# 2011.11 OERu Virtual group proposal for action for 2012 prototype

Key points
 This page is a verbatim Copy of Etherpad document hosted by BCcampus for the virtual participants attending the OERu 2011.11 meeting. The Etherpad version is colour coded and reads easier. This wiki archive provides a backup version. This discussion records the virtual participant discussions and recommendations for a proposal for action for the OERu 2012 prototype. The comments have been copied in good faith under fair dealing provisions from contributors who have donated their thoughts in building better education futures.

• Can you save this? -As in can I save it somehow? I think the etherpad link will remain (as long as no-one removes it). Otherwise perhaps copy and paste into a word doc when it's finished?Thanks - will do :) colours do not copy & paste - too hard to read - I assume some kind of summary will up on the wiki? Either way it has been GREAT - thankyou again ..
• I have several concerns but for me the most important is how to structure the volunteer mentoring and how to link in grassroots educators/tutors.
• I am concerned that this seems very top down. There is some tension between an institutional-centred approach and a learner-centred approach. Institutions can be expected to do what is in the best interest of the institution first. The students (and staff) are down the list (classic goal displacement). A central question is whether or not established providers of higher education are able to tranform themselves to the extent that will be necessary. Newer, younger, and smaller institutions (and emerging systems in India, Brazil, and China) will not have that problem to the same extent. They can make use of new and emerging tools, technologies, and organizational structures to provide a more flexible, technology-enhanced, networked, and sustainable learning experience.
• It will be interesting to see how Brazil and China and other emerging countries approach OERu. They will be more experienced in going to scale and might have very different concerns/ questions about the concept.
• Yes I think a balance needs to be found between all OERten partners agreeing on procedures/ policies etc, and each institution doing what it wants to to do.
• Iam sad that they are emphasizing credentials and credit transfer...but then they are mostly administrators. :-) Is there anything we can contribute that might be a bit different.
• Good point.
• The hat I am wearing here is Adult Educator with an interest in PLA and self directed learning.My hat is research - I can't speak for the OERten organisations as I am not representing one :-( But I think the OERu should allow for a range of models. Institutions might want to approach accreditation differently.
• Our formal representative is Ellen Murphy...I guess you might say I am a researcher/teacher too.
• I think OERu requires many types of volunteers. Among that, interns system would work fine as a verified mass of volunteers. The participating universities and institutions can get the post graduate students and researchers as interns to tutor our OERu stream 'world students'. Similarly the teachers who hope for a career shift to online ODL can also join as Interns to acquire experience in the field. Interns can be locally recruited and managed by the participating institutions/universities and globally coordinated by the OERu central system. The major reward for the interns will be experience certificate from OERu system, which in turn support their career prospects. Thus we can create an ideal ecosystem for volunteerism to flourish by linking it to both learning and livelihood.This sounds nice :-)

## Remote reflections on the "storming phase" of the Dunedin group on the morning of Day 2

• Agree with the range of models idea, but I think it would have to be somewhat constrained to 2-3 initially to avoid complexity for institutional players and enable some agility for students to choose. I'm sympatheic to Joyce's notion of self-dierction and PLA, and unfortunately what I'm seeing in today's live discussion is a bit of retrenchment to existing models of practice.
• I think so too but according to group theory they are about at the storm period of development. Hopefully will survive to norm and perform...a business model of groups.
• Yes - good way of looking at what's happening!
• Hopefully those of us who have worked on this from the sidelines will still have a voice.
• Agreed. The way Wayne works, everybody *will* get a voice.
• He needs the institutional buy in.
• Totally agree. It's the tension between risk and reality.
• The initial partners Athabasca, Thompson River, Otago and Empire State as well as the British Columbia folks are innovators...some of the others are very welcome but new to this kind of thinking. * But I guess everyone has signed up to the same in-principle concept.
• I agree its just that for some the default mode will be innovation for others it will be back to more traditional models.
• This is the place where the tensions sometimes lead to the resolution - a zone of proximal development for institutional participants - I'm a dreamer, of course.
•  :-) Me too. I quite like the idea of diversity of approaches among partners. Ultimately, a lot of adults will get qualifications who couldn't have done so previously. I Perhaps the route is less important than the outcome?
• Yes and I think a lot of us are committed to stick with it...and will do our best to keep our institutions on track..:-) Welcome Jim...what would you like us to do?
• We should also perhaps think about how to frame the OERu for those institutions that haven't yet signed up... for e.g. the whole of the UK... (or Europe?!) I suspect (although I don't have evidence yet) that the killer is the notion of accepting accreditaiton from elsewhere. And also the perceived expense of providing student support and quality assurance. So if the model can be flexible enough to overcome those fears, a lot more institutions will probably sign up...
• I think Wayne has been careful to make sure that all partners are fully accredited wherever they are...a very good move.
• True, but even within one country such as the UK there is academic snobbery and not all institutions would consider the accreditation of other institutions to be equal... sadly...
• Is true in Australia as well - ALSO may need another subset / term - re the PARTNERS .. for smaller 'orgs' / even people - who say offer to put up just learning expereinces / materials (like MOOCs) etc

## Possible models might be

1. (This is an extreme) Each institution only accredits its own programmes.
• Advantage to this model is that they are resident experts and can vouchsafe for student performance. Disadvantage is that some students may have credits strewn across a wide number of institutions.
• I think the "strewn" example is the attribute that many potential OERu students would embody.
2. (This is the other extreme) Each institution agrees to recognise all credits given by all OERten members - both existing and new ones that will join in the future.
• Actually, not so extreme. I am comfortable with an institution validating that what they know. Who in the institution would validate a field of study in which they have no resident experts? In the F2F world, you select institutions for the programs they provide, you don't enter an institution and then demand a program be developed.
3. Some institutions might want to just provide OERs and leave the accrediting up to other institutions.
• This idea is quite logical. If the institution is well suited to evaluate student performance in a given course/subject area then they may want to do that. The strength of the OER would be strengthened by such an evaluation system.
• Very true. Some of the partners esp. Thompson River and Empire State already have very strong evaluation systems for PLA. I think the parnters should be required to covenant to accept each other's credits...but that would not be a problem for us...could be big problem for others.
• I'm also curious about the scalability of PLA programs. - PLA? - I heard this term a bit yesterday too ... Prior learning assessment and recognition - an experential, portfolio and credit assembly method for achieving a credential or academic standing.
• Thanks - I 'thought' it was something like that - we usually refer to it as RPL (Recognition of Prior Learning) :)
• It has many names for forty years Empire called it credit by evaluation but PLA or PLAR seems to be the consensed upon term now.
• I like them, but wonder about the scale issue.
• I sometimes wonder too. They are quite labor intensive...but if we had robust transfer agreements among the insitutions backed up by specialized Prior Learning Assessment it couold be scalable. Actually this option (of institutions just providing OERs without offering assessment or accreditation) is the default model of all the UK HE institutions that have produced OERs. All those OERs are out there in the public domain, waiting to be used for the OERu :-) Those institutions will get recognised for their contributions, even though they are not officially members of OERten.
• that is good .. I like Wayne's whole - do not re-invent & do re-use
• Yes!I agree whole-heartedly. In the PLA model college level learning through non-formal education could also be acknowledged as long as the student can articulate it. It is hard to explain but it works. We hire expert evaluators very cheaply to do most of the work although faculty members like me do it too.Yes I actually own a small assesment only org in Australia (can issue Nationally rec Qs .. based on evidence mapped to Units ..)
• And some institutions might not want to put out OERs, but might be willing to offer assessment and accreditation against the OERs produced by all the others. (These are all extremes, I guess!)
• I like this option I think these models are all in play, Gabi. I keep thinking back to John Seely Brown and Paul Duguid's The Social Life of Information, where they forecast in 2000 that "degree-granting bodies" would be the future for many institutions, backed up by good assessment and open access to it.
• I am struggling with this one. Unless each partner provides some form of OER and is willing to develop assessments to validate them, they will not be fully versed in the entire OERu philosophy. Success will be had by shared experience. My problem of developing X and its eval criteria will give me insight into your problem of Y and the issues you have with the assessment. So articulation is better when all partners have some common language and common experience in the admin of the OERu.
• I agree that would be ideal. Collaboration and sharing can only make it a better quality system as a whole. I suppose it depends on how quickly we want it to be up and running!
• The institutions do not have to have the same OER, rather something to offer. At start up each institution can point to a put and a take, a process of providing resources and a process of evaluating.
• Yes, I think that will be best...It is like the story of "stone soup" everyone should bring something of value to contribute...for some it will be excellent courses and learning materials for other it will be evaluation processes.
•  :-)YES and resources do not have to be only 'learning content' - could also be 'people' (student mentoring etc?
• Yes I think OERu should provide some training for mentors and some form of certification (not the legal kind but a measurement of their skill and perhaps some kind of seal they could use to assert their expertise.
• YES Agree - & even encourage the possible 'mentors - so say up front .I need some extra 'learning' in area X ..
• I would like to have training for advisers and tutors. ' would love to help with that kind of thing.
• Is it possible that some institutions will just offer assessment and accreditation, leaving it ENTIRELY up to learners to decide how/ where/ whether to get support? In which case, I can seee lots of interesting entrepreneurial thingies springing up all over the place, offering "study skills" and tutoring support. Some will be excellent and some will be dodgy.
• The dodgy part is why I think the OERu Team should offer training and some kind of acknowledgement...like they do for wikieducator although more rigoruous in the evaluation phase.
• But what I mean is there will still be dodgy ones that are not at all interested in providing an honest service - they will just be after people's money. But ultimately, perhaps it should be up to the learners to decide and use their own judgment?
• No, students seeking OERu credit are more vulnerable to sophisticated marketing techniques than traditional students who have resources to enrol in a F2F credit institution.
• Good point.
• This potential for exploitation is a serious concern for me too. I believe that the propriety colleges were rightly accused of this in many instances in the US.
• guess I meant something like a "blessing" from the OERten or whoever for tutors who pass our approved course and then it could be marketed...I could say "I am an OERu approved tutor. Just like I would go to a licensed therapist rather than an unlicensed one, hopefully students would seek our brand.
• The whole point is to make it cost free study, not partially free but as cost free as possible. Let's not abandon that belief. The cost of the evaluation is going to rise, as I understood from Mon 11/9 session, so the cost of studying and prep needs to remain completely accessible. Remember, those who do not complete the courses and seek accrediation are not failures. OERu aims for degree completion but also for a much nobler goal...education and empowerment, enabling a marginalized people to "become". We do have to keep in mind that degrees are not learning and learning in itself is valuable.
• I hate it when I forget that.My point was the same...
• I know what u mean - but isn't that 'opening a can of worms? - possibly 'exposing' OERu to 'complaints / issues etc ...
• - Yes... I think we are heading towards setting up new institutions here, and may ultimately end up replicating the traditional universities that we are trying to bypass!
• I am not really talking about university credentials just a form of certification...for instance I am a certified counselor...we could have certified tutors...or at least acknowledge those who have our training...I think that the tutors themselves may eventually want such a credential just as I wanted my certification...maybe I am naive.
• No I don't think so. Have you followed the discussion on the Web about Mozilla badges? Maybe that would be a way to address this?
• This sounds interestng
• No but it sounds good to me...I don't want to be too complex but many tutors probably want credentials. If we offer training I think it should be free like wikieducator.
• Mozilla badges - an initiative from the open source community. See https://wiki.mozilla.org/Badges. It would be good to go with an existing initiative that already has a lot of momentum.
• thanks - booked marked it .. - Wouldn't the Wkki 'recognition' system be appropiate ? (Not that I know much about that) ..
• Have we left out any models? E.g. the MOOC model? How would that be characterised in OERu terms?
• A MOOC is an excellent resource and prep course option. I would be excited to monitor a MOOC and help structure the learning experience by assisting them in creating a learner contract to be completed within the MOOC. An electronic portfolio of some form, (OERu wide) would help organize the work throughout the OER process and be useful in transitioning to the credit institutions too.
• The Moodle folks have something called Mahara (I think)
• yes I have an eport in Maraha - outline only :)
• that is a great free e-portfolio we are planning to use it and kind of hope that OERu will use it too.l Also pebble pad is another platform I hope we can all use compatible e-portfolio platforms. It would make life easier.
• Lots of people use a wiki as an e-portfolio too -
• This is where the Biggs SOLO Taxonomy would be very useful as a framework of understanding assessment across disciplines and for complex, integrated artefacts.http://www.johnbiggs.com.au/solo_graph.html
• Can you LOL - I just going to ask that :)
• This summer some of us OER types worked with a MOOC. At ESC and I think at Athabasca the model is to have some students who are formally registered and some who are just sort of auditing the MOOC...presumably those who audit could consolidate their MOOC learning and articulate it for PLA evaluation...and others would get institutional credit and presumably pay institutional tuition.
• Up until now, most of the MOOCs that have been run have only had a very small number of "enrolled" students who are doing the course for credit. Does anyone know how that huge course being run by Stanford (the NASA one) is doing the accreditation? I think they are working with a much larger scale of candidates for assessment and accreditation at the end - may be a good model?
• I have been in three MOOC's I find them frustrating but maybe because I don't have time for them or need for credit.
• Me too! But I love the idea of them!
• This model here is fun too.
• It seems as if this group might be best suited to add some ideas about the academic volunteers or other issues...the administrators in the end will decide the credit stuff.
• True :)
• Well, maybe they need to read this set of commentaries as input, too.Hopefully. It seems as if we are the research types.
•  :-)
• Shall we try to wrap up? Have we come to any conclusions...?
• I think we recommend that the institutions each decide on their role and what they can best bring to the table. I would like to see formal training and some kind of badge or something for tutors.
• A page where people could 'register' interest to 'help' offer X (BUT who would mointer that? - time  etc )
• I think we have to have faith in openness. If everyone is transparent about what they are offering and how they are doing it, we stand a good chance of serving the students well. Perhaps initially it could be as simple as individual tutors signing up to a code of conduct - and badges later.
• YES I agree -what I meant by monitering is ... If I go and register ... - then what? who would respond to me?
• (No-one from OERu necessarily, but students could look up their tutors on the wiki before starting a course with them to see whether they are on board.)
• I think it would vary by type of registration...like in a MOOC registered students are cared for as all students are with feedback etc...others are independent learners free to ask questions but not nurtured too much.
• OHH I see - I meant more like I want to register to help the OERu ... in some way .. (possibly including students) - but 'broader ..?..)
• I guess the OER Foundation will have a small amount of funding for the future to support a core of helpers? And to have a few managers who support and monitor volunteers? But not on a large scale... I wouldn't think. Which is why I think supporting all those millions of students needs to be left pretty open, i.e. we shouldn't be setting up new institutional structures for that purpose!
• Great discussion and comments. Sorry, I had to step away for a meeting but will review later comments. Great work! :-):-)
• This is a good way to have a disvcussion - everyone gets their "voices" heard :-)
• Yup, we've been using Etherpad in various way at BCcampus for live events over the past year and have been pleasantly surprised by the uptake and have now mounted our own server version of the software that we are all using today.
• Is it free.
• Yes, it is open source.
• I can see all kinds of uses.
• Works well with students, too. I use it in my own work.I like the colors...I have tried teaching with chat but it was hard to keep people straight (I mean from being confused with one another
• - i knew what you meant :)
• Yes - it's brilliant, and much clearer than a wiki as to who has contributed what!
• (Sorry I think I interrupted someone there!!!) Woops. Sorry about cutting and pasting your text. **No worries - you've just taken over my apology for misbehaving!
• lol sharing at it best :)
• It also makes it easy to data mine discussions for nuggets and allows easy attribution because of the colors.
• I hope the folks can make sense of our contributions...perhaps one of those wordcloud things would help...forgot what they are called
• Wordle?I love word clouds Yes.
• I think it's amazingly coherent ;-)
• Great fun I hope to talk more with all of you in our various forums.I'd like that too
• Looks like we're winding up. Thank you everyone for the great conversation. To be continued in the rest of the session :-)
• I want to thank you for making this possible. I want to engage in OERU but I have yet to feel I have a full picture of the mission. Today that has changed. Participating in the live podcast and then this Etherpad chat board has made me feel I can constribute and will become active in pursuing that goal. Again...I believe OERU is an important statement of educators without borders as they say...see you later...Can we have these meetings on a regular basis?
• It would be great...Have to go goodnight all.
• My email is jennyankenbauer@gmail.com See you soon I hope.
• Visit my blog joycemcknight.blogspot.com Just linked to it...thanks.
• Thanks everyone!
• Also remember the OERu@groups.google.com mailing list... which can accommodate asynchronous discussion of these issues.
• I actually sent an email to the Anchor partner from my place in the World (QLD) - Australia - just 'introducing myself' - and putting my hand up ...
• Should we be filling in the below?Hope not it is a bit late now...perhaps the Wordle thing will help Jim or someone.
• That is GREAT - thanks - I loved the little 'sorry' in the bottom :)
• Yes, we're a very polite bunch :-)
• And clearly we THINK a lot!
• We are that - educators, no?