Fast track Call for Thematic Papers - ICDE MOOCs4D II

 

The MOOCs4D II track in the 26th ICDE World Conference in South Africa will explore “the potential of MOOCs as a transformative lever for promoting education as a global common good”, in developing economies, and in particular Africa, and as a possible platform for South-South-North collaboration.

The 2015 MOOCs4D II track will bring together policy makers, experts, practitioners, scholars and representatives from MOOC initiatives from around the world to further the conversations begun during the initial 2014 MOOCs4D conference at the University of Pennsylvania in April 2014. The MOOCs4D II track is planned to start on 13 October 2015. 

You are now invited to submit proposals related to the theme of the MOOCs4D II specialist track. We call for innovative papers that engage with the topicality of the theme and emerging policy signals towards the planned conference publication. 

The final date to submit papers for the fast track call is 21 August 2015.

That initial conference, entitled, “MOOCs4D Potential at the Bottom of the Pyramid”, reflected on the major themes of “MOOCS, ODL and OERs”, the role of MOOCS in international development, expanding inclusion, transforming institutions and curriculum innovation. Especially pertinent for the 2015 dialogue, building capacity to create digital information resources and overcoming infrastructural constraints received attention and are reflected in the resolutions for the way forward. See the conference report and the more substantive analysis of key issues in the published report.

Background

Since then major debates and platforms have sustained the momentum. The reformulated Sustainable Development Goal 4 - “Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote life-long learning opportunities for all” – has evoked global responses. The World Education Forum reaffirmed education as a public good, stating in the Incheon Declaration that it is “a fundamental human right and a basis for guaranteeing the realization of other rights. It is essential for peace, tolerance, human fulfilment and sustainable development.” In recognition of the potential role of “education as key to achieving full employment and poverty eradication”, “access, equity and inclusion, quality and learning outcomes, within a lifelong learning approach” have been identified as the key drivers. Leveraging additional funding and setting appropriate spending targets and increases in Official Development Assistance (ODA) to low income countries has also been mooted.

The Qingdao Declaration explicitly articulates the role and contributions of ICT in education. Key stakeholders and social partners are encouraged to create equitable, dynamic, accountable, and sustainable learner-centered digital learning ecosystems. The details are captured in the quoted sentiment. “While we are aware of the challenges linked to quality assurance, pedagogical effectiveness and certification, we recognize the benefits of well-organized online learning courses for learners, institutions, systems and society at large. Online learning, including in the form of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), has the potential to build new learning pathways towards tertiary education and lifelong learning. We therefore recommend that governments, institutions and other stakeholders further consider and harness the opportunities brought by online learning innovations.”

Deepening the Incheon and Qingdao Declarations, with particular focus on the Online, Open and Flexible Higher Education for the future we want, the Paris Message stated:

“Online, Open and Flexible education systems provide capacity for Higher Education, supported by robust quality assurance and regulation, to provide routes for student success delivering large-scale and cost-effective pathways for certificates, diplomas, degrees, and higher level qualifications, and a range of non-formal learning activities such as Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs).”

Track theme - in the light of the emergent policy signals for Education 2030, the “MOOCs4D II” track now wishes to consciously explore “The potential of MOOCs as a transformative lever for promoting education as a global common good”, in developing economies, and in particular Africa, and as a possible platform for South-South-North collaboration.

The following framing questions provide the lens of scrutiny for responding to a compelling global agenda. A planned outcome is a second integrated conference report as a resource to facilitate future partnerships.

1) To what extent have the affordances of ICT enhanced, expanded and diversified student learning progression through new learning pathways towards tertiary education and lifelong learning? How could they be improved and be made more effective?

2) What are the underlying principles of the business models that should underpin MOOCs to maximize their effectiveness, scalability, and sustainability?

3) What respective roles could key stakeholders (governments/private sector/ civil society and the ODA community) play in designing scalable and integrated funding mechanisms to unleash the full potential of ICT for learning in line with the 2030 education agenda?

Fast track call for papers

You are now invited to submit proposals related to the theme of the MOOCs4D II specialist track within the ICDE Conference. The track is planned to start on 13 October 2015. We call for innovative papers that engage with the topicality of the theme and emerging policy signals towards the planned conference publication.

The abstract should consist of between 150 to 200 words and follow the submission template guidelines.

Please take note of the following important dates for the fast track call:

  • 21 August 2015: Final date to submit papers

  • 28 August 2015: Confirmation of acceptance

  • 1 September 2015: Registration closes

  • 7 September 2015: Final date for payments

  • 13 October 2015: beginning of specialist track

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