UC Irvine Director of Open Education Re-Elected President to Esteemed Open Education Consortium Board

Larry Cooperman, Board of Directors Push for Universal Access to Higher Education

May 13, 2014, 11:20 ET from UC Irvine Extension

IRVINE, Calif., May 13, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- The University of California, Irvine (UCI) today announced the re-appointment of Larry Cooperman, UCI's Director of Open Education to his second term as president of the Open Education Consortium Board of Directors. The Open Education Consortium (OEC) consists of educational institutions and associations worldwide that together offer the largest collection of open courses and learning modules. Cooperman's second term is from April 2014 to April 2015.

"Larry Cooperman is deeply committed to and enthusiastic about open education," says Mary Lou Forward, Executive Director of the OEC. "He has increased outreach to important global areas, particularly in Latin America, and we look forward to his continuing contributions to the Consortium's future."

During his first term, Cooperman was frequently the public face of the Consortium, which recently changed its name to the OEC to reflect a broader mission beyond the production of open educational resources.  He deepened its collaboration with international distance learning organizations, including signing a memorandum of understanding with the Brazilian Distance Education Association, formalizing their role as an affiliate consortium of the OEC. Cooperman also held discussions for the past year with the Institute of Electronics and Electrical Engineers (IEEE), the world's largest professional association and a leading supplier of continuing education in technical fields. In April, the IEEE formally joined the OEC.

2014 OEC Global Conference Marks Significant Turning Point for the Future of Open Education

"The conference provided the platform to combine our partnerships with institutions and ministries of education to develop and execute transformative projects that bring greater educational opportunities to all," said Cooperman. "In fact, the ministers of higher education in both the Netherlands and Malaysia already encourage their country's universities to join the Consortium."

In addition, the Slovenian Minister of Education of Science and Sports, Jernej Pikalo, announced a new initiative called "OpeningUpSlovenia," which aims to help Slovenia use open educational resources and digital technologies to accelerate their educational system.

Expanding the Use of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs)

Moving forward, Cooperman plans to expand the Consortium's Massive Online Open Course (MOOC) initiative in collaboration with Edx, which was created for students and institutions that seek to transform themselves through cutting-edge technologies, innovative pedagogy, and rigorous courses. "The EdX and OEC collaboration will make use of the world's largest collection of open courses, an open-source MOOC platform and multi-university collaboration around the creation of the first reusable, permanently available, freely licensed MOOCs," said Cooperman.

And finally, under Cooperman's leadership, the Consortium's board of directors has created a group to investigate a set of consulting services. "The world is at a tipping point in the implementation of large-scale, efficient and effective digital technologies for students and independent learners. The creation of new policies will allow individual institutions and entire educational systems to develop the appropriate balance of technology and openly available educational resources," said Cooperman.

ABOUT LARRY COOPERMAN: Larry Cooperman is the director of UC Irvine's award-winning OpenCourseWare project. He has served as an advocate for open education in different regions and through his service on the board of the African Virtual University. He speaks at open and distance learning conferences internationally, from the Asahi Shinbum conference on the future of higher education (April 2014) in Tokyo to the conference of the Global Universities in Distance Education (GUIDE, April 2014) in Guatemala. From 1999-2001, Cooperman was Chair of UC Berkeley Extension's E-Commerce Program committee and served on the faculty of a Latin American business school for three years. Prior to joining the University of California, Cooperman was the Associate Vice President for Educational Technology at the California College of the Arts.

ABOUT THE OPEN EDUCATION CONSORTIUM: The Open Education Consortium envisions a world in which the desire to learn is fully met by the opportunity to do so anywhere in the world, where everyone, everywhere is able to access affordable, educationally and culturally appropriate opportunities to gain whatever knowledge or training they desire.  The Open Education Consortium acts to expand access to education and promote open sharing of knowledge. It does this by leveraging its sources of expert opinion, its global network and its position as the principal voice of open education.

ABOUT THE UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, IRVINE: Founded in 1965, UC Irvine is a top-ranked university dedicated to research, scholarship and community service. Led by Chancellor Michael Drake since 2005, UC Irvine is among the most dynamic campuses in the University of California system, with nearly 28,000 undergraduate and graduate students, 1,100 faculty and 9,000 staff. Orange County's largest employer, UC Irvine contributes an annual economic impact of $4.2 billion. For more UC Irvine news, visit www.today.uci.edu.

CONTACT: Kathy Seaton Tam, 949-824-5525, kstam@uci.edu

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SOURCE UC Irvine Extension