OERu/volunteers/OERU vision brainstorming

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OERU vision brainstorming Project task Status
Project coordinator -- open -- 13 March 2011
Brainstorming add suggestion, comment on ideas presented, indicate support for ideas that will serve in progress
Draft recommendation present to the larger community for review and comment tentatively 30 Apr 2011

1. Expanding on and elaborating the vision.

Wayne provided me with a link to a video from the Saylor Foundation http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=juohLHS0LE4. This is a thoughtful exploration of how the ideas we've been exploring for an OERU might actually work in practice. I encourage you to have a look and respond with your thoughts and answers to the questions raised.

... continue OERU vision brainstorming here

  • What are some of the issues raised in the video?
  • How can these be adapted for OERU?
  • What are some specific actionably goals or objectives that will move us forward?
  • What additional information and/or resources are needed to get moving on these ideas?
  • How can we organize to use volunteers to reach these goals?

Suggestions for further discussion and visioning

From the Scope discussion - Bernard Nkuyubwatsi - Monday, 28 February 2011, 09:10 AM

Trying to answer the questions asked in the video from the Rwandan context, here are my initial thoughts:

  • Partnering with professional organizations:

I wonder how OERu is going to be of universal benefit since in some countries professional associations are rare to find. If the lack of professional associations in some countries is not considered in this logical model, there is risk of not responding to needs of learners in those societies as well or even exclude them from this initiative. I would suggest finding volunteers in as many canners [corners?] of the world as possible and I personally commit myself to this volunteering initiative. The concern I want to raise here is that important decision might be taken in professional association/conferences in which many parts of the world are not represented. If this happens to be the case, the impact of OERu on the non represented setting will be doubtful.

  • Partnering with accredited institutions:

I am not quite sure I understand well what is meant by the word “accreditation” as this might be used differently depending on settings. American universities for example, seem to be accredited by consortia of higher education institutions such as “Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA)”. This is what I found as information about accreditation on one American university. I did the same search for the National University of Rwanda and the response was, “no match found about Accreditation”. Does it mean that this university is not accredited or is it the issue of differences in which higher learning institutions and education in various societies operate? I know though that higher learning institutions in Rwanda need to have the authorization from Rwanda’s Ministry of Education to operate and I hope this is considered as accreditation as well. Otherwise, those institutions will be left behind the door of the OERU movement because I am not aware of any associations such as “Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA)” the country. I look forward to seeing how the issue of economic and digital divide is address to bridge all those differences.

  • Cheating issue

I think providing limited time for a test would avoid cheating. If the questions are short answers questions and require the same answer for all learners, it will be necessary for all learners to take the test at the same time. There might be also possibility of alternating the number of questions for different respondents. For instance, question number one for student A appears as question number 6 for students B, etc… Proctoring (invigilation) would be organized by participating institutions.

Alternatively, the assessment can be done in the form of a project. I have to admit that the concern of students who might pay others to take test in their places is justified, but I would doubt whether they would also pay them to study the materials. If the person who shows up for the test is different from the one who studied the materials, this will work at the real learner’s disadvantage. Before entering the testing rooms, learners’ IDs need to be verified. I think many institutions operate online and I don’t think cheating in those institutions is higher than in face-to-face institutions.