Strategies for education reform need to be flexible, ongoing, inclusive and embrace a vision that is democratic (Ministry for Education and Employment, 2014). Flexibility, inclusiveness and democracy are also key values of the open education movement – broadly speaking a set of initiatives to remove barriers to teaching and learning for learners of all kinds, set in motion be the UNESCO OER declaration of 2002. In recent years, advances in technology, and a squeeze on budget allocations and changing demand from students and business has led to an explosion in innovation in the sector(“Creative destruction,” 2014), in particular with regards to Higher Education, so much so that the New York Times declared 2012 “The Year of the MOOC”(Pappano, 2012). A loose ecosystem of companies, HEIs, governments and entrepreneurs are using these innovations to change the face of teaching and learning, rethink the structures set up to provide these services, and re-imagine what it means to be a true lifelong learner.
This report therefore aims to give a high-level overview of Open Education, with a special focus on MOOCs, with the aim of allowing Maltese policy makers to better navigate the policy landscape and identify key trends which may be leveraged to strengthen Maltese HE, in line with the priorities set out by the Framework Strategy for the Education Strategy of Malta for 2014-2024.