Process for selecting 2nd installment of prototype courses

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This is a three phase process:
  1. for anchor partners to nominate candidate courses for the 2nd installment of OERu prototype courses;
  2. to collaboratively rank the candidate nominations which are likely to produce the best learning experience and results for the OERu model during this prototype phase based on the decisions for the prototype courses leading to a Bachelor of General Studies (or equivalent) as the inaugural OERu credential.
  3. to finalise and agree the nominations for the second set of prototype courses by 30 November 2012.

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Key points
When considering a nomination for the second set of prototype courses, triangulate your decision by considering:
  • Which existing course(s) within your institution could easily be converted to OER and/or be assembled from existing open access materials on the web
  • Would any existing OER courses available from one of the repositories map to a credit-bearing course at your institution, for example: Saylor Foundation; courses listed at the OpenCourseWare Consortium, Washington State's Phase 1 courses or the BCcampus SOL*R repository;
  • Will the OERTen network require any new courses, for example digital literacy skills for the 21st Century?
  • Target dates:
    • Submission of nominations for prototype courses: 28 October 2012
    • Poll to achieve rough consensus completed: 15 November 2012
    • Final discussion and decision: 30 November 2012


  • The process for nominating and selecting the prototype courses will be guided by the principles of self-organisation. Self-organisation is a process where the structure or pattern emerges in the system without a central authority or external element imposing it through planning. Self-organisation will enable the interaction of local elements that make up the OERTen system. Consequently the organisation of the initiative is achieved in a way that is parallel (all the elements act at the same time) and distributed (no element is a central coordinator)[1]. It is the tacit knowledge of individuals and organisations which "know" what will work in their context. A transparent process provides the OERu network with the capacity to self-organise.
  • Nothing precludes an anchor partner continuing development of their intended course contributions in parallel with these prototypes. However, the benefits for individual anchor partners are likely to increase in proportion to the areas of overlap and agreement within the network. For example, course selections which maximize credit-transfer in the network will increase the incentives and rewards for sharing the systemic costs and benefits associated with the assembly of courses because this reduces the need for local recontextualisation of a shared OERu course.
  • Designing for reuse using collaborative approaches provides the greatest opportunity for the network to overcome the reusability paradox.
  • We accept that the OERu network will need to discuss, propose and implement processes for ensuring learning pathways for OERu learners and more robust curriculum planning approaches when nominating courses for our network. However, with only 8 prototype courses under development it would appear premature to implement a constraining curriculum planning model at this time.

Criteria for prototype candidates

Qualifying criteria

Nominations which do not meet the following criteria will not be considered in the consensus poll (with the understanding the OERu partners are free to develop OERu courses in parallel with the prototypes):

  • Course design and development must be completed by 31 October 2013 so that the OERu 2013.11 meeting can review the lessons learned from the prototype phase of our collaboration.
  • The course must be accredited towards a credential at a minimum of one anchor partner, usually the contributing partner.
  • The course must not require the purchase of any textbooks or other materials that are not freely available and accessible.

Guiding considerations

  • The OERu 2011.11 meeting recommended that partners prioritise first-year level courses during the formative phases of the OERu network, but higher level and post-graduate courses will be considered.
  • Level of cross-credit potential in the network
  • Prototype nominations which could be delivered to students before the 2013.11 OERu anchor partner meeting. Experience from delivering course to OERu learners would generate more valuable information for our prototype phase.
  • Achieving an acceptable "range" within the collection of prototype courses, for example:
    • courses with potential for large enrollments worldwide but also illustrate opportunities for Long Tail Economics whereby the OERu collaboration achieves cost-effective solutions for low enrollment courses.
    • nominations which illustrate a range of viable delivery approaches without imposing any pedagogical approach.
  • Courses which are likely to generate broad interest in a variety of contexts
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  • Go with the flow and trust the process (anchor partners retain decision-making autonomy)
  • Consider thinking outside the box so we can collectively think further than the obvious because innovation occurs in the grey areas of overlap among existing practices. For example, don't be shy to nominate your own preferred candidate from your institution. By sharing suggestions openly, anchor partners will be able to "think outside the box" given their tacit knowledge of local dynamics.
  • Remember that successful innovation is creativity successfully implemented -- therefore postpone nominations which cannot reasonably be implemented within existing institutional practice or policy.

The process and timeline

  1. Submit your candidates for course nominations for the 2nd installment of prototype courses using the form below by the close of business on 28 October 2012.
  2. Using the criteria for prototype candidates above, we will conduct an open poll based on a rough consensus model to determine the "sense of the group" by 15 November 2012.
  3. Final discussion and decision on the 2nd installment of prototype courses drawing on the rough consensus poll by 30 November 2012.

Course nomination form

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Course nomination form

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


  • You must have a valid WikiEducator user account before using the input form. Consult the instructions on how to create a new account or go directly to the account creation page.
  • View the screencast video prepared for the 2012 nominiations (best in viewed in full screen mode). You may also consult the tutorial on the basics of using the rich text editor (note, this will not work with an iPad, use standard wiki text.).
  • Remember to save your edits.
  • Login to WikiEducator with your own username and password.
  • Click on the "Submit nomination" button below, a new window will open and follow the instructions on screen.


  1. Wikipedia definition of self-organisation