EUROCALL CMC & Teacher Education joint SIGs event, University of Bologna, Italy – 29-30 March 2012


Learning through Sharing: Open Resources, Open Practices, Open Communication

Open Educational Resources (OER) are defined as “materials used to support education that may be freely accessed, reused, modified and shared by anyone” (Downes, 2011). Open Educational Practices (OEP) are practices which “support the production, use and reuse of high quality OER through institutional policies, which promote innovative pedagogical models, and respect and empower learners as co-producers on their lifelong learning path.” (ICDE, 2011). Open Communication is reciprocal and respectful exchange which contributes to social presence in online learning (Gunawardena & Zittle, 1997), and the development of intercultural awareness and competence in language learning.

One of the affordances of the web is that is provides easy access to knowledge, and this constitutes one of its greatest potential to transform education. “A culture of sharing resources and practices will help facilitate change and innovation in education” (OER Commons, 2011). Open access initiatives to make research publications freely available online or the adoption of open source software solutions, such as Moodle or Mahara, are already having a big impact on education. Flickr, iTunes U or YouTube, all based on the idea of sharing content openly, can also provide excellent resources for teachers and learners. The web also offers unprecedented access to interlocutors from different cultures and contexts, and open environments with multimodal channels for communication which can be harnessed for language and intercultural development.

This two-day conference focuses on the impact of adopting openness as a key principle in education. It explores how open resources, open practices and open communication can be integrated in language teaching and learning, and in the initial and continuing development of language teachers.


–          theories that underpin openness as a key principle in education

–          using of OER in teaching and/or course development, including reusing and re-purposing existing resources for different contexts or resource-based learning

–          integrating learner-generated content into language courses

–          developing a culture of sharing amongst the teaching community (barriers to and advantages of sharing)

–          sharing resources and/or practices in teacher education (e.g. through peer review of resources)

–          sharing resources and intellectual capital with others to raise individual or institutional profiles (e.g. through publishing resources on iTunes U, or through a resource repository, open access publishing of research papers ).

–          promoting learner communication in ‘open’ environments (e.g. through online gaming, virtual worlds, international discussion boards, blogs …)

–         facilitating open communication in CMC – where ‘sensitive’ topics can be broached and diverse opinions are valued

Call for papers

We welcome abstracts relating to Open Educational Resources (OER) or Open Practices from anyone involved in the fields of CMC-based language teaching and learning and foreign language teacher education, including researchers, practitioners and doctoral students. We are particularly interested in proposals that consider, among others, the topics proposed for the conference (see above)

In order to provide maximum time for discussions, we have chosen the following format:

  • Abstracts of 400 words (including title) should be sent by the deadline of  1st December 2011 to:
  • Notification of acceptance will be sent by 7th January 2012.
  • Following acceptance, authors will be asked to write a short paper (about 3000 words) and submit it by 28th February 2012. This paper does not need to be too polished, and can include work in progress. The papers will be made available to all the participants at the beginning of March, so that they can be read before the conference.
  • Authors will be given 45-minute slots in which two or three related papers will be discussed together. The authors of the papers will be given 5 minutes each to summarise the main issues discussed in their papers (which all the participants should have read beforehand). This will be followed by a 30 minute discussion.  It is hoped that this format will encourage deeper reflection and discussion, and provide authors with valuable feedback on their work.
  • We are currently investigating the possibility of a publication arising from the event.

For further information, visit the event website:

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