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Failure of Access: Rethinking Open Education - Keynote Presentation

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The use of open re-use licenses and Internet technologies have long promised to reduce barriers to education by making it more distributed, equitable, and open. Indeed, the promise of open education can trace its roots to the the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted by the United Nations 1948, which states "everyone has a right to education." However, there is little formal evidence that open education has an impact on increasing access to learning or making education more equitable.As a collaboration between Simon Fraser University (SFU), University of British Columbia (UBC), BCcampus, British Columbia Research Libraries Group (BCRLG) and the Public Knowledge Project (PKP), this event explored the goals, failures, and successes of open education. The event explored such questions as: is open education succeeding in being a transformative movement that makes learning more accessible? What are the criteria and successes that should be used to measure if the open education movement is a success? What more needs to be done?
Keynote presentation by Dr. Ishan Abeywardena of the Commonwealth of Learning at the Failure of Access: Rethinking Open Education event held at Simon Fraser University's Vancouver campus. Dr. Ishan Abeywardena joined COL on 1 January 2016 as Adviser, Open Education Resources. Dr Abeywardena comes to COL from the Open University of Sri Lanka, where he was Director of International Academic Relations and Acting Director, National Online Distance Education Service (NODES). Prior to that, Dr Abeywardena served as a Senior Lecturer in Information Technology at Wawasan Open University (WOU), Penang, Malaysia (2009 to 2013) and was Deputy Dean at the School of Science and Technology, WOU from 2013 to 2014.A computer scientist by training, Dr Abeywardena's research interests include educational technology, open educational resources (OER), eLearning, MOOCs, open and distance learning (ODL) and mobile application development.


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