UCLouvain is a comprehensive university founded in 1425. It is located in the center of Belgium and is organized around 14 faculties and schools, 30.000 students, 1.900 teachers, 3.000 researchers and 150.000 Alumni.
Placing 149th in the 2016 QS ranking of the world’s universities, UCLouvain is ranked first among Belgian french speaking universities.
Erasmus, Gerardus Mercator and Andreas Vesalius are among the greats to have graced its halls; it’s where Georges Lemaître formulated his Big Bang theory and Christian de Duve conducted research that won him the 1974 Nobel Prize in Medicine.
At UCLouvain, a digital strategy, set up in 2015, aims to exploit digital capabilities to enhance the creation, dissemination, and diffusion of knowledge. It is based on a three-pronged approach: Open Education, Open Publication, and Open Source.
UClouvain is also a pioneer in the creation of massive open online courses (MOOCs).
Main Website: http://www.uclouvain.be
Starting in February 2017, UCLouvain has launched its own repository of Open Educational Resources, based on an open source solution (Version 6.2 of DSpace, 2016). Educators are encouraged to deposit their material on this platform (http://www.uclouvain.be/oer); this can be existing material, transformed existing material, or newly developed material.
After the first a year of operation, the repository oer.uclouvain.be contains about 170 resources authored by 156 members of the university: open textbooks, open courseware, videos, assessment rubrics, problem-based learning material, serious games, pedagogical software, etc. The number of monthly accesses hovers around 3.000 per month, with a growing community of returning users, from all around the world.
To increase the visibility of our OERs, they are systematically referenced in known OER portals such as OER Commons (https://www.oercommons.org/browse?f.provider=université-catholique-de-louvain) and Merlot (https://www.merlot.org/merlot/unifieds.htm?keywords=oer-uclouvain).
URLs : uclouvain.be/oer ; oer.uclouvain.be
UCLouvain joined the EdX consortium in 2013; up to now, 24 courses have been developed (https://uclouvain.be/moocs). These MOOCs have been followed by 360.000 registered learners from 200 countries. Our aim is, of course, to extend access to our courses to a wider audience, but our strategy is to integrate UCLouvain’s MOOCs into its own courses, with the aim of supplying additional resources to regular students and enhancing their learning, in a blended learning approach. MOOCs also reinforces our international strategy through our involvement in EdX’s MicroMaster programs and in the European Virtual Exchange experience. Although MOOCs are freely open to anyone, they do not strictly follow the openness definition. We however encourage our teachers to also publish their MOOC videos under a Creative Common license.
URLs : https://uclouvain.be/fr/universite-numerique/moocs; https://www.edx.org/school/louvainx
UCLouvain’s LMS is open source Moodle (Version 3.3 of Moodle (2017)); its solution for secure online assessments is based on open source Safe Exam Browser (Version 2.1 of Safe Exam browser (2016)); its podcasting tool is being moved to the open source EZcast (Latest Version of EZcast (2017) …
In both cases, a significant effort has been expended by the university’s IT team to tailor the products to its needs (for instance, Safe Exam Browser has been completed by a homemade portal, available as an open source software, which facilitates the management of the exams sessions.
Specific grants are available to help members of the university experiment with new open-source tools for education.
In terms of Open Education, access to open resources and tools is, of course, necessary but it is not sufficient: people should be actively encouraged to exploit them. Mode of teaching has to be adapted; this deeply implies the Center for Teaching and Learning of UCLouvain (Louvain Learning Lab). Moreover, the impact on students learning is crucial and requires further study, which UCLouvain has undertaken.