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Open Education Around the World: Study.com Speaks with IE University

In the pursuit of increasing access to education, Study.com has recently launched an interview series with OpenCourseWare (OCW) providers around the world. These institutions are at the forefront of the blossoming open education movement, which provides free educational resources to any student or self learner with an Internet connection. Read on to learn about OCW opportunities at IE University in Spain from multimedia projects director Martín Rodríguez Jugo.

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By Megan Driscoll

IE University

IE University

Study.com: When did IE University begin offering course materials online, and what inspired you to join the OCW Consortium?

Martín Rodríguez Jugo: IE created its e-learning department in 2001 with two main purposes: The creation of online master's programs and the development of multimedia content. Since the end of 2008, IE has offered its multimedia documentation online under a Creative Commons license. This interactive material covers several knowledge areas and includes business games and simulations, interactive case studies and tutorials, graphs and questionnaires.

Following this open content initiative, IE joined the OCW Consortium in 2009 when we published a number of courses online, providing free access to all the content of these programs, including both the paper-based material (case studies and technical notes), as well as the interactive offerings.

Study.com: Is there a particular educational philosophy that drives your participation in open education?

MRJ: Open education is now a way of life. Sharing and collaborating are activities that are more and more common in these times and in this society. For this reason we decided to become a part of this initiative as we believe we have many things to give as an educational institution.

Study.com: IE is an international institution. Do you feel that your participation in OCW increases your global reach?

MRJ: Yes, IE has a global reach and its classes are enriched by having participants from all over the world. The International MBA program, for example, has students from over 85 countries and we strongly believe that this has a positive effect on class discussions and the learning taking place as a whole. We are confident that participating in the OCW provides a further step in extending our reach.

Study.com: You're located in Spain, but you currently offer your materials in both Spanish and English. What motivated you to translate your materials to English? Do you plan to expand to include any other languages?

MRJ: Although IE is located in Spain, both undergraduate and postgraduate courses are available in English and Spanish. In fact, the volume of courses taught in English outweighs those taught in Spanish and so it was always our objective to include our OCW offerings in both languages.

Study.com: What percentage of IE's course materials have made it onto your OCW website and what types of materials do you offer - course syllabi, exams, video or audio lectures...?

MRJ: It is hard to estimate a percentage; at present we have published one course for each knowledge area related to management and these offer a very high percentage of interactive course materials (business games and simulations, interactive case studies, multimedia tutorials, graphs, exercises, etc.) which makes these courses highly complex to develop.

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The published material for each course includes the following sections: An introduction to the course in question, the curriculum of the professor, the objectives, the methodology, the program, the course material, the evaluation system and the bibliography. The section related to course material is the most extensive, as this is the one that includes the interactive and multimedia content, as well as paper-based documentation (readings, articles, etc).

Study.com: Most of your OCW offerings are from the IE Business School. Do you plan to expand your offerings to include other areas? If so, what subjects are on the horizon?

MRJ: Plans to expand our offering are always present. We only recently launched the English version of our courses, so soon we will be considering the addition of new subjects.

Study.com: What are the demographics of your primary users? Do you track their countries of origin, age group or other information, and if so, can you share it?

MRJ: We do have some statistics. For instance, the majority of our visits at this time come from Spanish-speaking countries such as Colombia, Mexico, Argentina and Spain. With the latest initiative of launching the OCW website in English, we expect to open up to visitors from many other countries.

Study.com: Are there any other current or in-development initiatives at IE University to promote open education?

MRJ: In addition to the IE Multimedia Open catalogue, which I mentioned above, we have blogs where the IE community comments on different topics and areas. We have several different types of blogs, including faculty blogs, functional blogs and places such as the Learning Experiences blog where we post details of those experiences that are innovative or special.

Study.com: Finally, I'd like to offer you the opportunity to share anything you'd like about IE's OCW program.

MRJ: All material published in IE's OCW website has been implemented in the classroom and has passed through a rigorous quality control process to ensure its accuracy and effectiveness. We believe that these courses provide accurate insight into IE's regular courses.

We have a very strong commitment to the development of high quality content. As mentioned previously, our courses include different multimedia resources and paper-based documentation developed at IE which make the task of learning easier for students. Visit the IE University website for more information.

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