The OER Foundation hosted a strategic international planning meeting for the OER for assessment and credit for students project at Otago Polytechnic on 23 February 2011 in Dunedin. New Zealand. The project aims to provide flexible pathways for learners from across the globe who have accessed open education courses to be assessed and earn credible qualifications for their work on a fee-for-service basis. Athabasca University, Otago Polytechnic and the University of Southern Queensland are collaborating as anchor partners in building an OERu. As an open project, all interested post-secondary institutions may join the initiative as anchor partners.BCcampus in British Columbia Canada, hosted a pre-meeting SCoPE online seminar to generate inputs for the planning meeting. The meeting attracted 202 registered virtual participants from 46 different countries. Representatives from, Australia, Canada, Fiji, New Zealand and Samoa attended the meeting in Dunedin including representatives from the university and polytechnic sectors, Ako Aotearoa, the New Zealand Ministry of Education, and the Tertiary Education Commission of New Zealand. Virtual participants were encouraged to provide input and feedback using the OER university microblog stream on identi.ca, the online proposal for action forms, and relevant wiki pages set up for the meeting in WikiEducator.
Otago Polytechnic remarked that the OER university is history in the making. Professor Jim Taylor, from the University of Southern Queensland – a founding gold member of the OER Foundation – led discussions on the OER university concept and introduced a logic model for planning the OERu. Key issues and appropriate responses were discussed at the meeting. The meeting stressed the importance for new pedagogies and corresponding digital literacies that will be required to scale the OER university concept in a sustainable and effective way.
The meeting has commenced work on developing proposals for action relating to open business models, open pedagogy, open curriculum and open student support. An online follow-up meeting is planned to refine the draft proposals for action generated at the meeting including outputs, key performance indicators, milestones and budgets for securing external funding. This meeting will be conducted asynchronously. The follow-up meeting will most likely be hosted on the UNESCO OER community platform.
We envisage that the OER university will commence with two qualifications. First, foundation courses leading to a "Diploma of Arts" which will carry credit for Bachelor Degree qualifications thus focusing on the Community Service mission to widen access to degree study. Second, a Graduate Certificate in Tertiary Learning and Teaching, which will include an elective for OER. These qualifications will serve as pilot initiatives to refine and develop the model. The OER university welcomes the addition of more qualifications and OER materials to build a comprehensive spectrum of curriculum offerings.
- Realising the potential of OER, Dr Visesio Pongi, Director of the UNESCO Apia Office for the Pacific States. Samoa.
- Open but tough, Sir John Daniel, President and Chief Executive Officer, Commonwealth of Learning, Canada.
- Formal welcome and opening of the Meeting, Dr Robin Day, Chair of the OER Foundation Board and Deputy Chief Executive of Otago Polytechnic, New Zealand.
- We are making history today, Phil Ker, Chief Executive, Otago Polytechnic, New Zealand.
- The OER university: From logic model to action plan, Keynote address. Professor Jim Taylor, AM., University of Southern Queensland, Australia.
- Inputs from the SCoPE pre-meeting seminar hosted by BCcampus, Paul Stacey, BCcampus, Canada.
- Meet the participants, Personal introductions from Dunedin Participants, New Zealand.
- Building the OER ecosystem for free online degrees, Alana Harrington, Saylor Foundation
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Dr Visesio Pongi, UNESCO
Sir John Daniel, Commonwealth of Learning
Dr Robin Day, OER Foundation
Phil Ker, Otago Polytechnic
Prof Jim Taylor, AM. University of Southern Queensland
Paul Stacey, BCcampus
Meet the participants
Alana Harrington, Saylor Foundation
- Taylor, J.C. 2007. Open courseware futures: Creating a parallel universe. e-Journal of Instructional Science and Technology (e-JIST), Vol 10, No. 1. Online: http://www.ascilite.org.au/ajet/e-jist/docs/vol10_no1/papers/full_papers/taylorj.htm. Retrieved 16 January 2011.