Another world first for Otago Polytechnic: OP to offer full credential for the OERu

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Today, Otago Polytechnic responds to the global need for upgrading teacher and trainers’ skills in vocational education with a new and innovative Graduate Diploma in Tertiary Education which has been recently approved by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority. The Graduate Diploma will also be offered as a full credential for the OERu network based solely on OER resources. This will provide more affordable opportunities for thousands of educators worldwide who want to upgrade their qualifications and skills.

13 December 2012

Phil Ker, Chief Executive, Otago Polytechnic
At Otago Polytechnic, we place a high priority on the skills and formal qualifications of our teachers to facilitate the learning journey for our students. As an open organisation, we want to share these opportunities for learning freely with the world using open educational resources. Building the Graduate Diploma in Tertiary Education upon a work-based learning philosophy, we are modelling the practice we expect from our educators in their own classrooms and we are committed to helping others achieve these goals.

—Phil Ker, Chief Executive
Otago Polytechnic

The Graduate Diploma in Tertiary Education offers a unique alternative for formal academic recognition in tertiary teaching practice. It is modelled on the internationally recognised paradigm of work-based learning (WBL) in which the learning is situated in the workplace. This programme enables learners to draw on their everyday work contexts to construct knowledge or further develop their tertiary educator practice through exploration, collaboration and conversation in achieving the learning outcomes. The Graduate Diploma embeds opportunities to recognise and build on the existing knowledge and experience of participants with a flexible approach that allows individualised learning pathways to achieve formal academic credit.

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Open Education @ Otago Polytechnic

The service shut down in August, 2015,
so this copy of the video is no longer available.
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Otago Polytechnic.

The service shut down in August, 2015,
so this copy of the video is no longer available.

Otago Polytechnic.

Interview with Dr Robin Day, Chair of the OER Foundation and former Deputy Chief Executive at Otago Polytechnic and Dr Wayne Mackintosh, Director, OER Foundation.

Otago Polytechnic is a world leader in open and sustainable education with an impressive track record of firsts.

The Dunedin-based institute of technology was the first tertiary education institution in the world to adopt a default Creative Commons Attribution intellectual property policy. As the first New Zealand institution to sign the Cape Town Open Education Declaration, Otago Polytechnic had the foresight to establish the OER Foundation as an independent charitable organisation to support education institutions around the world in achieving their strategic objectives using open education approaches. The OER Foundation is the driving force behind the OERu international partnership of accredited institutions and as the first member organisation of the Foundation, Otago Polytechnic hosted the inaugural meeting for the founding anchor partners of the OERu initiative.

Otago Polytechnic now claims the accolade of the first OERu anchor partner to commit a full credential to the growing suite of OERu course offerings in preparation for the official international launch of the OERu in November, 2013.

We are excited by the opportunity to offer a full qualification to the OERu community of learners. Its design brings new challenges to address, including how the facilitated work-based courses can be provided using OER and how they can be assessed for credit. This programme will enable tertiary educators to gain new learning through exploration and deeper understanding of their practice.

—Sally Pairman, Director: Learning and Teaching
Head of Midwifery, Te Kura Atawhai ka Kaiakopono te Hakuitaka
Otago Polytechnic

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"I am thrilled that the Graduate Diploma in Tertiary Education will offer an elective in Open Education Practice." said Wayne Mackintosh, Director of the OER Foundation and COL Chair in Open Educational Resources at Otago Polytechnic. "The UNESCO 2012 Paris OER Declaration calls on governments to support capacity building for the sustainable development of quality open education materials and Otago Polytechnic is responding to this need by widening access to affordable options for formal certification in OER."

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Otago Polytechnic, in partnership with the OERu network aims to provide greater choice using a range of certification, credentialing and packaged offerings to suit different needs. All students will have access to free learning opportunities and course materials will be hosted as open access materials on WikiEducator. The OER model provides learners with the flexibility to buy what they need or can afford, and not what the host institution tells them to purchase. Prospective Otago Polytechnic students can register for the full package including full tuition support and formative feedback on all assessments. Alternatively, OERu learners can study for free using the open peer support and support from Academic Volunteers International and only pay for the final assessment at a greatly reduced fee. Learners will also be able to select formative feedback for selected assignments on a user-pays basis, or choose to purchase tutorial support by the hour if needed.

This new qualification aims to provide a number of certification options, including Certificates of Participation and Certificates of Proficiency where learners are formerly assessed, but not necessarily interested in the full credential and formal credentialing services for the Graduate Diploma in Tertiary Education.

About Otago Polytechnic

Established in 1890, Otago Polytechnic is the oldest institute of technology in New Zealand. Otago Polytechnic provides excellent learning experiences for a wide range of learners nationally and internationally, and is a cornerstone of the economic, social and cultural development of the Otago region.

About the OER Foundation

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The Open Education Resource (OER) Foundation is an independent, not-for-profit organisation that provides leadership, international networking and support for educational institutions to achieve their objectives using open education approaches. The OER Foundation coordinates the OERu international network. For more information, Contact Wayne Mackintosh.

OER Foundation 2011 Annual Report (1.6MB pdf download)

About the OER university

See: 5 Things you should know about the OER university network planPDF down.png