Practicum in leadership skills for an inclusive knowledge society

This course is part of the programme
Master in Leadership in Open Education (Second Level)

Objectives and competences

Open education initiatives are confronted with particular implementation challenges, which require a sensitive, flexible and supportive leadership. Through learning, reflection and application of insights to real case situations (from the literature or from their own experiences), students will be empowered to enact this type of leadership.

In this course, students will obtain the following competences:

  • Establish and manage inclusive educational ecosystems;

  • Recongnise common patterns within communities of practice related to open education and develop appropriate support and incentive structures;

  • Develop and implement competency and skills models for companies to assist human resource managers with open education solutions.


Knowledge obtained in the first semester of the first year course Introduction to open education is needed. Students should be familiar with key concepts around open education, strategies for implementation of open education and the issues around creating an appropriate learning environment for learner success.
They should be able to use this knowledge to work individually and in teams on issues around leadership.


During the course students will learn by ex-ample and through their own reflection how to development leadership in implementa-tion of open education initiatives. The course defines leadership as “a process of social influence, which maximises the ef-forts of others toward the achievement of a common good”. The common good here is contributing to the achievement of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and in particular to the de-velopment of an inclusive knowledge socie-ty. During the lectures they will explore the theoretical background, models, strategies, concepts and approaches. Then they will combine online lectures, self-learning and hands-on to develop practical approaches to effective leadership for the implementation of open education. The topics will be ex-plored in four blocks:

• Leadership skills with a focus on appli-cation to flat and network structures;

• Leadership and implementation support in the field of education;

• Open education as an issue of innova-tion support;

• Sustainable Development Goals as common value and implementation ob-jectives.

Intended learning outcomes

After completing this course, students will:

• Understand the challenges of leadership of open education initiatives and have developed insights and competences, which help them to lead initiatives successfully

• Be able to support and influence processes within flat and network structures

• Understand differences at the individual, institutional and national level of implementation, and be able to adapt their leadership tools, methods and behaviours accordingly

• Have demonstrated through team assignments and project reports how their leadership approach can be applied to contributing to the 17 Sustainable Development Goals at individual, institutional and societal levels


Barker, J., Jeffery, K., Jhangiani, R. S., & Veletsianos, G. (2018). Eight Patterns of Open Textbook Adoption in British Columbia. The International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning, 19(3), 1–8.
Mintzberg, H., Ahlstrand, B., & Lampel, J. (2009). Strategy Safari: The Complete Guide Through the Wilds of Strategic Management. FT Prentice Hall.
Orr, D., Rimini, M., & van Damme, D. (2015). Open Educational Resources - A catalyst for innovation. OECD Publishing.
Tornatzky, L. G., Eveland, J. D., & Fleischer, M. (1990). Technological Innovation as a Process. In L. G. Tornatzky & M. Fleischer (Eds.), The Processes of Technological Innovation (pp. 27–50). Lexington Books.
United Nations. (2015). Transforming our world by 2030: A new agenda for global action (Zero draft of the outcome document for the UN Summit to adopt the Post-2015 Development Agenda). Retrieved from 2_26 June final.pdf
Wenger, Etienne C., McDermott, Richard, and Snyder, Williams C. (2002), Cultivating Communities of Practice: A Guide to Managing Knowledge, Harvard Business School Press, Cambridge, USA.
Working Group on the Digitalization Scorecard. (2017). Which policies and regulation can help advance digitalisation. Broadband Commission for Sustainable Development. Retrieved from


• Interim presentations • Final exam

Lecturer's references

Valerij Dermol is an Associated Professor with a habilitation in the filed of Management. He has experiences in training, consulting, management in business, management in higher education in Slovenia and abroad. He worked in an international consulting company and also as an independent consultant, trainer, and educator in the areas of marketing, sales, leadership, management and communication.