Bookmarked Check, Please! Starter Course by Daniel LyndsDaniel Lynds

In this course, we show you how to fact and source-check in five easy lessons, taking about 30 minutes apiece. The entire online curriculum is two and a half to three hours and is suitable homework for the first week of a college-level module on disinformation or online information literacy, or the first few weeks of a course if assigned with other discipline-focused homework.

Once students have completed the starter course they can move on to any number of additional topical modules we will be rolling out. The topical modules go into more depth on skills, and explore specific social issues around information pollution.

Each lesson has multiple pages and activities. After clicking through to each lesson, you can use the list of links at the bottom of the first page to navigate, or just click through using the “Next up:” link under the main text.

This looks like a fantastic resource, must take time to check it out fully. Daniel hat tips to Mike Caulfield.

2019-05-22 14.39.53

Read Key Issues in Teaching & Learning 2019 (EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative – ELI)

Each year, the EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative surveys the higher education community to determine key issues and opportunities in post secondary teaching and learning. These issues serve as the framework, or focal points, for our discussions and programming throughout the coming year. For 2019, more than 1400 community members voted and identified 15 key issues.

📜 Topping the list is ‘Faculty Development and Engagement’, followed by ‘Online & Blended Learning’ and ‘Instructional and Learning Experience Design’.

2019-04-05 09.04.47

Bookmarked Bookmarked “Recognition of open online learning: the story so far” (Gabi Witthaus – Google Docs)

“Recognition of open online learning: the story so far” Presentation by Gabi Witthaus. Nuffic e-Valuate Work Conference Den Haag, 28 March 2019

🔖 “Recognition of open online learning: the story so far”

Presentation slides by Gabi Witthaus for Nuffic e-Valuate Work Conference Den Haag, 28 March 2019

2019-04-04 15.13.52

Read Read “OER19: Moving beyond” by Catherine Cronin and Laura Czerniewicz by Maren DeepwellMaren Deepwell (OER19)

The days are ticking by and it is nearly time for OER19! We are immensely excited as we prepare to welcome you to the 10th annual OER Conference — whether you are travelling to Galway or participating virtually.

The theme for OER19 is ‘Recentering Open: Critical and Global Perspectives’. It has been our hope that this theme will invite not only critical and global perspectives, but also multiple interpretations — of open iself, of the concept of recentering, of the meaning of critical, and indeed of the point-of-view of many of the questions ‘we’ ask about open.

📜 Read “OER19: Moving beyond”

by Catherine Cronin and Laura Czerniewicz

2019-04-01 13.12.45

Read Read “Recognition of open online learning – the story so far” by Gabi Witthaus (Art of e-learning)

On 28th March I was honoured to give the opening address at the e-Valuate work conference for nuffic in Den Haag. The e-Valuate project (Evaluating e-learning for academic recognition) aims to develop toolkits and guidelines to enhance policy for the recognition of new forms of online learning in the European Higher Education Area.

📜 Read “Recognition of open online learning – the story so far”

by Gabi Witthaus

2019-03-27 20.59.27

Reposted Dr Des Fitzgerald on Twitter (Twitter)

“I have huge admiration and support for the sabbatical officers of @UL_StudentLife who will mark @UL sanctuary week next week by attempting to live on €38.80 for the week – the same amount afforded to those in direct provision including our sanctuary students #€38.80”

e-VALUATE Project

This blog post will provide a brief introduction and overview of the European e-VALUATE project as it currently stands and will provide a snapshot of its primary aim to further the recognition, validation and accreditation of new forms of open online learning.

Tomorrow, as part of the European e-VALUATE project, I attend the e-VALUATE Work Conference in Humanity House, The Hague, Netherlands, where I represent my university, the University of Limerick, as the Irish higher education institution (HEI) resonance group representative, along with Quality & Qualifications (QQI) NARIC Ireland, the Irish project team member led by Angela Lambkin.

Gabi Witthaus will keynote the Work Conference building upon some of her previous expertise in this area.


One of the great hopes for online learning lies in its capability to open up new learning possibilities to those who traditionally have had little access to higher education. For this to be realised, certificates etc. awarded to students for undertaking online learning on whatever platform, will need to become greater recognised as a means to progress onto further study (via RPL, exemptions, and other methods) and to employment.

Outcomes of these ‘alternative’ learning experiences aren’t always captured and can go unnoticed within current HEI recognition practices which focus primarily on assessing prospective student’s qualifications obtained through formal or more ‘traditional’ forms of education. In tandem with improved recognition practice comes a need to quality assure the online learning being recognised so that evaluators and institutions can safely stand over the certificates being awarded as a means for awardees to gain entry onto their institutional programmes of study. The e-VALUATE project is looking to expand upon this to provide further clarity and guidance in the area of recognition of non-standard standalone e-learning.

e-VALUATE is an Erasmus+ project co-funded by the European Commission. The project consortium comprises representatives from the ENIC-NARIC network (ENIC = European Network of Information Centres, NARIC = National Academic Recognition Information Centres):
NARIC The Netherlands (Project Coordinator), NARIC Denmark, NARIC Lithuania, NARIC Norway, NARIC Ireland, and UK NARIC. Other partners involved are the Vice-President of the Lisbon Recognition Convention Committee, the European Consortium for Accreditation in higher education (ECA) and Kiron, the non-governmental organisation enabling access to higher education and learning for refugees through digital solutions.

To ensure that the representative views and experiences of European HEIs are taken on board, a resonance group was formed comprising HEI representatives from each of the project team nations involved. My University received correspondence from QQI NARIC Ireland via the Irish Universities Association (IUA) and I was fortunate to be invited to be the representative Irish HEI resonance group member, which I accepted.

Aims and Outputs

e-VALUATE aims to offer evaluators handling applications some practical, accessible information and guidance on academic recognition, validation and accreditation of new forms of open online learning – MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses), SPOCs (Small Personal/Private Online Courses), and other forms of standalone online learning, etc. The target groups for the project are HEIs, ENIC-NARIC centres, students, online education providers, policymakers, and refugee organisations such as Kiron.

The project proposes to produce two main outputs: a Position paper and an Online Learning Information Tool for HEIs.

The position paper will aim to provide clarity and raise awareness about what is needed to ensure online learning is recognised for admission to a HEI or for exemption from parts of a formal programme of study. It’s aimed at policy makers and educational staff involved in online learning provision at HEIs, online learning platforms (MOOCs etc.), and other stakeholders such as government bodies, quality assurance organisations and university umbrella organisations.

The Online Learning Information Tool will offer practical and easily accessible information for the purpose of academic recognition of MOOCs, SPOCs, and other forms of standalone online learning. The tool will be geared towards use by practitioners in the field of recognition. Depending on the context and purpose of its use, this tool will be useful to a diverse range of stakeholders including:

  • University admissions office staff
  • University access office staff
  • Faculty course directors
  • Boards of examiners
  • Credential evaluators at ENIC-NARIC’s
  • Others
Quality assurance of open online learning

In a previous publication entitled ‘Oops a MOOC!‘  – a paper produced as part of the New Paradigms in Recognition (PARADIGMS) project – the e-VALUATE project coordinator, NARIC Netherlands, led a project aimed at developing minimum standards that MOOCs and in-company training programmes should meet for the purpose of recognition. The findings presented in the paper are also relevant for HEIs.

The paper proposed 7 Criteria for assessment, including descriptions and indicators, against which open online learning could be recognised by a credential evaluator:
1. Quality of the study programme
2. Verification of the certificate
3. Level of the study programme
4. Learning outcomes
5. Workload
6. The way study results are tested
7. Identification of the participant

As a subsequent second step, the paper proposed use of the traffic light model as described in the JRC Science for Policy Report (p.6). Each of the 7 criteria above can be strongly present (green), present to some extent (orange) or not present at all (red). It’s also possible that no information is available on specific criteria (no info). Therefore, by using this traffic light model in conjunction with the 7 criteria for assessment, it’s possible to begin to evaluate whether a particular form of standalone e-learning is more or less suitable for recognition.

e-VALUATE_traffic lights
Proposed Traffic Light Model Measuring the Level of Robustness of each of the 7 Criteria for Assessment.

If HEIs begin to openly adhere to these criteria for acceptance onto their study programmes then it further becomes beholden on e-learning providers who are interested in ensuring that students who receive further academic recognition from their e-learning courses, HEIs themselves included, to bear in mind these criteria and the presence of them when designing and developing their offerings so that they can ensure adequate and appropriate academic recognition for the awardees of their certificates.

I understand that the Online Learning Information Tool aims to build upon this previous work to be a practical, easy-to-use, interactive object, helping practitioners in the field of recognition to assess all forms of open online learning that they might encounter during applications admissions processes.

I’m looking forward to delving a little deeper into this at tomorrow’s work conference.

2019-03-26 10.35.13

Read Read Is sharing caring? – #OpenBlog19 by Neil Withnell (Neil Withnell)

Being a strong advocate of open education, and the desire for education to be freely available to everyone, the answer is relatively easy.

Following a career as a qualified nurse (a caring profession, so yes I care) I entered the world of Higher Education (some 16 years ago) and recall my first few days. I was nervous, as I was new to teaching, but was constantly reassured by more experienced colleagues who shared their work to support me. Yes, I was an experienced nurse but a little out of my comfort zone with some of the topics within the curriculum, this sharing by colleagues was caring.

📜 Read Is sharing caring? – #OpenBlog19

by Neil Withnell

2019-03-25 15.30.07

Read Read an Open Pedagogy network (Gardner Writes – Gardner Campbell)

Toward the end of Open Learning ’18, I spotted an article in the Washington Post about a “nationwide college course” about the way democracies decay or erode over time. The Brown …

2019-03-15 15.28.05

Read Is sharing caring? #OpenBlog19 by Steve Wheeler (

But the main reason for sharing content freely is that I care. I care about the education of people, whatever their age, and I want to share what I know. It doesn’t cost me anything, except a little time and effort, to be able to share content globally. It’s still quite magical to me, to think that I can be writing this post right now, and in a few minutes, when I press the Publish button, these words have the potential to appear on millions of screens in millions of homes, schools, colleges and universities around the world. It’s still a buzz, I can tell you.

Really good read as part of #OpenBlog19, ‘Is sharing, caring?’ by @SteveWheeler