The Open University of the Netherlands develops and provides open higher distance education. There is a special focus on the use of new ICTs and teaching/learning methods to provide effective, efficient, attractive and accessible lifelong learning facilities and education to Dutch citizens. The Open University of the Netherlands has 15,000 students and about 750 employees.
Within the Open University, the Welten Institute (formerly known as CELSTEC – Research Centre for Learning, Teaching and Technology) integrates expertise in learning sciences and technology-enhanced learning. New technologies and approaches to learning and innovation are extensively tested in our laboratories and in practice. The Technology-Enhanced Learning group at the Welten Institute has a special focus on electronic learning environments and combines expertise in the areas of pedagogical scenarios for learning and learning support, interoperability, learning management systems, virtual learning environments, social media mash-ups (personal learning environments), social and situational awareness, usability, as well as expertise related to content authoring, content management, workplace learning, and lifelong learning at large.
OUNL/Welten Institute has been an active coordinator and participant in numerous European research projects from FP5 – FP7 as well as Horizon 2020.
OUNL will take part in all work packages to provide relevant input on a local/national level and takes a keen interest particularly in work packages 2,5 and 7. With regard to work package 2, the OUNL team can contribute expertise in educational theory and practice as well as expertise in formal modelling. Although we do not anticipate to be developing any tools in work package 5, we can contribute here drawing on our own R&D experiences in the field of remote sensors and usability testing. The Welten Institute provides a Master of Learning Sciences – a test bed for the models and technology to be developed.
Besides, OUNL provides a wide range of Bachelor and Master programmes that can be included in the pilots to be carried out in work package 7. The Welten Institute focuses on improving the quality of education by educational research that is scientifically of excellent quality and at the same time practically oriented. The Welten Institute has chosen the approach of the ‘ecology of education’. This means that the institute is not only active in the field of theoretical scientific research but also collaborates with users in developing and implementing scientifically sound learning environments, forms of education and didactics.
The research activities take into account the complexity of education and the use of rapidly developing technologies play an important part in them. The underlying thought is that the contact between educational science and educational practice is of vital importance for good educational research and therefore for the improvement of educational quality.
Josep Grifoll,Francis Brouns is assistant professor at the Welten Institute. The Welten Institute is the research centre for learning, teaching and technology of the Open Universiteit of the Netherlands. She has long standing experience in developing and implementing innovative online learning environments. For TeSLA she is the contact person for IP related matters and attends to technical aspects of the pilots.
Prof. Dr. Marcus Specht is Professor for Advanced Learning Technologies at Welten Institute (Research Center for Learning, Teaching and Technology) at the Open University of the Netherlands and director of the Learning Innovation Labs. He received his Diploma in Psychology in 1995 and a Dissertation from the University of Trier in 1998 on adaptive information technology. From 2001 he headed the department “Mobile Knowledge” at the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Information Technology (FIT). His research focus is on Mobile and Contextualized Learning Technologies and Social and Immersive Media for Learning.
In the last ten years Prof. Specht did research on using game design patterns for educational purposes. As the research found game design patterns can be especially efficient for enriching learning experiences and embedding them in real life situations. Since 2012 Prof. Specht also coordinates the European Project weSPOT (wespot.net), which focuses on mobile inquiry-based learning in schools and higher education making use of mobile technologies for linking formal and informal learning support.
Prof. Specht coordinates several research groups in the Technology Enhanced Learning Innovations program of the Welten Institute. The research topics include a) new user interfaces for learning which makes use of sensor technology, augmented reality, and Internet of Things b) mobile and seamless learning support c) learning analytics and big data d) learning networks and social media. Prof. Specht is an Apple Distinguished Educator, a member of the Board of the Dutch Research School on Knowledge and Information Systems and since 2013 President of the International Association of Mobile Learning.
Dr. José Janssen is Assistant Professor at the Open University in the Netherlands with expertise in the area of lifelong learning, eLearning and learning technology standards. She was involved in various European Projects in the field of elearning and lifelong learning, e.g. TenCompetence, Trailer, Web2jobs. Recent and current research and development activities include:
José Janssen will also take part in educational aspects from her role as Educational Manger (EM). The Educational Manager has the overall educational responsibility for the supervision of the teaching and learning processes and their adaptation to a fully online and cross-curricular assessement. The EM is also responsible for the management and execution of the formative and training actions addressed to faculty members and instructional designers regarding the deployment of the e-assessment system. The EM must at all times be fully informed of the current status of the project. She has to assess about the choice of techniques to be applied, from an educational point of view.
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