The Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (AUTh), in Greece is one of the subcontracted partners for the external trials of the SlideWiki platform. In this interview, we feature Dr. Charalambos Bratsas, Assistant Professor at the Aristotle University and Director of Open Knowledge Foundation Greece, and we exchange on his experience with the SlideWiki trials and platform, as well as the plans of his university in terms of using OER, OCW and SlideWiki beyond the duration of the trials.
- SlideWiki, an EU-funded project, enables the collaborative creation of free teaching and learning materials. These include, for instance, slide sets, lecture notes and course content. What is special about this platform?
Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (AUTh) is one the largest Universities in Greece. As a public university we are aiming to provide high level of education to our students. AUTh is strongly encourages the use of Open Courseware educational material not only as a mean for teaching but for research publications as well. AUTh, is implementing numerous, initiatives to promote Open Knowledge. In AUTh we are considering Open Knowledge, as one of the pillars of a society that respects the intellectual work of each other having the knowledge open for all.
SLIDEWIKI, based upon the experiences during the pilot trials that have been taking place in three different schools, satisfies exactly the mentioned scopes. It respects the rights on the intellectual work of each other enabling the collaborative creation of free learning and teaching materials.
2. According to your opinion, which are the target groups that can best benefit from using the SlideWiki platform?
It is considered that all stakeholders constituting the academic community of AUTh can benefit from the use of SLIDEWIKI. Each stakeholder group can benefit in different aspects.
For example, our students can benefit not only from the available structured OCW but also from the network of co-authors / co-editors of each OCW. The collaboration that SLIDEWIKI is enhancing in our networked world is of vital importance. SLIDEIWIKI functions to embed different presentations in a deck is a great feature that all of us we should use.
3. How do you evaluate the importance of Open Course Ware and Open Educational Resources for all educational levels?
Continuous education or Vocational training as is called is of extreme importance taking into consideration the i) jobs requirements, ii) the exponential advancements in most of the scientific fields in the least years and iii) the aging population in Europe. OCW and OCR appear as the “tools” to address those considerations.
Regarding the job requirements, OCW, can be more focused on specific needs, rather than “typical” university course wares that are quite broad. In vocational training OER are considered that might address multi disciplines easier. SLIDEWIKI collaboration tools offer unique opportunities to enhance multi-disciplinary courses. It can be said that as we are getting “older” is more difficult to follow traditional educational pathways as taking classes, assignments etc. It appears that in SLIDEWIKI users can take their own educations pathways easier which is considered very positive.
4. How does your organization plan to use the SlideWiki platform beyond the duration of the project?
Having pilot tested in three different faculties the use of SLIDEWIKI what at least we expect is to continue supporting the uploaded training material.
We propose to initiate in collaboration with the two research laboratories actions that will promote the use of SLIDEWIKI in all faculties of AUTh.
We are strongly considering the idea to promote SLIDEWIKI during the Open Access week that each year is taking place in AUTh main library. This would be a great opportunity for both the academics and students of AUTh to understand the benefits of SLIDEWIKI.