2011.11 OERu Proposal for action for 2012 prototype courses

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Group 1 in Dunedin focused on a proposal for action for the first prototype(s) and corresponding policy and institutional procedure issues.

Diploma of General Studies that staircases to a Bachelor degree, which would include TRU campus approach to this with 3-4 partners Course or OER units that will underpin the OERu practices, including design, mentoring and advising Courses that will be included in the trial year.

Approach was discussed first to understand how OERu could start to operate in its trial phase

  • the course needs to be deposited, hopefully in a location such as WikiEducator as illustrated by USQ
  • the online LMS would be in an individual institution, and the Mentors might create another freely accessible location for a learning community online using Web 2.0 tools etc. We also envisaged mainly print and mobile phone approaches, although that may not be available at the trial phase
  • recognition of courses as comparable and equivalent; it will be challenging for many to accredit a full programme because they do not have an equivalent programme; such partners would still offer courses into OERu
  • the contribution of 2 courses is a medium or long term objective for all partner institutions that was stated in the logic model

Aims of the activity (longer term)

  • Undergraduate diploma as the equivalent of first year of a general degree, possibly in which any courses may be chosen.
  • Postgraduate/graduate courses or OER suited to preparation of tertiary staff for OERu, including volunteers

Objectives of the activity (short term)

  • Start with at least 3 courses and limit to 100 to ensure robust assessment.
  • Some institutions (e.g. TRU) have transfer credit after the originating institution has given the credits. Therefore OERu learners do not necessarily have to be in an "OERu programme".
  • Students who are in the OERu route can go to TRU and ask for PLA, e.g. which could take the deposited exam and use it as a challenge exam. This credit could be transcripted over. Otago and Open Poly also do some of this. Athabasca too. The partners also use international credentialling services.
  • Individual level as above, or Register (OP) or Credit bank (TRU) with assessment of educational experience - to evaluate if it is worthy of academic credit. Initial RPL interview screens to be sure that there is enough to make creation of a portfolio for further examination is worthwhile.
  • Might be nice to design and adopt a commonly recommended ePortfolio for OERu, although we recognise the challenge of this. Students would be likely to be interviewed on such a portfolio against the learning outcomes required for the institution.
  • OERu likely to require government identify verified in study centres etc. Final examinations may also be used for that purpose, as in TRU where they must be present in person.

Tentative list for consideration of potential courses on offer


  • Otago Polytechnic: Sustainability course addresses content relevant for all, acknowledging this was developed in NZ. (level, 5, 6 and 7)
  • University of Southern Queensland
    • Regional Relations in Asia and the Pacific
    • e-Literacy for Contemporay Society
  • University of Wollongong: Start smart - no credit
  • University of Wollongong: Arts 280 Community, Power and the Common Goal - no credit
  • Open Polytechnic: Certificate in Tertiary studies (Level 4)
  • Empire State College: Diversity (MOOC courses that are experimental and unlikely to continue to be offered)
  • Otago Polytechnic: Advisor course within certificate of tertiary teaching (level 5)

Postgraduate, to build OERu capacity and practice

  • University of Canterbury: Not until 2013 postgraduate EDEM630 Change with digital technologies in Education
  • Athabasca University: Designing for OER

For example

  • University of Southern Queensland: e-Literacy for Contemporary Society is a new course that could be included, which has been offered twice to USQ students and refined. USQ is keen to have peer review.
  • Peer Review of courses can be one of the benefits of OERu - voluntary to benefit to learn from that design and also review for adoption.
  • This formative review would aim to ensure that the course is robust enough to be an excellent example for the launch of OERu
  • There may need to be consideration of the appropriate access with a starting range of courses, but this could be a top end access
  • The USQ digital literacies course develops the skills for discovery learning through OERs
  • We assume that partner institutions will produce quality, which requires a transnational framework to assist this process for OERu. COL may be requested to contribute this.

Narrative description of what you will do

  • New procedures are not required because we have enough partners who have procedures that will be good enough to start with.
  • OERU wrapper required for the web including underlying tools and ...
  • Principles of engagement that underpin the alternate institutional processes regarding assessment, credit transfer, RPL etc.
  • Principles of design that fits with the value proposition - including multiple use of OER within different courses of multiple authors evolving that OER and drawing upon it. Note that there are different branches. Somewhere to include the principles for OERu graduate profiles to avoid overlap in the curriculum that reduces quality.
  • Students who are likely to be representative of the target clients for OERu in the long term. We recommend requesting key partners such as COL for assistance in this process. Courses that seem to be appropriate include:
    • Ot P: Sustainability (level 5, undergraduate)
    • USQ: e-Literacy for Contemporary Society, potentially including teachers who have access to such technologies for their teaching

What inputs are required?

  • We should use course that are existing through OER Foundation etc - This is a proposal to OERu to fill up the gaps and also we should be leaders to reuse OERs. Foundation or Saylor Foundation and Open CourseWare initiative is another example.
  • Courses to start with (see above)
  • Although we assume that partner institutions will produce quality, which requires a transnational framework to assist this process for OERu. COL may be requested to contribute this.

OER is not free - there are real costs so we do need an understanding of who and where we are aiming to reach in the first year and who this will be marketed to.

  • We assume that partner institutions will produce quality, wish requires a transnational framework to assist this process for OERu. COL may be requested to contribute this.
  • COL interested because it ties in with their values. Looking at the list to be shared who is this for - it must address students in Africa and Asia: relevance and access. This is urgent for COL mission, and we have to go out there and take them into consideration. UNESCO reinforced this situation, especially the intermittent connection in the pacific region.

Decision proposal(s) for OERTen partners for this activity including who and when

The value proposition is to market ways of credentialing by learning through OERs (transfer credit and RPL) Advising students to navigate through the opportunities and later pull together a portfolio for APL, in addition to mentoring while studying without being enrolled formally.