PCF5:The Virtual University for the Small States of the Commonwealth

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Title of session

The Virtual University for the Small States of the Commonwealth

Session details

  • Date: 17 July 2008
  • Time: 11:00
  • Room: 541

Session papers

  • Mr Mark Surman, The Shuttleworth Foundation and Mr Paul West, Commonwealth if Learning, The Cape Town Declaration [1] (513)
  • Mr Ousainou Loum, Integration of Tertiary institutions in the Gambia (569)
  • Prof. Venkaia Vunnam, Open Educational Resources in India: a study of attitudes and perceptions of distance teachers [2] (386)
  • Ms Jennifer Anne Williams, VUSSC Boot Camps evolution - Singapore, Samoa and Seychelles (559)

Key Issues that arose in the session

There being participants from the Pacific, Asia, AFrica and North America, the meeting seemed well represented of much of the world.

  • OERs need to be more organized. Tools or directories are needed to help to find educational resources.
  • Cultural issues - Governments may be concerned of some things that might appear on the internet for educators.
  • Institutions that use OERs would like to see how credible the materials are; possibly some for of certification.
  • Participants identified gaps in OER collections - there could be an international conference in that particular subject area.
  • A change of mindset needed - academics and institutions should not expect royalty.
  • Policy-makers are sometimes resistent due to the risk of loss of potential financial gains.
  • The VUSSC TQF will help to provide a basis for courses and their transfer.
  • There was a feeling that private sector institutions spend a lot on developing course materials and cannot just give it all away.
  • The group discussed copyright issues and in particular the possible use of the "no-derivatives" restriction.

Points for future action (Policy, recommendations, commitments etc.)

  • Educators should discuss the conversion of learning materials to OERs
  • Educators need to familiarize themselves with copyright implications in learning materials