Professor Olaf Zawacki-Richter
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Berrin Cefa Sari
Fantastic news has arrived before 2021 comes to an end! Aras Bozkurt and Olaf Zawacki-Richter won the 2021 Fred Mulder Awards for Best Open Education Research Paper. The Global OER Graduate Network (GO-GN) launched Fred Mulder Awards in 2017 to honor the best open practice and research in open education. Given annually, the awards are presented after the independent selection process of an award committee and the GO-GN team.
COER has launched its new project "Prospects for the Future of Learning: Artificial Intelligence Applications in Higher Education". The project funded by The Volkswagen Foundation and the state of Lower Saxony will take place for four years (2021-2024 inclusive) at the University of Oldenburg, Germany with fellow collaborators from China, Japan, the USA, Spain, and Turkey.
In absolutely fantastic news to begin the new year, COER members have been recognised in the annual National Institute for Digital Learning Top 10 Open Access Articles list. Four of the ten articles were co-written by COER members, with information quoted from the NIDL website here:
No 5 – Spilker, M., Prinsen, F., & Kalz, M. (2019): Valuing technology-enhanced academic conferences for continuing professional development. A systematic literature. Professional Development in Education. Available from www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/19415257.2019.1629614
"This article explores a very interesting topic by offering a systematic search for and analysis of the state of the art concerning research (1993–2018) on technology-enhanced conferences for academics’ professional development. It provides good reading, particularly given the high number of conferences in the field and that attending such events is an accepted form of “academic citizenship” and often taken for granted as valuable professional development. The paper builds on Jacobs and McFarlane’s (2005) view that ‘little attention has been paid either to developing a theoretically informed understanding of conference practice as knowledge building, or to assessing the extent to which conferences are successful’. We partly selected this paper as last year it provided uesful food for thought and evidence-based research for our decisions in designing the ICDE World Conference on Online Learning."
No 6 – Zawacki-Richter, O., Marin, V., Bond, M., & Gouverneur, F. (2019). Systematic review of research on artificial intelligence applications in higher education – where are the educators? International Journal of Educational Technology in Higher Education, 16:39, 2-27. Available from doi.org/10.1186/s41239-019-0171-0
"This article offers precisely what the title suggests and was hard to overlook given the current level of hope and hype surrounding the potential of AI in higher education. Notably, the results show that ‘most of the disciplines involved in AIEd papers come from Computer Science and STEM, and that quantitative methods were the most frequently used in empirical studies’. It follows that the paper concludes by reflecting on the lack of critical reflection of challenges and risks of AIEd, the weak connection to theoretical pedagogical perspectives, and the need for further exploration of ethical and educational approaches. A seminal read for educators, computer scienists and those making predictions about the futiure impact of AI on higher education."
No 8 – Pozzi, F., Manganello, F., Passarelli, M., Persico, D., Brasher, A., Holmes, W., Whitelock, D., & Sangrà, A. (2019). Ranking meets distance education: Defining relevant criteria and indicators for online universities. International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning, 20(5), 42-63. Available from www.irrodl.org/index.php/irrodl/article/view/4391/5232
"This article explores a notable gap in current university ranking systems and so-called league tables. In the absence of global rankings for online providers—for better and worse–it offers a participatory approach based on a Delphi study to define a set of criteria and indicators suitable to reflect the specific nature of online distance education. The intention is to help evaluate and rank online higher education institutions more appropriately than in current practice. The paper was selected as we anticipate there will be further developments in this area in the next year or so as the provision of online education increassingly transcends national borders."
No 9 – Bond, M., Zawacki-Richter, O., & Nichols, M. (2019). Revisiting five decades of educational technology research: A content and authorship analysis of the British Journal of Educational Technology. British Journal of Educational Technology. 50 (1), 12-63. Available from onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/epdf/10.1111/bjet.12730
"This review article appearing in a traditionally closed journal celebrating its 50 years of publication is hard to overlook as it reflects on five decades of educational technology research. What makes the analysis more interesting and arguably useful is a comparison to a previous meta-analysis of articles appearing in Computers & Education. Common themes identified over the past 50 years include the evolution of teaching and learning in distance education, the emergence of instructional design, misunderstanding between practitioners and learning designers, issues of pre and in-service teacher education and technology uptake by educators and students, including the confidence to do so, the technology skills of educators and students, as well as a lack of institutional support to provide space and time for training and integration to occur."
Revisiting five decades of educational technology research: A content and authorship analysis of the British Journal of Educational Technology
Melissa Bond, Olaf Zawacki-Richter and Mark Nichols
Digital transformation in German higher education: student and teacher perceptions and usage of digital media
Melissa Bond, Victoria Marin, Carina Dolch, Svenja Bedenlier & Olaf Zawacki-Richter
The Open University of Sri Lanka is offering the first Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) on Open Educational Resources (OER) and Open Educational Practices (OEP), available for practitioners/professionals from any field of study.
Registration is now open, until 19 October, 2018, at http://www.ou.ac.lk/apps/mooc/
- One-page proposal due: 30 July, 2018
- All proposals to be sent to
- All queries and questions to
- Completion of first review round: 30 August, 2018
- Full manuscripts due: 15 January, 2019
- Final decision notifcation: 30 March, 2019
- Camera ready: 15 July, 2019
- Publication of special issue: AUGUST, 2019