The Introduction of Open and Free Academic Courses in Conservation of Cultural Heritage in Greece
Le "Technological Educational Institute" (TEI) d'Athènes propose un baccalauréat en Conservation-Restauration en quatre ans et a la tâche difficile de préparer ses étudiants à devenir des conservateurs-restaurateurs professionnels avec des connaissances et des compétences dans six spécialisations soit dans le domaine des objets archéologiques soit dans le domaine des oeuvres d'art. Ainsi, les membres du personnel académique sont mis au défi de préparer les étudiants à acquérir les compétences en pratique et les connaissances d'un grand nombre de spécialisations de la conservation du patrimoine culturel (CH) dans le cadre de ce programme. Pour répondre à cette demande, de nombreux membres du personnel académique participent à un projet cofinancé par la Grèce et l'Union européenne (Fonds Social européen) appelé‘Open Academic Courses’ (2013-2015). L'objectif est de préparer la matière des cours en grec, sous forme numérique librement accessible, sous la forme de treize PowerPoint avec ou sans vidéo via une plate-forme eLearning 'Open eClass" organisé par le TEI d'Athènes. L'article décrit comment les cours ont été préparés, les défis de leur préparation, ainsi que les avantages pour les étudiants.
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- 1 Open Education Consortium (On line, 04/08/2014), http://www.oeconsortium.org/
1The OpenCourseWare (OCW) started thirteen years ago as an initiative of the academic community for free, open and coherent internet access to digital educational content from everywhere and by everyone.1
- 2 Free Online Course Materials. Why Donate? MIT OpenCourseWare (On line, 04/08/2014), http://ocw.mi (...)
2In 2002 MIT started with 50 courses and today it hosts more than 2180 courses including also translations of the courses in other languages. MIT’s OCW aims at putting all of the educational materials from its undergraduate and graduate level courses online, partly free, and openly available to anyone.2
- 3 JOHNSTONE, Sally M., "Open Educational Resources Serve the World", Educause Quarterly 28 (3), 200 (...)
- 4 "Giving Knowledge for Free: THE EMERGENCE OF OPEN EDUCATIONAL RESOURCES", Center for Educational R (...)
3This initiative caused the expansion of Open Educational Resources (OER) movement. In 2002, the term was first adopted at UNESCO's 2002 Forum on the Impact of OCW for Higher Education in Developing Countries.3 The OER are defined as: "digitized materials offered freely and openly for educators, students, and self-learners to use and reuse for teaching, learning, and research. OER includes learning content, software tools to develop, use and distribute content, and implementation resources such as open licenses".4
- 5 PAPPANO, Laura, "The Year of the MOOC", The New York Times, (2/11/2012), (On line, 20/06 2014), h (...)
4Today is the era of second generation Open Courses called Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs).5 These are accredited courses with a duration of six to eight weeks consist of short length video lectures with a small fee.
- 6 Open Education Europa, (On line, 04/08/2014), http://openeducationeuropa.eu/el/initiative
5The need of open access to educational resources has been acknowledged also by the European Union and the Opening Up Education Initiative has been developed. The main goal of this initiative is to stimulate ways of learning and teaching through ICT and digital content, mainly through the development and availability of OER.6
- 7 Call for proposals within the Open Academic Courses Scheme, (On line, 04/08/2014), http://www.edul (...)
- 8 Greek Higher Education Digital Activities, (On line, 04/08/2014), http://www.edulll.gr/?p=7133
- 9 Open Courses TEI of Athens, (On line, 04/08/2014), http://opencourses.teiath.gr/
- 10 Support Unit for Educational Programs, (On line, 04/08/2014), http://msee.teiath.gr/ ;Greek Univer (...)
6The Greek Ministry of Education following up these initiatives announced in 2011 the first call for proposals regarding the development of Open Academic Courses in Greek Universities.7 The Open Courses Project at the Technological Educational Institute (TEI) of Athens started in January 2013,8 co-funded by the European Social Fund and the Greek Ministry of Education and aims to have participants from all the national Higher Education Institutions.9 The Greek Universities Network (GUNET) is a non-profit public company responsible for the definition of the project’s specifications and also for creating a central repository (aggregator) to host the courses of all the educational institutions that participate in it. 10
7TEI of Athens aims to publish 440 open courses by the end of 2015. So far 22 out of the 26 Departments of the institution are participating in the project. More than 65 Professors are preparing their course material in order to create about 150 Open Courses by the beginning of the next academic year 2014-2015.
8The courses fall within one of the following types:
Α- : The learning material (PowerPoint presentations, PDF files, or word documents) that Professors use to teach in classroom.
A : Podcast. The learning material that Professors use to teach in classroom synchronized with the lecture in audio (narrated course).
A+: Video-lecture. The recorded lecture in classroom accompanied by and synchronized with the presentation used during the recorded lecture.
9Each course should have an organized template which includes the description of the course, the learning outcomes, key words and bibliography. The courses should comprise of thirteen distinct units (based on the duration of the academic semester in Greek Universities) and each unit should also follow the same template. The learning material should be comprehensible and easily accessible to impaired people.
- 11 "Frequently Asked Questions". In Wikipedia, Creative Commons, (On line,25/06/2014). http://wiki.cr (...)
10Copyright Clearance is another key issue, where course material is published under the Creative Common License (CCL).11 Thus, the learning material may consist of Professors’ work, open educational resources, and works that a license is granted for their use.
11The learning material should meet the following specifications regarding design and development:
Easy content navigation (Use of Contents, Titles, Headings)
Comprehensive and logical design (organization of chapters and units, no surprises during navigation/reading)
Attractiveness (good quality of graphics)
Easy to learn when using it (consistency and uniformity of the learning units)
Clear and small meanings in every slide (for power point presentations)
12The Open Courses project was introduced to the academic staff of the Conservation Department in April 2013. During this first meeting various objections were expressed by its staff concerning the problems that could be created by offering lectures related to Conservation-Restoration of Cultural Heritage open freely to all via the web. The main objection was that although the profession of the Conservator-Restorer is protected in Greece by law, it may offer too much information on the Conservation-Restoration of Cultural Heritage objects and be harmful to the field. Also, some feared that students would not attend in person the live lectures offered at the Department. Moreover, the preparation of the standardised course material would be time consuming, since there were many specifications that the lectures should follow and this would add to the heavy work program of the Department’s staff.
13The discussion with the Open Courses team was helpful in clarifying issues related to all these concerns as well as to encourage Professors to have copyright clearance for their teaching material. Through many discussions, it became clear that the Open Courses project would not harm either the teaching or profession, but rather enhance it. The quality and number of open courses offered by the Department would improve its status and would attract more candidates to the profession.
14The project would also benefit the educators in the following ways:
Enhance the significance to the educational material created by the instructors;
Deal with copyright issues when using third-party materials;
Train instructors in new technologies and the application of digital learning educational material;
- 12 WALSH, T., Unlocking the Gates: How and Why Leading Universities Are Opening Up Access to Their Co (...)
Promote the reputation and visibility of instructor’s textbooks. International practice has shown that the availability of Open Courses by Faculty helps to promote their publications and the University.12
15Additionally, it would allow the educators to spend more time in the lecture room in dealing with specific case studies to strengthen or reinforce the concepts taught in the online course. It would also allow for a larger audience so the educator can promote the state-of-the-art or standard practices in Conservation-Restoration. However, the courses would not offer any certificate or feedback to the online end-users from the educators.
16Another very important issue was that various private educational institutions in Greece (IEK) offer two year conservation programs for conservation technicians. The paid instructors of these institutions could now be able to use the material prepared by the Department’s staff as their teaching material. However, this may also occur for the academic staff’s printed teaching material. Also, CCL states that the material cannot be used for commercial purposes, which secures that the Department and its academic staff are protected in such cases. Moreover, it would be better for the Department to be aware and “control” the type of information and knowledge that IEKs’ students obtain during their studies, which sets the standards for conservation training in Greece.
17Now, one year later five courses have been prepared and three more are developed in order to be available during the next academic year. These courses include Conservation of metals, textiles and wall paintings as well as Materials Science, Physiochemical Methods for Diagnosis and Documentation and Organic Chemistry for Conservators. Six of the courses correspond to type A- and two to type A+.
18This number is still limited since the Department offers 40 courses during the seven semester period. These courses include general and specialization courses in six areas of either archaeological (objects) conservation (metals, stone, organic materials, ceramics and glass, textiles, and mosaics) or in conservation works of art (panel and easel paintings, wood and wooden sculpture, wall paintings, paper and books and photography). Not all members of the staff are willing to participate or have the time to prepare their courses according to the specifications outlined by the project and within the specific time period.
19One of the most problematic tasks for the participating academic members of Conservation Department is to find royalty-free license for photographic material of Cultural Heritage object(s), collections, and/or products used in conservation. The educational content for the Open Courses are to be published under the CCL, which do not allow commercial use; however, the participating academics still have the time consuming task of requesting written permission to use such photographs in order to enrich their course content. In various cases, the Open Course team in collaboration with the Professors had to develop images and drawings in order to replace those which could not be obtained under CCL.
20The figure bellow outlines the steps in the development process of the Open Academic Courses being designed at the TEI of Athens.
21The Professor initially fills in the Educational Material Form which all the information about the course (semester, theory or lab course, instructional hours, material used and complementary information). Then each Professor prepares the course material according to the specification and forwards it to the Open Courses team. The team checks whether the course material has been properly prepared according to the project’s specifications. The team also suggests how the course material can be further altered in order to be more comprehensible, and at the same time the team also “clears” the content from copyright issues. The main tool for the copyright clearance process is to search and find OER to replace third party copyrighted material. However, the open courses team encountered barriers in closed access contents, and permissions were not given, even though the material would be used for educational purposes. In the case of A or A+ courses the lectures are audio and /or video recorded and are edited by the team
Fig.1 Development process of the Open Courses at the TEI of Athens
Open Courses, TEI of Athens
Credits: Open Courses, TEI of Athens
- 13 Greek Universities network, (On line, 04/08/2014), http://www.gunet.gr/
22Each Professor and a member of the Open Course team perform together a final check of the material and the team certifies through a technical checklist that the course complies with the project’s specifications. Each Professor signs that he/she allows the publication of the courses with CCL. Finally, the team uploads and publishes the course at the Open Courses TEI of Athens platform and GUNET publishes the course at the central repository automatically.13
23In the following images, slides from different courses are presented before and after the modification of the Open Courses team. As can be seen the changes have enhanced the quality and clarity of the slides making them more attractive and comprehensible.
Fig. 2 Slide from the course Physicochemical Methods for Diagnosis and Documentation
Study of a post Byzatine icon belonging to Lomberdos collection housed at the Byzantine and Christian Museum of Athens before the modification of the Open Courses team
Credits: A. Alexopoulou, TEI of Athens
Fig.3 The same slide after the modifications from the Open Courses Team
Study of a post Byzatine icon belonging to Lomberdos collection housed at the Byzantine and Christian Museum of Athens after the modification of the Open Courses team
A.Alexopoulou, TEI of Athens
Fig. 4 Slide from the course of Textile Conservation after the modification
The drawing in the slide was created in collaboration with the author in order to explain the bond developed between the adhesive layer and the textile in correlation with heat and pressure during the application of a new support
Anna Karatzani, TEI of Athens
24During the copyright clearance process the team discovered many OER, which could allow the replacement of the copyrighted material. The Getty, the British Library and the Metropolitan Museum of Arts are some of the institutions that have released thousands images under CCL and in the public domain. Moreover, many journals regarding conservation, archaeology, museum studies and science and technology of the Arts are provided with unrestricted open access to anyone.
- 14 Open Courses TEI of Athens, Open Educational Recourses, Department of Conservation, (On line,25/06 (...)
25These OER are hosted by the Open Courses TEI of Athens website and can be a useful tool for Professors and scholars.14
- 15 HONEYMAN, M., MILLER, G., "Agriculture distance education: A valid alternative for higher educatio (...)
26Distant education has existed since the 18th century to provide “access to learning when the source of information and the learners are separated by time and distance, or both."15
27Today MOOCs further developed this concept through interactive participation and open access via the web or other network technologies. The Open Academic Courses project hosted by the TEI of Athens aims to offer the opportunity of free learning to a national audience, but does not offer any certificate and interaction with the educators.
28The participating academic staff of the Conservation Department believes that the open courses will offer numerous benefits to the students, the community, and the instructors themselves. For the students, it will give them more time to reflect on or apply what they heard during their course lectures. For the community at large, it will allow them to appreciate the complexity involved in the conservation of Cultural Heritage as well as the standard methodologies used in conservation practice. The free access also allows professional Conservators Restorers currently working in the field to update their knowledge with the latest course material offered by our Department.
29For the Professors the project has helped to improve the quality of the teaching material. The teaching material has been cleared from third party copyright restrictions and can be used for publications, conferences, eLearning programs and other funded projects.
3 JOHNSTONE, Sally M., "Open Educational Resources Serve the World", Educause Quarterly 28 (3), 2005, (On line, 23/06/2014), http://www.educause.edu/ero/article/open-educational-resources-serve-world
4 "Giving Knowledge for Free: THE EMERGENCE OF OPEN EDUCATIONAL RESOURCES", Center for Educational Research and Innovation, (On line, 20/06/2014), http://www.oecd.org/edu/ceri/38654317.pdf; "Open Educational Resources", The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, (On line, 20/06/2014), http://www.hewlett.org/programs/education/open-educational-resources
5 PAPPANO, Laura, "The Year of the MOOC", The New York Times, (2/11/2012), (On line, 20/06 2014), http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/04/education/edlife/massive-open-online-courses-are-multiplying-at-a-rapid-pace.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0
7 Call for proposals within the Open Academic Courses Scheme, (On line, 04/08/2014), http://www.edulll.gr/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/eclass_V73.pdf
"Creative Commons Legal Code", in Wikipedia,Creative Commons,January 9, 2008, (On line,25/06/2014),http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.5/au/legalcode2014.
12 WALSH, T., Unlocking the Gates: How and Why Leading Universities Are Opening Up Access to Their Courses”, Princeton University Press, 2011
14 Open Courses TEI of Athens, Open Educational Recourses, Department of Conservation, (On line,25/06/2014), http://opencourses.teiath.gr/mediawiki/index.php?title
15 HONEYMAN, M., MILLER, G., "Agriculture distance education: A valid alternative for higher education?". Proceedings of the 20th Annual National Agricultural Education Research Meeting, December 1993, pp. 67–73.Haut de page
Table des illustrations
|Titre||Fig.1 Development process of the Open Courses at the TEI of Athens|
|Légende||Open Courses, TEI of Athens|
|Titre||Fig. 2 Slide from the course Physicochemical Methods for Diagnosis and Documentation|
|Légende||Study of a post Byzatine icon belonging to Lomberdos collection housed at the Byzantine and Christian Museum of Athens before the modification of the Open Courses team|
|Crédits||Credits: A. Alexopoulou, TEI of Athens|
|Titre||Fig.3 The same slide after the modifications from the Open Courses Team|
|Légende||Study of a post Byzatine icon belonging to Lomberdos collection housed at the Byzantine and Christian Museum of Athens after the modification of the Open Courses team|
|Crédits||A.Alexopoulou, TEI of Athens|
|Titre||Fig. 4 Slide from the course of Textile Conservation after the modification|
|Légende||The drawing in the slide was created in collaboration with the author in order to explain the bond developed between the adhesive layer and the textile in correlation with heat and pressure during the application of a new support|
|Crédits||Anna Karatzani, TEI of Athens|
Pour citer cet article
Anna Karatzani, Alexandros Tagoulis, Vasilike Argyropoulos, Athina Alexopoulou, Stamatis Boyatzis et Maria Chatzidaki, « The Introduction of Open and Free Academic Courses in Conservation of Cultural Heritage in Greece », CeROArt [En ligne], | 2014, mis en ligne le 01 octobre 2014, consulté le 22 avril 2017. URL : http://ceroart.revues.org/4231Haut de page
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