Principles of Macroeconomics/Feedback on getting Macroeconomics ready for OERu MVP

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I've had a chance to review the Macroeconomics course - its looking good and always a pleasure to see an OERu contributor with good wiki skills :-).

Published course site

  1. I've run the script to publish Introduction to Macroeconomics which reflects the current version of the course outline.
  2. Tip - scroll down to "Content" link in the footer area. This will take you back to the source wiki page. (Good way to check when reviewing links etc.)

Changes implemented

(These changes should be propagated through to the other micro courses for consistency)

  1. Added a "Course feed" page to the Outline page
  2. Activated the course feed harvester and tested WENotes (our internal microblog) posts.
  3. Added a syllabus page to the Course Guide in the outline (see CSF101 for example of a syllabus page)
  4. Added "assessment options" page in the outline. (Here we should say something about CLEP and point them to the relevant link, plus add a subsection for OERu partners that will acknowledge CLEP credit - we can leave this detail blank for now, but will confirm partner listings before we go live.)
  5. Added "Course announcements" in the outline. (MVP requires us to prepare an email announcement for each session of the course in advance. We have tools to automate sending out these emails to learners who register for cohort based offerings. See for example CSF course announcements - click on the "Course announcements" bar.)
  6. On the main planning page, I've added links for transclusion (This is used for high reuse items or components in the course which may change, for example forum urls, code tag, inserting WEnotes post box. Just add a colon before the name of the source page contained in curly brackets into the target page where needed. For example {{:Principles_of_Macroeconomics/MAEC101_tag}} will transclude the course tag: maec101.)
  7. Added the 3 column layout for the micro-course landing page (which is responsive in the published Wordpress site. You will find boiler plate wiki text here).
  8. Added a video signpost example which includes and example for transcluding the WENote post box.
  9. Added a credits page to course guide - better that the attribution is more prominent in the navigation than been hidden in the about page. You should also add your name in the credits section and acknowledge this course remix as AU's contribution to the OERu.

Outstanding items

  1. Prepare copy for the listing each course on the main site - one for each micro-course. This is the public interface for learners. See for example The inspiring challenge of sustainable development - this course is live at the moment, so you can see how to click through to the course site.
  2. Individual emails for the course announcements for each session.

Suggested improvements for MVP

OER you courses are designed for two delivery formats

  1. Purely self-study
  2. Cohort-based open online course with peer learning support (similar to a MOOC but without tutorial support). Incidentally this is based on Terry Anderson's work on the theory of interaction equivalence -i.e by increasing P2P support interactions, we won't be loosing much without having tutorial support.

(I strongly recommend that you implement these improvements for the MVP to be consistent with the other courses.)

  1. Try and source open access video signposts for each pathway - short snippets which introduce the concept - see for example this video I inserted from CrachCourse on Youtube - as we are only embedding on the published course site - open access rather than free cultural works licensed artefacts are fine.
  2. Incorporate short microblog comment opportunities throughout the course using WENotes - its a way of learners connecting and knowing someone else is out there ;-). These comments are harvested in the course feed.
  3. Consider one or two discussion forum activities where appropriate in the course. These will be hosted on Register on the forums site and we will bump you up with the required discourse "trust" levels to create the forums. (The course feed will harvest posts from and inject these into the time line.
  4. Consider one or two E-Activities where learners are invited to maintain a course blog and share outputs of their learning. The course feed will also harvest links to course blogs which are tagged with the course code assuming the learner shares their blog url with the course site. In the introductory OERu "Learning in a Digital Age" course - learners will gain experience using these tools and we will also provide help tutorials.
  5. The Regional Relations in Asia in the Pacific included a summary page at the end of each pathway which includes an "Ask OERu" template to generate a peer-based FAQ concept on (see for example here). This is relatively easy to implement.

Additional review comments

  1. Where the activity is a reading activity -- consider replacing "type=Activity" with type=Reading" in the IDevice parameters.
  2. In cases where there are more than one reading in the activity - where appropriate, separate the readings out into separate IDevices. The reason being that we have a Hewlett funded learner analytics project that will be able to track engagement if the IDevice contains a link or WEnotes post box within the IDevice
    . Note: currently there's a bug in the WENotes post widget which does not allow us to have more than one WENote post item on a page. I've edited an example here so you can see what I mean.
  3. I've posted an example of a Summary page at the end of a learning pathway and included the "AskOERu template" which accepts parameters for the course code and the url of the AskOERu forum on
  4. Yesterday I noticed a legal license compatibility problem - we cannot copy any of Petroff's text into the OERu course under the CC-BY-SA-NC license (We are restricted to CC-BY, CC-BY-SA or content dedicated to the public domain). However, I see that the PEOI site which hosts this material has an alternate "custom" license called the "Educational Material Universal Common License" - I've read the license and don't see any issues in copying the content. However - at the bottom of each page which uses this content in the course, please add a footnote - Along the lines of "Materials copied and adapted in accordance with the PEOI Educational Material Universal Common License. (There is no legal requirement to attribute and they state that it is similar to a public domain declaration expect for the exercises on their site.
  5. On the credits page we should do something similar to this Saylor acknowledgement for the externally linked resource (with the exception of the PEOI materials above which we are using under the Educational Material Universal Common License.
  6. In cases where a video is hosted on Youtube or Vimeo, I suggest separating the video out into a Media idevice and using Template:YouTube which will embed the video in the published Wordpress site. See for example this page where the video is contained within the "reading" activity. Again, this separation will help with learner analytics.


  1. In the IDevice template you do not need to specify the "Title" parameter if its the same as type. "Title" is used when you want to display a different text to the default text associated with the type of IDevice.
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