OERu/Planning/Quality review project/Outline and scope - for comment

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Purpose of this page: This page will be used to collaboratively develop the scope and outline of the project, with timelines and deliverables added. Please treat this as a living document.

Quality Review Project

Rationale: As the OERu course offerings diversify, mature, and opportunities for credit transfer increase, the notion of both Quality Assurance, and Quality Control must become 'business-as-usual'. In keeping with the OERu philosophy, any quality initiative must be open, transparent, and accountable - that is, the quality processes, and the results of quality reviews should be a matter of open record. Not only does this enact OERu values, but it also leverages efficient measures for partner institutions (and any other interested party) to easily identify the outcome of applied processes. For Australia, this means that accrediting bodies (for example professional bodies, or Federal TEQSA) are able to include OERu courses used by the institution (no matter how flexibly; a strength of the OERu model) in their deliberations. This type of activity, a 'Course Quality History', provides the OERu with the opportunity for leadership in this area, and to openly gift the processes and tools so that they can be adapted and contextualised for broader use.

Scope: Currently, the scope of this project includes:

  • identify, via review of literature, existing quality frameworks, with specific reference to those applied to open courses and resources
  • synthesise an appropriate number of frameworks, distilling both the points of commonality and difference
  • create a 'checklist'-style tool that can be used to review OERu courses [Outcome 1]
  • create a 'mediating artefact' to support users in the application of the tool [Outcome 2]
  • facilitate a call for examples of good practice that can embedded/linked within the tool that demonstrates potential approaches to users [Outcome 3]

This tool can be used in the following ways:

  • to review a course pre-release to ensure consistency of experience of all OERu courses; and to provide action items to be completed by course commencement date (as appropriate)
  • as a tool to review a course that has been part of the OERu for an agreed-upon time (for example, a commitment that all courses will be reviewed every three years), with a specific focus on updating, and refreshing the course offering
  • as a tool during new course design, so that decisions made at design, development, and implementation have an evidence-base
  • as a tool to demonstrate quality processes and outcomes for accrediting bodies
  • when adapted, it can be used in any educational setting based on localised context


  • The OERu structure and course offerings differ from traditional higher education courses in a number of ways. The quality review tool needs to reflect this nuance.
  • The OERu does not mandate a specific learning and teaching approach for any partner institution. As such, the review document will be guided by principles; how a principle is enacted is determined by the partner institution, and this does not in any way compromise their autonomy.
  • When the word 'consistency' is used in relation to a course experience, it too refers to principles and traits of the course, without mandating the method of enactment. Note that the project team consider that 'consistency' is a completely separate concept to 'conformity'.

Broad timeline To be specified in consultation with the project team.

  • October 2018 (Open Access Week): open consultation webinar on a robust draft of the tool
  • November 2018 (OERu International Partners Meeting, Port Macquarie, Australia): seek endorsement for implementation of the completed tool from the partners
  • 2019: Encourage wide dissemination and use of the tool across the network, aiming to refine based on partner experience

Publication opportunities It is also recognised that the work undertaken in this project could form the basis for publication. This will be explored by the project team, with a commitment to open access and open publishing.