Flanders

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Overview

For the purposes of this wiki we take Flanders (Vlaanderen) to refer to the semi-autonomous federated state in the north of Belgium, and we limit ourselves more specifically to the Flemish community. Belgium has three language-related communities which are responsible for the person-related issues such as education, welfare, public health and culture for the Dutch-speaking citizens of Belgium. Geographically, the Flemish community () covers the 5 northern provinces in Belgium - that together form the Flemish Region () - and the bilingual area of Brussels-Capital (, but limited to the person-related issues of the Dutch-speaking citizens).

The Flemish community has a population of about 6,400,000 (status on January 1st, 2012)[1]. The Flemish parliament and government are the governing institutions of Flanders, i.e. both the Flemish Community (Vlaamse Gemeenschap) and the Flemish Region (Vlaams Gewest). The Dutch-speaking citizens of Flanders often refer to themselves as Flemings (Vlaming). The capital city of Flanders is Brussels.


Map of Belgium indicating the two language areas that constitute the Flemish community[2]


Map of Belgium indicating the linguistic areas that constitute the Flemish community. Source: National Geographical Institute of Belgium. Based on http://www.ngi.be/Templates/zoom.htm?doctitle=Belgi%EB+:+taalgebieden&image=../images/2/11/regling.gif&x=55...


Further information

For further general information see Wikipedia:Flanders.

Education in Flanders

Since the federalisation of Belgium in 1989, education in Flanders has been the sole responsibility of the Flemish community. The three Belgian communities have a unified school system with small differences from one community to another. The role of the federal Belgian state is limited to:

  • the determination of the end and the beginning of compulsory school attendance,
  • the mininum requirements for the issuing of diplomas,
  • the regularisation of retirement for the employees in the educational system.

Indirectly the federal state finances the communities out of national tax revenues. In essence, however, education in Flanders is the full responsibility of the Flemish community, i.e. the citizens of the Flemish Region and the Dutch-speaking inhabitants of the Brussels-Capital region[3].

Structure of the education system in Flanders

The structure of the educational system in the three Belgian communities remains quite similar to date. The diagram below shows the different school levels and types in Flanders arranged according to the learner's age.[4] The diagram show that education in Flanders is compulsory between the ages of 6 and 18.

National education structure in Flemish Community Diagram key

For a general description of education in Flanders see Education:Flanders.

Policy, organisation and governance

Compulsory education

In terms of policy, the Flemish Ministry of Education & Training is responsible for:

  1. Funding schools (working resources, salaries, extra subsidies);
  2. Developing educational targets (attainment targets);
  3. Checking that attainment targets are reached (via the Inspectorate);
  4. Developing and running specific projects according to contemporary policy and societal needs.

The organisation and governance of schools within compulsory education throughout Flanders is divided into three groups (so-called educational school networks or Onderwijsnetten). The educational school networks act as the representative associations of the governing bodies of the schools and take over some of the responsibilities of the governing bodies. They are in charge of pedagogical and organizational issues such as curriculum development, timetables, school support, etc. There are three main educational school networks:

  1. Public schools organized and governed by the community: GO! Onderwijs van de Vlaamse gemeenschap
  2. Subsidized public schools: officieel gesubsidieerd onderwijs, organized and governed by provinces and municipalities
  3. Subsidized free schools: vrij gesubsidieerd onderwijs, organized and governed by independent non-for-profit associations, the majority of which are affiliated with the Catholic church

The latter is the largest group, both in number of schools and in number of pupils. This division in three groups applies to compulsory education, i.e. primary and secondary education, and to some extent to adult education as well.

Higher education

Until recently, this division between the three groups with regard to organisation and governance also applied to higher education. However, the constitutional reform in Belgium led to a new higher education legislation in the early 1990s and to a policy based on the principles of increasing deregulation, autonomy and accountability. In general, there are two types of higher education institutions: universities and university colleges or "hogescholen".

The Flemish government wanted to treat all institutions on an equal basis. New legislation made the former state universities autonomous and gave them almost the same responsibility as the ‘free’ universities. In terms of deregulation, autonomy and accountability the same principles were introduced for the hogescholen. This - in conjunction with the merger operation in 1995 - led to a fundamental change in the relationship between the government and the hogescholen. Former centralised and detailed regulations were replaced by a management regime aimed at achieving a balanced combination of broad autonomy and responsibility for the hogescholen. The higher education regulations as a whole – universities and hogescholen – became more integrated. The Flemish government wanted to bring the decree on universities (1991) and the decree on the hogescholen (1994) in line with each other without affecting the nature of the university and college education.
This integration process has been stimulated even more by the 2003 Decree on the restructuring of higher education[5] in order to implement the Bologna process. This decree entailed the formation of so-called 'Associations of Higher Education'. An association is an official entity regulating the cooperation of a university and one or more university colleges. The partners may transfer their powers regarding education, scientific research and social society services to this association.[6] The location of the HE institutions and their affiliation with one of the 5 associations is shown in the map below. Since 2010, a continuing process of mergers has been taking place, reducing the number of institutions. At the same time, the influence and decision power of the Associations is increasing steadily, especially within the largest group, the Association K.U.Leuven. As of 2013-2014, academic bachelor and master programmes will only be offered by universities, whereas the university colleges will only offer professional bachelors.

Map of Flanders and Brussels showing the location of the institutions belonging to each of the five associations for higher education (situation as of 2013-2014). Retrieved from http://www.onderwijskiezer.be/hoger/hoger_associaties.php

In terms of policy advice and preparation the following organisations play an important role in Flanders:

  • Education in general
    • The Flemish Education Council (Vlaamse Onderwijsraad - VLOR) was founded in 1991. It is the advisory and consultative body for all educational matters. All draft decrees in the field of education must be submitted to the VLOR. Furthermore, the VLOR can give advice to the Flemish government on its own initiative. The VLOR consists of a general council and separate councils for primary, secondary, higher and adult education. The general council is composed of representatives of the organising bodies, school staff, parents and socio-economic organisations, university experts and Education Department representatives.
    • The Flemish Socio-Economic Council (Sociaal-Economische Raad van Vlaanderen - SERV), composed of representatives of employers and employees, gives advice on all draft decrees, including those in the field of education. The SERV plays an important role in the relationship between educationand the world of work.
  • Secondary education
    • The Flemish secondary school student board (Vlaamse scholierenkoepel - VSK) represents student councils and students in secondary education, and gives advice to the Flemish Ministery of education.
  • Higher education
    • The Flemish Interuniversity Council (Vlaamse Interuniversitaire Raad - VLIR) is an autonomous body of public utility with its own corporate status. It acts as a defender of the universities and as an advisor to the Flemish government on university issues (consultation, advice and recommendations).
    • A similar body has been established for the institutions of non-university higher education - the Flemish Council for hogescholen (VLHORA). It was founded during the academic year 1996-1997 and represents the hogescholen. The Council gives advice and makes proposals to the Flemish government with regard to the education in the hogescholen. At the same time it can provide consultation among the hogescholen
    • The National Union of Students in Flanders (VVS) is the umbrella organisation of student unions at Flemish universities and hogescholen. The National Union of Students in Flanders gives advice at the request of the Flemish government.

e-Learning

In view of the autonomy of schools in Flanders, the e-learning situation in Flanders[7] is rather diverse. In compulsory education, the ICT curriculum provides the general quality framework for ICT integration. Education providers, curriculum designers and the schools themselves can decide how these competences are taught in practice to all pupils, course participants and students and what the principles of digital didactics should be. The key system for rolling out basic ICT competences is to incorporate them into daily activities in the classroom. New cross-curricular final objectives and developmental ICT objectives were rolled out on 1 September 2007. However, a number of key preconditions have to be met in order to implement the ICT-related final objectives. These preconditions refer to the policymaking capacity and the support of educational establishments, teacher training, infrastructure and teaching aids.

Gouvernment implementation policies

In order to cater for this, the Government of Flanders applies a five-point implementation policy:

  1. Strengthening the policy-making capacities of educational establishments at institutional level.
    1. ICT coordination. Government funds specific ICT-coordination time: earmarked hours within the total amount of human resources. The school communities within compulsory education represent the ideal level to take decisions about ICT support. The ICT coordination hours are assigned to the school communities, while the Inspectorate’s assessments show that this approach is suited for maximising the effectiveness of the resources for ICT coordination.
    2. Support projects for special educational needs. Under the “ICT Zonder Beperkingen” (ICT without limits) programme, specific actions were set up to boost the use of ICT by children with special needs. The programme has various action lines: awareness-raising campaigns, development of learning material, project support and in-service training.
    3. Local ICT strategy planning with PICTOS-software. PICTOS (Planning for ICT in Schools) is an online software tool developed to support school teams in the development of a local (school-based) ICT-strategy. It is used during one-day team-based in-service training. The team has to go through various steps towards an integrated ICT policy plan.
  2. Promoting the professionalism of educational staff:
    1. The in-service training programme: staff training via the REN Vlaanderen expertise network. The regional expertise networks (REN) were set up in 2000: five networks are spread throughout Flanders for the purpose of offering large-scale further training in ICT at educational, technical and organisational level. Starting in the 2003-2004 school year, the various networks were incorporated into a single expertise network with a central overseeing system: “REN Vlaanderen”. A key operational change was the shift from supply- to demand-based ICT training. Teachers, head teachers, ICT coordinators from all educational levels and networks and teacher trainers represent REN Vlaanderen’s target group. In 2006, the method of operation was once again adjusted. In terms of content the focus has to be on the introduction of the ICTrelated cross-curricular final objectives and developmental objectives. In addition to offering core opportunities for further training REN Vlaanderen also has a theme-specific focus. Every year a minimum of one and a maximum of three themes concerning specific measures are formulated, such as further training or material development.
  3. Providing a high-quality infrastructure
    1. ICT Infrastructure Programme: Access to PC's & Access to the Internet - cf. section on Internet in Flanders
  4. Developing a suitable teaching aid policy by supporting digital learning resources and service.
  5. Research and ICT monitoring
    1. Compulsory education: Scientists from the Universities of Ghent and Leuven have developed a unique (web-based) monitoring instrument, MICTIVO, proving information about four types of indicators for policy assessment:
      1. ICT competences of pupils and teachers
      2. ICT infrastructure (computer/pupil ratios, PC & Internet /pupil ratios, type and age of PCs, Internet facilities, etc.),
      3. the use and integration of ICT in the learning environment (level and type of use of ICT, use of electronic learning environments, methods, etc.),
      4. relevant stakeholders’ perceptions of the educational use of ICT
    2. The Government of Flanders set up a new interdisciplinary institute for broadband technology in 2005: the IBBT. This new research institute is focused on the development and exploitation of broadband services. The research centre’s main aim is to train highly-skilled human resources and conduct broadband technology research on behalf of the Flemish business community and the Flemish Government.

Virtual Learning Environments

One of the indicators of e-Learning in Flemish education is the presence of Virtual Learning Environments (VLE) - also known as Learning Management Systems (LMS) - in schools. The use of VLE's in education shows a great variety, depending on the level of education.

  • The use of VLE's in primary schools is not (yet) common in Flanders.
  • In secondary schools, the use of VLE's has been researched in 2009[8]. Smartschool, a local commercial platform, was being used in 75% of schools, with EloV (Blackboard) being used in approximately 15%. Note: the choice of VLE is partly determined by the educational school network that a school belongs to. Community-owned schools are all required to use Smartschool, whereas schools associated with the Catholic network are encouraged to use EloV, a localised version of Blackboard, supported by the Association K.U.Leuven.
  • At universities and university colleges, the use of VLE is primarily determined by the university association that an institute belongs to. Based on the 2009 student numbers, Blackboard was being used by about 55% of Flemish higher education students, with Dokeos being used by 45% of Flemish students.[9]

Digital learning resources and service policies

Key principles of the Flemish government policy on development of software and digital learning objects:

  • It is first of all up to the educational publishers to develop the learning objects required to flesh out the curricula.
  • The government may take action to develop learning objects in particular areas where there is a lack of content. This has been the case for special needs education (www.icthelpt.be) and media education (www.ingebeeld.be).
  • The government encourages teachers to develop teaching aids themselves. The educational portal (www.klascement.net) supports teachers in sharing and delivering learning objects.
  • Arts centres, heritage organisations, museums, radio and TV archives, etc. have huge collections of information which are all potential learning objects. Their digital accessibility for educational purposes may offer a tremendous added value for educational establishments. This potential is harnessed as much as possible.
  • Both commercial software and open-source software have a role to play in education. Educational establishments have to be at liberty to choose on the basis of their needs and requirements.
  • The government is keen to encourage the maximum use of open standards.

For a description more focussed on e-learning in higher education see E-learning:Flanders.


Quality procedures

Compulsory education

With regard to compulsory education, the Flemish educational system does not have a central state-organised exam for pupils at the end of secondary education. The communiity put in place quality assurance systems combining internal and external quality evaluation procedures. Legislators have identified common learning outcomes that pupils are expected to attain during the different levels of education, encompassing both knowledge and skills at a high level of abstraction. These learning outcomes are then developed into learning curricula by the educational school networks, representing the governing bodies of the schools. Independent inspection services perform regular external evaluations (e.g. every 5 years) in order to assess the degree to which each school's individual approach guarantees the attainment of the common learning outcomes identified by the legislators.

The system of quality control and promotion by the government is built on 3 pillars:

  1. The curriculum entity: Final objectives are minimum goals which the government considers necessary and achievable for a particular group of pupils. In concrete terms, this concerns knowledge, insight, attitudes and skills. They are subject-related final objectives but also cross-curricular ones. Final objectives are developed by the Curriculum entity within AKOV. They are submitted to advice by the VLOR, then approved by the Flemish government and finally validated by an Act of the Flemish Parliament. Every governing body or school board must include the final objectives in the school learning programmes.
  2. The inspectorate: The educational inspectorate of the Flemish Ministry of Education and Training acts as a professional body of external supervision by assessing the implementation of these final objectives.
  3. Educational guidance: Each educational network has its own educational guidance service (Pedagogische Begeleidingsdienst - PBD), which ensures professional internal support to schools and centres. Schools can call on them for educational and methodological advisory services (innovation projects, self-evaluation projects, support initiatives). Educational guidance works across schools for the in-service training and support of head teachers. Educational guidance also has an important role in the establishment of new curriculums and supports their implementation. If the inspectorate detects shortcomings in schools, the educational guidance service may be called on to address them.

Schools in elementary and secondary education are submitted to a regular external review by the inspectorate. In secondary education, the schedule is drawn up with a focus on school communities (all schools affiliated to one school community are inspected during one particular period). The Parliament Act on Quality Assurance in Education states that every institution has to be inspected at least once every 10 years. To ensure uniformity, all inspection teams use the same set of instruments. Moreover, inspection procedures are identical throughout the Flemish Community. The inspectorate uses the CIPO (Context – Input – Process – Output) model. This model has been used for a while, but is officially obliged by the Parliament Act on Quality Assurance in Education in 2009. The global framework is defined in the Parliament Act, the concrete content in implementation decrees.

The interpretation of the different aspects of the model is as follows:

  • Context: stable information regarding location, organising body, physical and structural conditions under which the school must operate and on which it hardly has any influence at all.
  • Input: information on the conditions under which and the resources with which the school must develop its processes, but which it can influence to a certain extent such as staff (profile, further training and training), financial resources, courses of study offered, pupils (offer, profile)…
  • Process: all the pedagogical and school-organisational characteristics which indicate what efforts the school makes to achieve the objectives laid down by the government.
  • Output: both the hard output data which show to what extent the objectives (final objectives, curricula, progression/transition...) to be attained are achieved and the softer output data such as the well-being of pupils and teachers.

This choice of model implies that the inspectorate sees the performance of the teachers and principal within the overall school performance and that the school performance is placed within the local context. This model is used from a perspective of accountability and school development. The school inspection is both a means to check data within the school (accountability) and may be an occasion for the school to optimise the quality of the education it provides (development). In addition, the inspection team checks whether the school’s infrastructure is adequate and whether statutory provisions are properly adhered to.

An inspection can result in three types of advice:

  • favourable;
  • favourable but for a limited time only: in that case a number of shortcomings have been established which must be rectified within a pre-set time frame. Once that period has expired, a progress check will be carried out in relation to said shortcomings;
  • unfavourable; this will lead to the rescission of a school’s recognition or part thereof.

Each inspection consists of three phases:

  • Pre-analysis of existing sources and on-the-spot
  • Actual inspection, consisting of a 3 to 6 days visit at the school. The methods that are used during the inspection visit are interviews, document analyses and observations.
  • Inspection report: The conclusions of the inspection team are elaborated in an inspection report. This also contains the final advice. In line with administrative openness, all inspection reports are published on the Internet (www.schooldoorlichtingen.be).

Follow-up procedures were revised in 2006. When a school has been fully inspected a follow-up inspection will take place after three school years. Intermittent follow-ups are only possible if, due to very specific problems, this was so agreed with the inspection team and if it features in the inspection advice. The follow-up will be based on an adjustment plan the school has drawn up.

Source: http://www.ond.vlaanderen.be/.../Koppelingsrapport_EN_0.4.pdf

Higher education

Assessing the quality of the services that universities provide has become an overriding priority. Quality assessment in Flemish higher education is organised at different levels, i.e. at the meta-level and within individual institutions. Quality assessment is organised for each of the services offered by tertiary education institutions: teaching and (in the case of universities) research. Furthermore, as has already been mentioned, although higher education institutions have been granted discretionary powers, the government retains its controlling power. Even in the recent period of greater autonomy, the Court of Audit has performed thorough and comparative “thematic” checks on the quality of institutional management on a regular basis.

In exchange for greater autonomy Flemish universities and hogescholen have implemented a system of internal and external quality assessment. The aim is to improve the quality of study programs. The government has made the institutions themselves responsible for creating the appropriate means for doing this. The so-called “visitations” consist, firstly, of a very important self-assessment (on the basis of a detailed guide) and secondly, the visit and assessment (on the basis of interviews) by an external commission which draws up the final report. As laid down by decree, a visitation for each study program must take place at least once every 8 years. For universities, the first round was completed in 2001; a new round started in 2002 (for non-university tertiary education, a new round started in 2004). Recommendations are, generally speaking, acted upon quite well by the individual institution in question.

At the institutional level, the quality assessment with regard to teaching primarily concerns the evaluation of the individual courses.

The students’ assessment of teaching performance takes the form of a standardised questionnaire, to be filled in anonymously, which provides information regarding, for example, the teaching materials and methods used, the match between the content and the final objectives of the course, the teaching style, etc. Finally, the students may add general comments (such as suggestions, strengths and weaknesses of the course) by means of open questions.

Although the educational authorities in Flanders are greatly in favor of collective research assessments,quality assurance with regard to research is at present mainly the responsibility of the individual universities. The Department of Education has, however, recently commissioned an evaluation of the universities’ research management and quality assurance processes, while the universities themselves were asked to report on their experiences with regard to the research policy management of the authorities. As laid down by decree, a systematic research assessment by each individual university, resulting in a public report, must be carried out at least once every 8 years. From 1999 onwards, most universities have been carrying out bibliometric studies on research output on the basis of publications and its visibility in the natural and (bio)medical sciences. Recently, pilot studies have also been commissioned in some domains of the humanities and social sciences (linguistics, economics, law). Furthermore, self-assessment reports at the level of individual research teams, supplemented by data on commissioned research and output of the teams, are regularly used in internal and external peer reviews. Only one university (Free University of Brussels – VUB) is at present running a systematic research assessment program consisting of complementary bibliometric studies and on site peer review.

Internet in Flanders

Internet access

According to Eurostat, 78% of Belgian households had access to the Internet in 2012, over 90% of which have broadband access. These data are not separately available for Flanders.

Internet in Education

ICT infrastructure in schools

From 1998 to 2002 the Flemish ministry ran a specific funding scheme called PC/KD, which invested more than 650,000 EUR in acquiring a basic ICT infrastructure. The aim was to have 1 PC per 10 children by 2002. After 2002, schools were expected to continuously update their ICT infrastructure, financed from the regular Community subsidies. However, with the introduction of a new ICT curriculum in september 2007, schools again received extra funding for updating their ICT infrastructure. [10]

  • According to the research project EU Kids Online (2010), about 70% of children between the ages of 9 and 16 have access to Internet at school in the Flemish Community.[11]
  • According to research funded by the Flemish gouvernment (2010)[12] the average primary school in Flanders has 1,7 PC's per 10 children and the average secondary school has 3,2 PC's per 10 children, with about 80% of these PC's having Internet access. Computers in primary education are on average much older than those in secondary education. Interestingly, about 60% of PC's in primary education are located in classrooms, whereas more than 60% of PC's in secondary education are located in computer rooms.

Gouvernment internet initiatives

  • In 2011, the Flemish gouvernment agreed a three-year package deal for schools within compulsory education with one of the major Broadband providers to offer SchoolNet, a range of specially prized access packages.
  • Institutions for Higher Education can make use of BELNET, the Belgian national research network that was established in 1993 as part of the Federal Science Policy Office.

Copyright law in Flanders

For Flanders, the Belgian national copyright legislation applies. No special Flemish conditions apply.

OER Initiatives in Flanders

In its response to the OECD questionnaire, Flanders reported that it has chosen to focus its OER efforts on young children (ISCED sectors 1 to 3). [13]

National OER initiatives

As reported in De Craemer (2009). [14]

Accessing learning objects via an educational portal site - One of the key projects is the creation of an educational portal site serving as a multipurpose electronic knowledge centre. Firstly, the portal site acts as a central access point for educational information and support. This involves developing and offering information, examples of good practice and thematic files to various target groups. These may be general or specific themes (such as dimensions involved in the integration of ICT, learning participation, lifelong learning, special needs education, etc.). The portal site also has to offer the opportunities for effective digital teaching aids (e-learning opportunities) in an accessible and structured way. Consequently, a framework has to be developed allowing individual teachers and also publishers to publicise their software, examples and curricula online so as to reach out to a wider target group (www.klascement.net).

Standardising learning objects - The Flemish Ministry of Education was a key partner in the Users’ Commission for the IWT-Tetraproject “PUBELO”. The project agreed on an educational standard (LOM metadata profile) and deploying it within a large group of relevant stakeholders (such as publishers or managers of portal sites or electronic learning environments). The government input is providing incentives for the creation and recognition of open standards (www.pubelo.be).

Learning objects for adult distance education - The Flemish Ministry of Education and Training has funded the development of online learning materials for distance adult learning. These learning materials comprise over 3,500 reusable electronic teaching packages for learning languages (French, English, German, Italian, Spanish, and Dutch as a second language) each lasting roughly 30 minutes. Each learning object is described according to a standardised set of metadata (such as level of language proficiency, competence taught, etc.) and made available via an online platform so teachers may use the lessons or even entire courses in their own educational environment. The learning materials are well suited for self-study or may be deployed for remedial or complementary purposes in other learning contexts (www.klascement.net/bis).

E-culture and education - Projects such as “Ingebeeld” are a first step towards a more efficient system of (multi) media use in education. An investigation is also due to be made to see how far government funded or subsidised cultural establishments – including the Flemish Television and Radio archives – may allow access to their material and what should be the best metadata and technical tools to use for this so as to streamline accessibility in the educational environment. Versions of “Ingebeeld” are up and running for pre-primary, primary and secondary education (www.ingebeeld.be).

Content development for Special (Needs) Education - Under the “ICT Zonder Beperkingen” (ICT without limits) programme, specific actions were set up to boost the use of ICT by children with special needs. One of the programme lines was content development. Several tools were developed: maths methods for deaf children using Flemish sign language; development of new pictograms, a DVD to help teachers create and use visualisations, a manual for using digital whiteboards in special needs education. Within the autism project several tools were developed to foster the alignment between education and the labour market such as the development of an autism-specific portfolio (Wai-Pass).

User-generated content

  • Web 2.0 as a specific theme in in-service training - In 2007-2008 one of the priorities of the in-service training via the REN Vlaanderen expertise centre in their theme-specific training offer was the didactical use of Web 2.0. Under this programme, content in the form of technical and didactical guidelines was developed. Extensive in-service training was provided and two conferences were organised. The materials and more information (in Dutch) can be found here: www2.renvlaanderen.be/web2.
  • Educational portal Klascement and Web 2.0 applications - The educational portal “Klascement” has for several years been at the forefront of educational Web 2.0 use. First of all Klascement is a Web 2 application in itself. The content is largely user-generated since the portal is meant to be an exchange platform for content by and for teachers. On top of this, the content is rated and actively commented on by the users themselves. Moreover, the portal hosts several learning objects on the educational use of Web 2.0. Finally, as a subproject of Klascement the service “Classy” is offered to schools, teachers and classes. Classy (www.classy.be) is a free blog service where teachers and classes can receive free blog space and hosting.

Klascement

Klascement.net is a large portal site for mostly Dutch-language digital learning materials, that was started in 1998 as a grassroots website initiative by a Mathematics teacher together with some pupils and friends. Originally, the target audience were Flemish teachers in primary and secondary education. Since then, the target audience had expanded to include teachers in adult education, as well as students of teacher training programmes. All entries have been quality controlled, monitored and meta-dated according to the international IEEE-LOM standard. At the time of writing (2013), Klascement has three country-specific sites: Klascement.be orders materials according to the Flemish educational system, Klascement.nl according to the Dutch educational system, and Klascement.eu is an international portal in English. Between 2007 and 2012, Klascement was run by a small non-for-profit organisation with limited staff and resources, with occasional support from commercial companies and incidental subsidies from the Flemish Community. At the start of 2013 the site became part of the Flemish Ministry of Education and Training's Agency for Educational Communication[15].

For more details see Klascement

Institutional OER initiatives

KULeuven

Within the Flemish community, the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (KULeuven) has been most active within the OER movement since about 1995.

  • Ariadne: Started as an EU-funded project (1996-1998) initiated by the KULeuven Computer Science Department, the Ariadne foundation has been instrumental in research, development and exploitation regarding large-scale repositories of reusable learning objects. Ariadne was one of the founding members of the Global Learning Objects Brokering Exchange (GLOBE) Alliance, a one-stop-shop for learning resource broker organizations, each of them managing and/or federating one or more learning object repositories.
  • Cultural Studies: Within KULeuven, the Institute for Cultural Studies - previously known as the Maerlant Centre - has been involved in many EU-projects related to the use of (Open) Educational Resources within higher education, more specifically focused on Culture within the digital sphere. Projects include Europeana photography, OER-HE, and OpenCourseWare EU.
  • DOEL: The KULeuven unit for Education and Learning (DOEL) has been involved in many projects related to virtual student mobility, virtual campuses and production and re-use of open educational resources, such as the EUREA project (European meta databases of e-Academic resources).

KULeuven OCW

More recently, KULeuven has started a small educational project with university funding to do a feasibility study on Open Courseware (KULeuven OCW). "In the process of opening up KU Leuven's education, a few courses, currently organised as more or less regular courses, were chosen as pilot courses to be opened. They have been selected amongst more than 8000 existing Blackboard courses, each for their own characteristics when it comes to didactics, content, and especially their target group, and will be converted to fully functional Open Courses. [...] At this moment there are three KU Leuven courses available as Open Courses: two in Dutch (Leren, Onderwijzen en Evalueren and Technologie voor de Maatschappij) and one in English (Online Publishing)." (March 2013)

For more information see KULeuven OCW

References

  1. 6,3 million in the Flemish Region and approximately 100,000 in Brussels-Capital, according to the Belgian Federal Gouvernment statistics - http://statbel.fgov.be/nl/modules/publications/statistiques/bevolking/bevolking_-_cijfers_bevolking_2010_-_2012.jsp
  2. Source: National Geographical Institute of Belgium. (Colour changes made by author). - http://www.ngi.be/Templates/zoom.htm?doctitle=Belgi%EB+:+taalgebieden&image=../images/2/11/regling.gif&x=551&y=556&wx=600&wy=600
  3. http://www.belgium.be/en/education/coming_to_study_in_belgium/
  4. Copyright: Eurydice - http://eacea.ec.europa.eu/education/eurydice/
  5. Decreet van 4 april 2003 betreffende de herstructurering van het hoger onderwijs in Vlaanderen - http://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Structuurdecreet
  6. Study in Flanders - http://www.studyinflanders.be/en/flanders-education-system/associations/
  7. The section on e-learning draws heavily on De Craemer, J. (2009), Country Report on ICT in Education, Belgium (Flemish Community), European Schoolnet. Available on http://insight.eun.org/ and http://www.ond.vlaanderen.be/ict/english/Insight_Country_%20Report_Flanders_June2010.pdf
  8. De Smet, C., & Schellens, T. (2009). ELO's in het Vlaams secundair onderwijs : nieuw of alweer achterhaald. Advies & educatie, 26(5), 12-14. - http://drsmetty.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/ELOs-in-het-Vlaams-secundair-onderwijs.pdf
  9. De leerkracht en de ELO: visie en gebruik - http://www.slideshare.net/Smetty/de-leerkracht-en-de-elo-visie-en-gebruik
  10. ICT Infrastructure programme (2007) - http://www.ond.vlaanderen.be/edulex/database/document/document.asp?docid=13940
  11. EU Kids Online project - http://www2.lse.ac.uk/media@lse/research/EUKidsOnline/Home.aspx
  12. MICTIVO 2010 - http://www.ond.vlaanderen.be/ict/onderzoek/files/MICTIVO.pdf
  13. Hylén, J. et al. (2012), “Open Educational Resources: Analysis of Responses to the OECD Country Questionnaire”, OECD Education Working Papers, No. 76, OECD Publishing. http://oer.unescochair-ou.nl/?wpfb_dl=38
  14. The section on Flemish OER initiatives is a rewrite of De Craemer, J. (2009), Country Report on ICT in Education, Belgium (Flemish Community), European Schoolnet. Available on http://insight.eun.org/ and http://www.ond.vlaanderen.be/ict/english/Insight_Country_%20Report_Flanders_June2010.pdf
  15. Press release 7-Jan-2013 - http://www.ond.vlaanderen.be/nieuws/2013/01-07-Klascement.htm

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