On December 6-9, 2021, the Global MOOC Alliance and the UNESCO Institute for Information Technologies in Education (UNESCO IITE) jointly hosted the Global MOOC and Online Education Conference 2021 (GMOEC 2021) to provide a platform for sharing policies and practices that drive innovation in higher education and for examining approaches to shape more open and resilient universities. GMOEC 2021 was titled “Together for a Shared Future-Leading Higher Education Innovation in the New Digital Era” and included seven thematic sub-forums:
- Building Future-Ready Higher Education through Equitable and Quality Online and Blended Teaching and Learning
- Technology-Enhanced Collaborative and Blended Learning
- Educating Future Scientists & Engineers
- Virtual Mobility and Cocurricular Programming
- MOOC and Online Learning in Future Education
- Designing and Delivering the Most Career-relevant Online Programs
- Metaverse and Immersive Technology in Teaching and Learning
Mr. Qiu Yong, Tsinghua University President and founding Chair of the Board of Global MOOC and Online Education Alliance, delivered welcoming remarks at the opening ceremony of the conference:
We must join hands and adopt online and hybrid education for quality higher education resources as public products, promote educational equity, facilitate knowledge dissemination and consensus in carbon neutrality, climate change, and public health, and endeavour to tackle global challenges.
Mr. Qiu Yong, President of Tsinghua University
In his closing remarks, Mr. Tao Zhan, Director of UNESCO IITE, highlighted the importance of integration of information technologies and education:
The online format in higher education will continue to change, and international organizations and educational institutions around the world must seize opportunities and face challenges, accelerate the development of quality MOOCs and online educational resources. Only together can we achieve international cooperation in higher education featuring openness, inclusivity, reciprocity and shared benefits.
Mr. Tao Zhan, Director of UNESCO IITE
Sub-forum 5 “MOOC and Online Learning in Future Education” was organized by UNESCO IITE, XuetangX, Thai MOOC and the Center for Research and Interdisciplinarity to discuss the future transformations of MOOC and online education to face the new normal of higher education in the post-pandemic era. The session was chaired by UNESCO IITE. Representatives of Tsinghua University, National Research University – Higher School of Economics (Russia), Center for Research and Interdisciplinarity (France) and XuetangX (China) delivered keynote speeches. The keynote speakers and panellists from United Nations University’s Institute on Computing and Society (Macao, SAR China), Sripatum University (Thailand), Nankai University and UMOOCs (China) shared their vision and ideas on the issues sustainability, regulation of MOOC production process and quality assurance, assessment, recognition of learning results acquired through MOOC, etc. The issues of creating supportive learning environment, connectivity and need for offline MOOC, diversity, contextualization and partnership within the Global South and beyond were raised as well.
The conference attracted participants from more than 100 international organizations, governments, universities and online education institutions from around the world. The participants shared policies and practices that drive the innovation in higher education and examined approaches to build more open and resilient universities.
The videorecording of GMOEC 2021 is available here.