August 23rd to 25th

Open Education Research Track

Open Education refers to a movement that promotes using, reusing, adapting and sharing learning materials. Open online learning environments such as MOOCs make educational material for learners available in and out of school. With Open Education, we can harness the power of open access to high-level education addressing learners worldwide. The availability of large sets of user data and new analysis methods allows us to take into account individual differences of teachers and learners. By addressing learners’ different needs and various levels of prior knowledge more timely and adaptively, we may overcome the “one size fits all” solution towards a more flexible approach to teaching and learning.

Open Education and the available technological tools enable mass collaboration. A large number of people mutually produce shared digital artefacts in formal learnings settings in schools or universities, but also in workplace related settings. Open Education connects the different “worlds” of formal and informal learning, enables lifelong development and provides new opportunities for the exchange of practical knowledge.

Connecting learners with rich and dynamic educational materials, thereby supporting self-paced learning and co-construction of knowledge, we may provoke critical thinking and ultimately enhance learning. This provides the possibility to jointly develop new knowledge or products (e.g. Maker Spaces), collect data (e.g. Citizen Science) or discuss political topics (e.g. e-participation).

This year, the Open Education Research Track, emphasizes the role of Open Education for workplace related learning, knowledge management or organizational learning. We will discuss how technology for Open Education and the availability of open educational resources changes the way we communicate, coordinate and collaborate within large groups. We seek contributions from researchers and practitioners investigating Open Education looking at various aspects that make Open Education distinct from other educational movements both in formal and informal settings, in schools and universities and at workplaces.

Research Topics include but are not limited to:

– Learning analytics and educational data mining
– Social network analysis
– MOOCs and other open online learning environments
– Metadata for Open Education
– Mass collaboration
– Organizational learning and knowledge management
– Peer assessment and peer feedback
– Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning (CSCL)
– Knowledge sharing and knowledge building
– Communities of practice
– Collaborative writing using wikis, blogs etc.
– Citizen Science


Paper Presentation: OpenSym 2017 will be organized as a one track conference in order to emphasize the interdisciplinary character of this conference and to encourage discussion.

Submission Deadline: The research paper submission deadline is April 7th 2017.. Submitted papers should present integrative reviews or original reports of substantive new work: theoretical, empirical, and/or in the design, development and/or deployment of novel concepts, systems, and mechanisms. Research papers will be reviewed to meet rigorous academic standards of publication. Papers will be reviewed for relevance, conceptual quality, innovation and clarity of presentation.

Paper Length: There is no minimum or maximum length for submitted papers. Rather, reviewers will be instructed to weigh the contribution of a paper relative to its length. Papers should report research thoroughly but succinctly: brevity is a virtue. A typical length of a “long research paper” is 10 pages (formerly the maximum length limit and the limit on OpenSym tracks), but may be shorter if the contribution can be described and supported in fewer pages—shorter, more focused papers (called “short research papers” previously) are encouraged and will be reviewed like any other paper. While we will review papers longer than 10 pages, the contribution must warrant the extra length. Reviewers will be instructed to reject papers whose length is incommensurate with the size of their contribution. Papers should be formatted in ACM SIGCHI paper format. Reviewing is not double-blind so manuscripts do not need to be anonymized.

Posters: As in previous years, OpenSym will also be hosting a poster session at the conference. To propose a poster, authors should submit an extended abstract (not more than 4 pages) describing the content of the poster which will be published in a non-archival companion proceedings to the conference. Posters should use the ACM SIGCHI templates for extended abstracts. An example of a poster abstract can be found here. Reviewing is not double-blind so abstracts do not need to be anonymized.

Paper Proceedings: OpenSym is held in-cooperation with ACM SIGWEB and ACM SIGSOFT and the conference proceedings will be archived in the ACM digital library like all prior editions. OpenSym seeks to accommodate the needs of the different research disciplines it draws on including disciplines with archival conference proceedings and disciplines where authors usually present at conferences and publish later. Authors, whose submitted papers have been accepted for presentation at the conference have a choice of:

  • having their paper become part of the official proceedings, archived in the ACM Digital Library,
  • having no publication record at all but only the presentation at the conference.

Response from authors: For the first time at OpenSym, authors will be given the opportunity to write a response to their reviews before final decisions are made. This should be treated as an opportunity to correct any mistakes or misconceptions in the reviews as well as to propose minor changes that the authors can make during the two weeks between notification and the camera-ready deadline.

Important Dates

  • Submission deadline: April 07, 2017
  • Reviews sent to authors: June 02, 2017
  • Response to reviews from authors due: June 30, 2017
  • Decision notification: July 07, 2017
  • Camera-ready papers due: July 21, 2017