HvA Education Conference 2009

21-apr-09 door: IAM Open Courseware

On the 2nd of April, 2009, The Amsterdam University of Applied Science (HvA) organized the 5th HvA Education Conference at the Beurs van Berlage, Amsterdam. The conference, with the theme of ‘The Learning Community,’ started with an informal lunch with about 800 participants. Most of the attendees were HvA employees, (lecturers, staff and management), as well as the research depts. (’lectoraten’) such as the Institute of Network Cultures, and labs like MediaLAB Amsterdam. The opening speech by Dymph van den Boom, rector magnificus of the HvA, was followed by the two interesting keynote speakers Trude Maas and René Jansen, who addressed the importance of community building and networking.

In the afternoon, everybody split into small groups to have roundtable discussions about a variety of important topics related to education and research. The roundtables were arranged according to 8 main themes: Learning Community, ICT and Education, Learning the Big City, Young Teachers / Professionalizing, Excellency / Masters, Divergent Perspectives, Study Success, and Environment Awareness.

One of the roundtables in the ‘Learning Community’ theme was initiated by three students from the MediaLAB Amsterdam. Daphne Gautier, Rochus Meijer and Urte Jurgaityte were responsible for a discussion about IAM Open Courseware. We debated whether the HvA is ready for an open culture in which knowledge sharing could facilitate education, and examined the possibilities of IAM Open Courseware at HvA.

We did a short introduction about Open Course Ware at MIT and TU Delft, introduced IAM Open Courseware project and started with the first statement about copyrights: ‘All materials made by teachers is paid for by the HvA so they should give out their material for free’.The reactions were diverse. A good argument was that a lot of teachers prepare teaching materials in their free time so in theory the statement isn’t true. But on the other hand, IAM OCW could save time on the long run. The main goal of IAM OCW is to work together to achieve an open environment where everybody will share and improve educational materials.

The second statement was: ‘By using IAM Open Courseware teachers benefit and students have more guidance.‘
The reactions here were quite positive. We decided to use this statement because we wanted to convince teachers that they will benefit from IAM OCW. The reactions at the discussion table were very useful. We got a lot of tips for platform and what to think of when making an environment.

The conclusion of the afternoon was that IAM OCW is a very good initiative and if similar projects will be initiated so the HvA will notice that it is an important step forward to become a learning community, which was the theme of the conference as well. It was a very effective day where we have made more contacts with people who know more about OCW and are willing to help.

More detailed report about the roundtable discussion with HvA teachers can be found here: