development and leaders in educational reform through the innovative use of information and communications technologies (ICTs). The VUSSC is throwing a wide bridge across the digital divide.
Speeches and presentations: www.col.org/speeches
COL issues regular electronic bulletins. To be added to COL's mailing list and/or electronic (email) distribution list please send your request to: email@example.com
COL offers a CD-ROM (updated regularly) that contains our most popular knowledge resources and recent publications and reports, along with a video on COL and its work. It is available upon request from COL: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Commonwealth of Learning's focus is in strengthening institutions in developing Commonwealth countries that are striving to provide affordable education to larger numbers of their citizens.
COL IS NOT an educational institution. It does not register students and does not directly offer courses, programmes of study, scholarships or bursaries.
COL DOES NOT provide an accreditation service and does not endorse institutions or programmes. COL is also unable to provide directories of courses available in the Commonwealth.
Please see: About COL for more information.