moocs4all Extended Virtual Symposium

In conjunction with the third delivery of our MOOC “Making MOOCs on a Budget”, we hosted an “Extended Virtual Symposium, which will consist of a series of four weekly webinars starting on Thursday the 13th of October.  The theme of the symposium “Lowering the cost of education” and the webinars were presented by individuals who are making significant progress in the provision of free and low-cost accredited learning available online.  The schedule is as follows (details below – all times are Brussels local time):

  • Thu Oct 13 at 4pm – Stephen Downes – National Research Council, Canada (Recording)
  • Thu Oct 20 at 4pm – Andreas Wittke – Luebeck University of Applied Sciences, Germany (Recording)
  • Thu Oct 27 at 4pm – Donald Clark – PlanB Learning, UK. (Recording)
  • Thu Nov 3 at 10am – Wayne Mackintosh – Otago Polytechnic, New Zealand (About OERu, Recording)

Further  details on the webinars and speakers:

Thu Oct 13 at 4pm(Brussels) – Stephen Downes, National Research Council, Canada

Title: Community Learning

stephendownesStephen Downes is a specialist in online learning technology and new media. Through a 25 year career in the field Downes has developed and deployed a series of progressively more innovative technologies, beginning with multi-user domains (MUDs) in the 1990s, open online communities in the 2000s, and personal learning environments in the 2010s. Downes is perhaps best known for his daily newsletter, OLDaily, which is distributed by web, email and RSS to thousands of subscribers around the world, and as the originator of the Massive Open Online Course (MOOC), is a leading voice in online and networked learning, has authored learning management and content syndication software. He is known as a leading proponent of connectivism, a theory describing how people know and learn using network processes. Hence he has also published in the areas of logic and reasoning, 21st century skills, and critical literacies. Downes is also recognized as a leading voice in the open education movement, having developed early work in learning objects to a world-leading advocacy of open educational resources and free learning. Downes is widely recognized for his deep, passionate and articulate exposition of a range of insights melding theories of education and philosophy, new media and computer technology. He has published hundreds of articles online and in print and has presented around the world to academic conferences in dozens of countries on five continents.

Adobe Connect Recording:

He has posted the slides and his own recording (via Youtube Live) on his website: – why not join the discussion on Linkedin –

Thu Oct 20 at 4pm(Brussels) – Andreas Wittke, Luebeck University of Applied Sciences, Germany

Title: MOOCing in Action – How to launch 25 MOOCs in 18 months


Andreas Wittke is the CDO (Chief Digital Officer) of the Institute for Digital Learning at Luebeck University of Applied Sciences. He has been involved in the development and implementation of numerous educational technologies provided by oncampus (a corporation completely owned by Luebeck University of Applied Sciences). He is also the founder of the innovative interactive MOOC-platform mooin and the cloud-based ebook platform LOOP.  He is in charge of the implementation of the open source learning platform Moodle, the YouTube Channel with a large number of OER videos. Andreas is also the project leader of two state-funded MOOC projects.  He is a well-recognized keynote speaker at national and international ed-tech conferences.

Andreas holds a degree in Electrical Engineering with a specialisation in Computer Science and joined oncampus in 2001 as an Instructional Designer. He developed many online courses before he became an expert for Learning Management Systems. Given his extended experience in developing, teaching and implementing online courses, Andreas is an expert for the management of integrated e-learning workflows, regarding technology and didactics.

Adobe Connect Recording: 

Thu Oct 27 at 4pm(Brussels) – Donald Clark, PlanB Learning, UK.

Title: Low cost learning and assessment through the use of AI.

Donald will explain why AI has a lot to offer in lifting MOOCs out of their linear, video and text slumber with effortful learning.

donald-300x169Donald Clark is an EdTech entrepreneur. He was CEO and one of the original founders of Epic Group plc, which established itself as the leading company in the UK online learning market, floated on the Stock Market in 1996 and sold in 2005. As well as being the CEO of Wildfire Ltd. he also invests in, and advises, EdTech companies.  Describing himself as ‘free from the tyranny of employment’, he is a board member of Cogbooks, LearningPool, WildFire and Deputy Chair of Brighton Dome & Arts Festival. He is also a Visiting Professor and Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (FRSA).  He has worked in schools, vocational, higher, corporate and adult learning, delivering real projects to real learners. These include change management, strategy, tool selection, content design and build.  Donald has over 30 years experience in online learning, games, simulations, semantic, adaptive, social media, mobile learning, virtual reality and AI projects. He has designed, delivered and advised on online learning for many global, public and private organisations. He is an evangelist for the use of technology in learning and has won many awards, including the first ‘Outstanding Achievement in E-learning Award’ and ‘Best AIM Stock Market Company’.  An award winning speaker at national and international conferences, he has delivered keynotes in Europe. US, Africa, Australia, Middle and Far East.

…… also a regular (and controversial) blogger (10 years+) on learning technology, his iconoclastic pieces on learning theory, MOOCs, VR, AI, Robinson, Mitra and others, attracted lots of attention. His series on learning theorists is a valuable open resource. 

Adobe Connect Recording + link to resources from Donald on AI 

Thu Nov 3 at 10am (Brussels) – Wayne Mackintosh, Otago Polytechnic, New Zealand

Title: “OERu – Low cost, low risk but high impact innovation”

wayne_mackintosh_yale_2010Wayne Mackintosh is the founding director of the OER Foundation headquartered at Otago Polytechnic, New Zealand. He is coordinating the establishment of the OERu, an international innovation partnership which aims to widen access to more affordable education for all. Wayne holds the UNESCO / ICDE Chair in OER at Otago Polytechnic and serves as a member of the Board of Directors of the OER Foundation. He is a strategy innovator with a passion for open sourcing education.  Wayne is a committed advocate and user of free software for education. He was the founding project leader of New Zealand’s eLearning XHTML editor (eXe) project ( and founder of WikiEducator ( – an international community of educators collaborating on the development of free/libre teaching materials in support of all national curricula.  Wayne has extensive international experience in educational technology, learning design and the theory and practice of open and distance learning (ODL). Previously, he was Education Specialist, eLearning and ICT policy at the Commonwealth of Learning (COL), an intergovernmental organisation based in Vancouver, Canada. Before joining COL he was Associate Professor and founding director of the Centre for Flexible and Distance Learning (CFDL) at the University of Auckland, New Zealand. At the University of Auckland, he was tasked with eLearning strategy and leading CFDL’s professional staff team. Prior to moving to New Zealand he spent eleven years working at the University of South Africa (UNISA), a distance learning institution and one of the world’s mega-universities. Wayne has participated in a range of international consultancies and projects including work for COL, the International Monetary Fund, UNESCO and the World Bank. Wayne is a member of the Advisory Board of the Wikimedia Foundation, Creative Commons New Zealand and the Monterey Institute for Technology and Education. Wayne resigned as the holder of the COL Chair in OER, a position he held from 2012 – 2015 to focus full-time on the implementation of the OERu. Previously, Wayne served on Editorial Board of Open Learning for more than a decade, but now focuses on open access and open education research efforts.  (About OERu, Recording of webinar)

About brianmmulligan

Head of Online Learning Innovation, Institute of Technology Sligo, Checkout my blog on education, "I wouldn't start from here anyway!" at
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