Attending the OCWC Global Bali conference was an unforgettable experience from the amazing participants who traveled from six continents to the unique character and beauty of the island of Bali.
We started Tuesday afternoon with multiple pre-conference workshops how to design OER to be inclusive and engaging for learners. Dr. Jutta Treviranus and I lead the Designing for Diversity: Creating Learning Experiences that Travel the Globe workshop with about 25 participants including local ICT students, faculty, and administrators.
Wednesday morning opened with an Indonesian show of Balinese gavilan music and dancing followed by presentations by APTIKOM, our host organization with Prof. Richardus Eko Indrajit live and the Minister of Education, over satellite. Over 50 remote learning centers in Indonesia were connected live to the conference. Dr. Tian Belawati, president of the University of Terbuka also gave an overview of OER and the considerable open courseware they have developed at her university. In the afternoon, Dr. Barbara Illowsky, received the OCW Individual Educator Award 2013 for Course Excellence (ACE) for her work as co-author of Collaborative Statistics and a longtime Community College leader for OER. In addition, Dr. Donna Gaudet, received an OCW ACE Award for her Basic Arithmetic (openly licensed) Basic Arithmetic MOOC which she taught this last spring.
Thursday featured more presentations including our Community College Panel: How OER Adoption fosters policy and practice change with Dr. Donna Gaudet, Dr. Barbara Illowsky, James Glapa-Grossklag, and me. A thoughtful discussion on future directions of the OCW Consortium was lead by Dr. Mike Smith, founding member and then it was off on a two-hour bus trip to the Sukarno Center to have dinner with the young King of Bali and rector of the university system.
Friday morning Prof. Gajaraj Dhanarajan, former president of the Commonwealth of Learning and vice-chancellor of Wawasan Open University in Malaysia gave the keynote. He shared information from his recently published book based on the OER Asia Initiative that he has lead for many years. He reported many of the same barriers to OER adoption that faculty in the U.S. have. Also, he warned about the hidden cost of adapting OER that must be translated and adapted for cultural context. The conference ended Friday afternoon with a singalong onstage lead by Professor Eko and the distribution of Balinese scarves for all attendees.
Presentations from the conference are being uploaded now. The 2014 conference will take place in Ljubljana, Slovenija. The conference theme will be published soon and more information on the conference tracks and program will follow.