Qualification Framework/tqf discussion summary

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This page is for posting intermediate summaries of regular discussions on National and Transnational Qualifications Framework/Curriculum for WikiEducator

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First Intermediate Summary of the discussions from 30/07/2008 to 13/08/2008

(Second round of the discussions commenced at http://groups.google.com/group/wikieducator/browse_thread/thread/16480d37bb02472d )


  1. Leigh Blackall
  2. Wayne Mackintosh
  3. Anil Prasad
  4. Wong Leo
  5. Peter
  6. Savithri Singh
  7. Paul G West
  8. Victor Mensah
  9. Vivek Sharma
  10. Christine Geith

Summary of First Round of Discussions

On 30/07/2008, Leigh Blackall has opened a new page for discussions on Transnational Qualifications framework on WE Group on Google Groups. The opening comments of Leigh has highlighted the necessity of an international framework that could act as a kind of benchmark or index to the works of Wiki Educators on WikiEducator.

In the first round discussions the forum has considered the following projects:

The forum felt that if these kind of works could be referred to/adapted, the teachers around the world who work with their respective Unit Standards could do it quickly and easily. Over time those teachers might come together online and begin discussing the commonalities and differences of their standards. To make it possible, at first, we need to encourage teachers, who work withing their own National Standards, to start showing us their work on Wikieducator so that we may begin to think Internationally, rather than International agencies like COL or UNESCO try to design it ( Creating standards by International Agencies means creation of yet another Standard that will still need to be negotiated with everyone else). Therefore what required is a collaborative development of the qualification framework, following WE principle. The forum felt that the documents with respect of VUSSC also have to be shared on WikiEducator, so that, it would become a very useful resource for discussions on development of WE framework of Qualifications.

The forum has also found that National standards should be agreed upon in the first place, before progressing to World standards/transnational. WE also targeting national curriculum first. National standards are required to meet the local needs, socio cultural aspiration and to promote dissemination of latest pool of knowledge. At least we can start with some areas, where curricula needs to be revised urgently, but the contents should be decided only after deciding about the benchmarks in the other fundamental areas.

Obviously, a quality standard that is adopted by a national qualifications framework should not be open to editing. However, it is appropriate to separate the development phase of TQF documents from the final approved version. In the wiki, there are effective mechanisms to protect approved versions from editing eg protecting the pages of an approved version, and once we implement the Flagged Revisions extension we will have more opportunities for proper approval processes. There are exiting opportunities for the WikiEducator community lay the ground work for a qualifications framework the wiki way. As we mature in our approaches which should start exploring the possibilities of engaging the expertise of national qualifications authorities. In this way qualifications frameworks can become living documents.

During the discussions it was also suggested that assessment and accreditation frameworks should also be open. The Australian and New Zealand model is that these original documents are assessment guides. In fact, the Australian and New Zealand units are already openly accessible online, so Open Access Assessment has always been the case. The discussants felt that the link between teaching content and assessment requirements has to be strengthened. By doing that, we strengthen the possibility of open access accreditation! It is with open access accreditation that we start to address the atrocious inequality in the world. Thus it was suggested that Open Access Assessment (OAA1) and Open Access Accreditation (OAA2) are two major components of OER development. The assessment and accreditation frameworks can help in deciding the type, quantity and quality of content to be developed. It will backup content development process with clear objective and direction.

The important queries in this connection were 'which one we need frist; Assessment or accreditation?', 'can assessment be done without the assessor?' Even with the existing open systems, it still requires another person (assessor) to assess the "student" or apply the guidelines to a persons "proven" competency. Wouldn't Open Access assessment remove the intermediary (assessor)? Couldn't we somehow use the power of mass collaboration to create assessment instruments that wouldn't require an intermediary other than the mass itself...? The open assessment and accreditation guides can offer a basis with which to develop content or design activity that will at least be relevant to others who also use that particular assessment guide/unit/learning objective. For instance, the Otago Polytechnic first of all using the NZ Qualifications Framework units as a basis for developing their courses on Wikieducator. That way we can be reasonably confident that when other NZrs come onto the WIkieducator, they will find our work, see that it is based on unit standards, and so be more able to adopt and collaborate in the development.

It was suggested that Creating a universal STANDARD for the development of curricula is essential, especially in this age when the world is becoming (and indeed has become) a global cottage. Of course there will be several issues of Region-Specific, or Community-Specific identities being necessary to reflect in resultant curricula. However, the need to ensure that any curriculum developed anywhere in the world will allow the learner effectively compete in and contribute to the global agenda must also be considered. Such a standard will also allow for effective Learning synchronisation when learners have to study from different angles/institutions/platforms, etc.

The discussions have also suggested a conceptual protocol as given below in using the Transnational Qualification Framework, based on Otago Otago Polytechnic's approach:

  1. Use approved standards of course.
  2. set up a course page that includes links to the standards we are using in the course.
  3. The standards are pages in their own right, and have a sub page for learning activities designed for that standard.
  4. When teachers devise new learning activities, they may add them as sub pages to the related unit standard page.
  5. Every time the course coordinator may review the courses and browse the various activity sub pages and pick the 'best' ones to link to from the course page.
  6. So the student only refers to a course page that links directly to a learning activity. In between is a unit standard page if the student wants to see that. Most ignore the unit standard page and focus on the learning activities.
  7. With the activities pages we can develop unlimited variations of learning activities for the various unit standards. Multi lingual, multi cultural, for different types of learners, for different types of teachers.
  8. With collaboration, we hope to eventually develop such a range of activities.
  9. With such a range, our teachers and students will have more choice in what activity they do in order to meet unit standard assessment requirements
  10. The difficulty is getting the collaboration. How can we make our Unit Standards useful to other nations so that we might collaborate on the development of learning activities for that unit? Perhaps if the Transnational Standards project recognised various units as internationally appropriate, then others will look at them more closely and be more inclined to collaborate in the development of learning (and assessment) activities...

At this it has been suggested to set some agenda because all the discussants are in favour of development of a Transnational Qualification Framework and to list the available National Qualification Frameworks. It was also proposed to set the current discussion page as a permanent venue for discussions on transnational qualification framework with intermediate outputs of the discussions appearing on WE. And suggested to have an assured face to face venue to discuss the issue at PCF6. Subsequently a news item on this discussion was added at http://www.wikieducator.org/Curriculum_INDEX


  1. One very remarkable immediate response during the discussions was Paul's announcement of arrangement to share the VUSSC related documents with WE.
  2. The decision to use the term 'Qualification Framework' instead of 'Curriculum' as the prime topic of discussions.
  3. The decision to change the name of the url http://www.wikieducator.org/Curriculum_INDEX to http://www.wikieducator.org/Qualification_Framework (done)
  4. Decision to list the existing National Qualification Standards
  5. Decision to make the discussion forum a permanent venue for discussions on National and Transnational Qualification Framework