OpenCourseWare in Japan


What Japan Thinks has just published the results of the goo survey on Opencourseware in Japan. The survey was conducted in December 2007 and covered 1,000 members of the goo Research monitor group and focused on materials available from universities within the Japan OpenCourseWare Consortium (the UNU plans to join JOCW in March 2008).


The respondents indicated that the main benefits of universities sharing their lectures where that universities would become more open (58%), it would be possible to compare courses (44%) and that this would raise interest in universities within society (43.5%).

Nearly 93% of those surveyed considered Opencourseware to be an extremely good or good thing, and a similar percentage indicated a desire to use the materials for either personal interest/education or as part of obtaining a qualification.

Educational materials that the respondents wanted to see most online where lecture notes/reference materials (70%) and lecture video recordings (57%). The fields of study that were of most interest were economics, information technology and business studies/marketing.

The main concerns regarding Opencourseware was that the lectures should be easy to understand (29%), should include a rich selection of courses (20%) and interesting lecture themes (19%).

by Brendan Barrett on February 14, 2008 - Comments (01)  

Launch of UN University Opencourseware

UN University OpencoursewareLast year, with support from the Joint Activity Fund, three UN University research institutes and the Media Studio worked together to develop the UN University Opencourseware portal, officially launched today, 4 February 2008. The aim of this pilot project was to publish at least ten courses as required in order to remain a member of the Global Opencourseware Consortium.
This initial collaboration brought together specialists from Macau (UNU-IIST), Canada (UNU-INWEH), the Netherlands (UNU-MERIT) and Japan (UNU-MEDIA), to publish courses on e-Governance, Innovation, Economic Development and Environmental Conservation (mangroves and watersheds).
As the platform, we selected eduCommons developed by the Centre of Open and Sustainable Learning at the Utah State University, because it is both free and open source (well, semi open source to be more precise). We managed to customize eduCommons so that it would have the same look and feel as the main UNU website.
We hope that our current suite of opencourseware will prove useful to students and educators all over the world. In the future, we plan to expand the portal with the inclusion of courses from the remaining UNU institutes and programmes.

by Brendan Barrett on February 7, 2008 - Comments (00)  

UNU OpenCourseWare

2007_08_31-0003802.jpgA small group came together on 31 August and 1 September here at the UNU Media Studio to discuss how best to develop the UNU OpenCourseware Portal. We are planning to use eduCommons developed by the Centre for Open and Sustainable Learning. We will give feedback in this blog on the experience we have as an eduCommons adopter.

The meeting was really interesting and we had a very useful exchange of views. We are planning to put ten courses online by the end of 2007. In this picture, you can see Philip Schmidt giving some background on the work that they are doing at UNU-MERIT and also on his experience with the University of Western Cape’s Free Courseware project. There is a project blog on the work at UWC that you may want to take a look at.
Here at the UNU, we have funding for the pilot phase of the OCW project which brings together our institutes in Macau, the Netherlands and Canada. Other institutes will join in phase 2 as we expand to cover the entire UNU network from 2008 onwards.

by Brendan Barrett on February 7, 2008 - Comments (00)  

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