The association

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Verein Offenes Lernen was founded 2007 to support the discovery of personal potential of learners as well as research modern learning environments. It is a research organisation without religious or ideological affilitations.

By creating we developed a learning diary with learning diagnostics in the context of a physical learning space, which students and teachers are able to use for free. It supports the students and teachers in implementing fitting pedagogical methods through impact research that is close to everyday practice. 

We research education taking place in virtual worlds and their impact. The research question, put simply, is, “What works to improve personal learning successes, and which technical tools work to support that?” 

The results of our work are published, whenever possible, as “open source/ open access”. The constant increase in melting physical and virtual learning surroundings creates new research opportunities every day. To explore these we participate in international research projects. 

The work of Verein Offenes Lernen focuses on two areas:

  1. Scientific research, including the virtual research laboratory
  2. Educating adults in how to use our research results

The research follows a strategy that combines various research topics:

  • Collaboration and learning in virtual contexts
  • Integration of the virtual in physical learning spaces
  • Immediate analysis of the individual learning processes
  • Evaluating and modelling learning content

The Austrian government committed to a significant rise in the support of research – in the Strategie für Forschung, Technologie und Innovation (FTI). According to “Vision 2050 – Chancen für Österreich” (Institut für Höhere Studien) the increase in research is especially necessary in the field of education. There is a broad consensus on the need to improve the Austrian educational system. Verein Offenes Lernen wants to contribute to this improvement through interdisciplinary research projects. 

The key point in our strategy is the discovering and developing of individual potential in education. We ask, “What is best for the individual learner?” – regarding the personal learning success and the technical implementation. We focus here on the Austrian and local educational context. 

We contribute to the area of learning analytics through the creation of a broad basis of data that make it possible to address research question systematically and with a clear result. This way we can draw specific as well as individual conclusions in the areas of educational, organisational and technological development:

  • Personal learning paths for learners
  • Development of approaches based on personal types for pedagogists
  • Modern educational management for institutions

We concentrate on evidence that can be documented, e.g. the way John Hattie described the concept of “visible learning”. The approach creates benefits for individual learners, pedagogists and educational organisations/ institutions.

Empirical data about learning processes is collected and analysed, on the following levels:

  1. Statistically relevant amounts (n>50)
  2. On a representative level for Austria
  3. In international reference/ context

The collection of data is based in the methods and tools of the FP7 project and its further development as well as other relevant EU projects that we have been and will be a part of. 

The data basis is shared in two dimensions:

  1. Through open-source/ open-data “apps” that are freely excessive to all pedagogists
  2. Through research partnerships with educational institutions and pedagogists

The results are presented in various conferences, publications and our homepage.