2017 European Distance Learning Week

Organised by EDEN – European Distance and E-Learning Network

In cooperation with the National Distance Learning Week (NDLW) in the US, organized by the United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA)

Save the date – November 6-10, 2017

This year 5 webinars with 393 registered participants were held. The participants came from 44 different countries including 16 countries from outside Europe from Canada to Brazil, from South Africa to Nepal, encompassing all 4 continents (Europe, Asia, Africa, America) and demonstrating a strong geographical coverage and a substantial outreach.

153 participants eventually turned up. 31 facilitators contributed to the successful implementation of this initiative, among them representatives of the European Commission and the Lifelong Learning Platform. EDEN thanks the valuable contribution of the facilitators and hope that this initiative successfully contributed to the European dialog about the present state and the future of open and distance learning. All participants and facilitators receive EDEN open badges for their contribution.

The Challenges and Opportunities of Innovation

Monday, November 6, 2017, 13:00-14:30 CET

Moderator:  Airina Volungevičienė, EDEN president

At first glance, the speed of developments in Europe is overwhelming. Pre-existing conditions created in education established immense possibilities for innovations on the continent. Very complex and concise solutions are already in place. If we think about Open Education, we have a variety of forms on offer (MOOCs, OER, open online learning, virtual mobility, remote experiments and science education, to name a few), as well as regulations facilitating collaboration of education providers on all levels of education (Bologna process, credit transfer, prior and non-formal learning recognition).

ET2020 open coordination groups already proved their important role in fostering developments in member states. The working group on Digital Skills and Competences addressed transversal issues and collaboration on innovation development and implementation through all levels of education. New instruments and tools were established to agree upon digitally competent organizations; citizens, teachers and learners can suggest new training schemes and certification possibilities, as well as recognition of digitally skilled employees in companies.

The opening panel of EDLW addresses these speedy developments, unbundling solutions, micro, mezo, and macro level discussions and the complexity of Europe.

Panel members:

  • Sumathi Subramaniam, European Commission, DG Education, Youth, Sport and Culture, Innovation and EIT
  • Brikena Xhomaqi, Director – Lifelong Learning Platform
  • Rebecca Ferguson, Senior Lecturer, Institute of Educational Technology, The Open University
  • Sharon Goldstein, Berkeley College Online
  • Marci Powell, USDLA
  • Timothy Read, Associate Pro-Vice Chancellor of Methodology & Technology, National Distance Education University (UNED), Spain

Watch the recording here.

Perspectives on Open Education

Tuesday, November 7, 2017, 13:00-14:30 CET

Moderator: Fabio Nascimbeni, EDEN Executive Committee member

Open Education is meant to contribute both to innovation dynamics within institutions and to international academic cooperation and networking: this is being increasingly proven by a number of relevant experiences in the higher education field, as well as in other educational areas. In this webinar, we will explore these important relations between openness and innovation on one side and openness and internationalisation on the other, with both practical cases (focusing on virtual mobility and augmented reality) and with broader reflections, including a review of the work done during the Year of Open declined along the innovation and internationalisation axis.


  • Fabio Nascimbeni, Universidad Internacional de la Rioja – UNIR, Spain – How open education contributes to international cooperation
  • Diana Andone, University of Timisoara, Romania – Augmented reality in open education
  • Estela Daukšienė, Vytautas Magnus University, Lithuanian Association of Distance and E-Learning (LieDM) – Open education through virtual mobility
  • Susan Huggins, Open Education Consortium – Review of The Year of Open
  • Andrew Law, Open University UK – Has open education failed?

Watch the recording here.

Designing Learning Spaces in Open and Distance Learning

Wednesday, November 8, 2017, 13:00-14:30 CET

Moderator: Lisa Marie Blaschke, EDEN Vice-President

As technology continues to increasingly pervade educational environments, it is essential that educators are able to design these new learning spaces creatively and in a meaningful way that will support and promote student learning. In this session, you will hear from a distinguished panel of internationally renown experts of learning design innovations, who will present on a range of topics from game-based learning to technology enhanced learning, providing practical examples within higher education curriculum.


  • Gill Ferrell, EUNIS – Digital by design: designing learning and assessment in a digital age
  • Hamish MacLeod, The University of Edinburgh – Playful learning; Orchestration and identity
  • John Trasler, EADL – Development of visual learning in distance education
  • Rikke Toft Nørgård, Centre for Higher Education Futures, Aarhus University – Value-based Vision-driven Learning Design: Fusing human-centred design, learning design & signature pedagogy

Watch the recording here.

Re-considering Access, Quality and Flexibility of Education

Thursday, November 9, 2017, 13:00-15:30 CET

Moderator: Sandra Kucina Softic, University of Zagreb, Croatia

The session will start with 3 keynotes:

  • Transformation of Education in the Era of Openness and FlexibilityGard Titlestad, International Council for Distance Education (ICDE)
  • Images of Education Futures: Looking at the Big PictureMark Brown, Dublin City University, EDEN
  • From Open Educational Resources to Open Educational PracticesSvetlana Knyazeva, Unesco IITE

Panel discussion

Questions addressed:

  • what is the common understanding in Europe of an accessible, quality and flexible education for all?
  • what are best – practice examples from your countries, regions and projects that lead to accessible and flexible education for society?
  • are education providers ready to meet the needs of a digitalised and networked society? and why? What are the triggers and what are the potentials? are we on the way?
  • how open education can be? how ready we are are?
  • what is the role of different stakeholders to foster the development of education innovations for better access, quality and flexibility?


  • Gard Titlestad, ICDE
  • Svetlana Knyazeva, UNESCO IITE
  • Yves Punie, European Commission – DG JRC
  • Airina Volungevičienė, EDEN
  • Asta Junevičienė, Lithuanian National Commission for UNESCO
  • Giedrius Vaidelis, Education Development Centre
  • Ineta Dabašinskienė, Vytautas Magnus University

Invited experts:

  • Wim Van Petegem, K.U.Leuven
  • Lisa Marie Blaschke, Carl von Ossietzky University Oldenburg, Germany
  • Josep M. Duart, Catalonian Open University, Spain
  • Ebba Ossiannilsson, Swedish Association of DE
  • Mark Nichols, the Open University UK

Watch the recording here.

International Experiences with OER

Friday, November 10, 2017, 13:00-14:30 CET

Moderator: Antonella Poce, EDEN NAP Steering Committee Chair

Open educational resources (OER) are becoming a major educational tool. OER accelerate the blurring of formal and informal education, enable better quality of learning materials, and provide possibilities for teaching Innovation. OER also enhance academic collaboration and networking by crossing geographic, language, and cultural barriers.  How recognized and available are OER today? In this webinar, we will present international experiences and reflections on the internationalisation of  OER.


  • Cynthia Yuan Gao, OER Lab, Smart Learning Institute, Beijing Normal University – Current State of Advancement of OER in China and SLIBNU
  • Martin James Weller, The Open University – Evaluating OER Impact
  • Antonella Poce, University Roma Tre – Evaluating OER impact on learning
  • Dominic Orr, FIBS – German experience of OER development – little content adaption, more process inspiration

Watch the recording here.