Open Educational Resources (OER) have the potential to broaden access to education and to improve the quality and cost-effectiveness of teaching and learning in Europe. The best way to put OERs into practice is through Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). MOOCs are large-scale courses that represent one of the latest developments in open education, an initiative that is always trying to improve quality, access and equality in education and training.
MOOCs can be implemented in formal, informal and non-formal learning, and make learning ubiquitous. Funded by the European Commission, ECO is a MOOC-based, pan-European educational project focused on expanding the most successful experiences with MOOCs in Europe. The motto behind the project is: Learn what you want, when you want and where you want. Open to everyone, it pays special attention to the training of European teachers working in all kind of environment, from University professors to informal trainers working on corporate long-life education.
ECO Project Consortium is constituted by 23 partners based in 9 different countries: 14 leading educational institutions and 6 ICT companies collaborate on creating the largest eco-system of open teaching modules in Europe so far. The project acronym ECO stands for E-learning, communication and Open-data and conveniently illustrates what the project partners set out to do. The goal within the project running time of 3 years is to create a self-sustaining beehive of individual MOOCs that will grow as an independent and healthy eco-system.
Seventeen MOOCs were launched as pilot in 2014, covering various topics and in 6 different languages. A second edition kicked-off in April this year, after the courses were tested, updated and improved. The modules are structured in such a way that it will allow for teachers (and pupils) to teach, learn, anytime, anywhere. Moreover, our ultimate goal is to train teachers to step out of their comfort zone and become E-teachers by creating their own MOOCs so that an specifically tailored, six-language “sMOOC step-by-step” course kicked-off on April 20th, 2015.
Recently, a new MOOC has just been launched on ECO’s platform by the University of Manchester on “Videos for teaching, learning and communication.” Inscriptions are open.
Finally, a third, ultimate edition of all ECO’s MOOCs will be launched on October 5th, 2015.
By Sara Osuna - ECO Project Coordinator.
Further info here.
 MOOC stands for Massive Mobile Ubiquitous and Open Learning.