open & Inclusive SIG: Expanding the notion of accessibility? Linguistic accessibility of educational materials

logoopen & Inclusive Special Interest Group
Tuesday 1st November (14:00 – 15:30 BST)

To all our speakers and attendees who always take time out to join us for the Open & Inclusive SIG, we say “thank you it has been an eventful year”. For the last time this year, we have our very own Dr. Irina Rets who will be discussing about her recent Research Project. All are welcome as usual!

                                                   Link to Recording

Abstract
The C-19 pandemic has given momentum to the pedagogy of care approaches – approaches which demand flexibility and sensitivity, for instance, with deadlines and individual needs of learners, and which emphasise that access to learning should be seen as part of a societal issue or an institutional approach to teaching, rather than as a deficit situated within the learner.

While accessibility research has been mainly addressing the needs of disabled learners – in the aftermath of the pandemic – should accessibility research focus more in-depth on other groups of learners, such as, for example, international learners?

This interactive talk will present the linguistic accessibility framework developed in a doctoral thesis (Rets, 2021). We will discuss why there was a need for this framework, and what research methods were used to develop it. We will also talk about how to apply this framework to teaching, and what implications this will have for the learner, teacher, and the educational institution.

Author Bio:
Dr Irina Rets is a Doctoral Researcher in educational technology, based at the Institute of Educational Technology (IET), the Open University (OU), UK. She also holds a doctorate in applied linguistics from Volgograd State University (Russia). Irina’s research interests lie at the intersection of education, technology-enhanced learning, and applied linguistics.

As part of her PhD, she investigated the accessibility of online education to English learners. Irina has used a variety of methods to explore this topic, as well as the topics of other research projects she has provided research consultancy for: eye-tracking, online measures of learner behaviour; statistical modelling, advanced qualitative analysis of the data from over 40 interviews she has conducted to date; cluster analyses; analysis of longitudinal reflective learner diaries; analysis of surveys; participatory research.

Irina is a Fellow of Higher Education Academy (FHEA). Before her PhD at the OU, Irina taught a variety of academic university courses to undergraduate and graduate students in English-medium settings. She was involved in all stages of the teaching of these courses: from course design to course delivery and assessment.

 

Connected Higher Education in Crisis Contexts Webinar (October)

Knowledge Exchange event: Financing for scale
Monday 31st October (14:00 – 15:30 BST)

We are excited to announce that our next CLCC / UNHCR / OU Knowledge Exchange event will be held in collaboration with the Humanitarian Education Accelerator’s Community of Practice.  This session will focus on Financing for Scale and will be at 3pm CET on Monday 31st October (please note the from Sunday 27th October the clocks will go back in Denmark which may cause some confusion in calendars).

The session will explore the options for funding of innovative education initiatives and will be based on a Financing Scale Learning Paper by Kate Dodgson, who will be one of the presenters.  We will also have a presenter from Kepler, who have recently managed to scale out into Ethiopia, and who will share some of the learnings from this process.  We will also hear from a donor on their perspective of this scaling process and who will share some insights from their side.

For more information about this series of events please get in touch with Dr Koula Charitonos, Institute of Educational Technology, Open University at koula.charitonos at open.ac.uk or Francis Randle, Division of Resilience and Solutions, UNHCR at RANDLE at UNHCR.org.

If you would like to be sent a meeting request for these events please contact openTEL.

How can we leverage open education and OER for access and participation in HE for refugees

We are pleased to invite you to our monthly Connected Higher Education in Crisis contexts series, taking place online on Wednesday 14th September 2022, from 15:00 to 16:30 BST. The events are held by the Open University UK in collaboration with the Connected Learning in Crisis Consortium and UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency.

Presentation Title: How can we leverage open education and OER for access and participation in HE for refugees?

Link to Recording

Presenters:
Professor Martin Weller, Institute of Educational Technology, The Open University
Jamie Alexandre, Executive Director and Co-Founder of Learning Equality

Presentation 1 by Professor Martin Weller: How do we leverage open educational resources for learning in crisis contexts?

Abstract:
This talk will examine how Open Education Resources (OER) and Open Educational Practices (OEP), can be utilised in different contexts to improve access, social justice and their role in responding to the online pivot. Different aspects of open education will be considered, and their relation to formal education. The talk will explore the benefits and issues relating to open educational practices for learners, educator, and institutions.

Presentation 2 by Jamie Alexander

Abstract:
Open Educational Resources (OER) are free of cost, adaptable, and able to be remixed and openly distributed. Despite these clear benefits, they have yet to realize their full potential to support refugee and host community learners and educators, and others in low-resource settings. This presentation will explore some of the barriers preventing broad and effective adoption, including limited infrastructure and lack of contextualization and alignment. We will also discuss the work we are doing with UNHCR and other partners to address these challenges, including the creation of open-source tools for supporting completely offline distribution, teaching, and learning, as well as enabling the process of aligning resources from a large offline-ready OER repository to national curricular standards, through both manual expert-driven processes and semi-automated methods.

Author bios:
Jamie Alexandre has a Ph.D. in Cognitive Science from UC San Diego, and is co-founder and Executive Director of Learning Equality, an education technology non-profit that creates and supports open source tools to address the infrastructural and resource equity gaps that further marginalize populations with limited or no Internet access. Kolibri, Learning Equality’s open-source offline-installable education platform, has been installed in 220 countries and territories, in rural schools, orphanages, community centers, refugee camps, prisons, and homes. A lifelong tinkerer with a passion for social justice and animal rights, Jamie’s career has been driven by a desire to build a more equitable world.

Professor Martin Weller is Professor of Educational Technology, in the Institute of Educational Technology (IET) at the Open University. He is currently the Chair of the Open Programme, the Open University’s flexible, multi-disciplinary degree, and the Director of the GO-GN, a global network of Doctoral students in the area of open education. He developed the OU’s first fully online course in 1999, which attracted over 15,000 students annually. He was the OU’s first VLE Director, and is the Director of the OER Hub team, who undertake research into aspects of open education. He is the author of The Digital Scholar, 25 Years of Ed Tech and Metaphors of Ed Tech. He maintains a popular blog at blog.edtechie.net.

Recordings: Link to Recording

For more information about this series of events please get in touch with Dr Koula Charitonos, Institute of Educational Technology, Open University at koula.charitonos@open.ac.uk or Francis Randle, Division of Resilience and Solutions, UNHCR at RANDLE at UNHCR.org.

If you would like to be sent a meeting request for these events please contact Yemi at openTEL at open.ac.uk

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Connected Higher Education in Crisis Contexts Webinar (July)

We are pleased to invite you to our monthly Connected Higher Education in Crisis contexts series, taking place online on Wednesday 20th July 2022, from 14:00 to 15:00 BST. The events are held by the Open University UK in collaboration with the Connected Learning in Crisis Consortium and UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency.

Presentation Title: How do we reach learners in environments with limited connectivity?

Presenters:
Dr Kris Stutchbury, Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Languages (WELS), The Open University
Dr Mark Gaved, Institute of Educational Technology (IET), The Open University

Abstract:
Digital and networked technologies can enhance teaching and learning, but not everybody is well connected. This is particularly true of learners in low- to middle-income countries and other marginalised learners who can experience technological, economic, social and even legal barriers to accessing resources and interacting with others online. However, there is widespread access to networked devices (principally smartphones).

In our presentation, we talk about two approaches that have enabled teachers and district officials in Zambia Continue reading

Connected Higher Education in Crisis Contexts Webinar (June)

Connected Higher Education in Crisis Contexts Webinar
What is the impact of connected higher education programmes on refugee learners?
Wednesday 1st June (14:00 – 15:00 BST)
Link to Recording

We are pleased to invite you to our monthly Connected Higher Education in Crisis contexts series, taking place online on Wednesday 1st June 2022, from 14:00 to 15:00 BST. The events are held by the Open University UK in collaboration with the Connected Learning in Crisis Consortium and UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency.

Borderless Higher Education for Refugees (BHER) Longitudinal Impact Study: Preliminary Findings and Research Reflections
HaEun Kim and Mohamed Duale – Borderless Higher Education for Refugees, York University, Canada

This presentation will introduce the preliminary findings of a collaborative research project mapping the holistic impact of blended tertiary programs through the Borderless Higher Education for Refugees (BHER) Project for refugee and locals in Northeast Kenya. Findings from this study will demonstrate the scope of impact of connected learning programs in areas of employment, continued learning, as well as individual and communal attitudes towards education from students who have engaged with BHER programs between 2014 and present. Reflections on the cross-continental research collaborations between a Kenyan iNGO, refugee-led CBO, and Canadian university will also be shared.

For more information about this series of events please get in touch with Dr Koula Charitonos, Institute of Educational Technology, Open University at koula.charitonos at open.ac.uk or Francis Randle, Division of Resilience and Solutions, UNHCR at RANDLE at UNHCR.org.

If you would like to be sent a meeting request for these events please contact openTEL.