With traditional boundaries disappearing we are entering into open learning landscapes with growing access to a wealth of information. In the current age of technology, people can easily find like-minded peers to interact with, to discuss problems, share knowledge and develop solutions together. The ability to network and participate in open social interactions is very powerful and can change who you are and is changing the world we live in.
Universities need to remain a recognised and valid hub in this open landscape by actively promoting access to ideas and helping to maximise the integration of social capital. Too frequently, productive meaningful interactions happen only by chance, as students (and staff) become overwhelmed or to busy. In his research Professor Maarten de Laat draws on social learning analytics to raise the awareness of the social capital around us and uses this to inform the design of transparent open (informal) spaces to change learning landscapes into places where people can connect, develop learning friendships and gain access to networks and communities where value is created.
As the Director of Learning Teaching & Curriculum, Professor Maarten de Laat is exploring social learning strategies, networked learning relationships and technologies that facilitate change and innovation in learning and professional development in education and organisations.
Since 2011, Professor de Laat held a professorship with a chair in Professional Development in Social Networks at the Welten Institute, Research Centre for Teaching, Learning and Technology at the Open University of the Netherlands.
Prior to joining Open University, Professor De Laat worked in the domain of informal (professional) learning, learning design, e-learning and learning analytics both in the UK and the Netherlands.