Scenarios for Open Unbundled Learning Provision

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A typical (traditional) university education offers all the following processes within the context of a single institution and course:

  • Course design – whereby a group of experts and pedagogues design a curriculum, course structure and materials
  • Teaching / Learning – whereby the materials created by the course designers are used to create a learning experience (often with the help of tutors / teachers)
  • Assessment & Certification – whereby the knowledge acquired in the learning experience is tested, and thus the learning experience is validated. Certification serves as evidence of completion of the validated learning experience
  • Accumulation & Recognition – Whereby a student acquires validated learning experiences, and uses them as a passport to obtain more advanced learning experience.

In an unbundled system, these processes are performed individually by separate teams, often in different institutions. This leads us to a situation where we might imagine a number of different provision scenarios. While any combination of the above can conceivably be mixed, the OERTest project studied the feasibility of a number of scenarios, and found the following six to be the most likely to be able to be implemented in the current educational landscape:

OER certification scenarios.png

In the table above:

U1 represents the ‘home’ university, where the student following the modules is enrolled (if the student is actually enrolled at an institution)
U2 represents an HEI which has signed an agreement with U1 for mutual recognition of qualifications and/or credit
U3 & U4 represent third-institutions which do not have any formal relations on mutual recognition, neither amongst themselves, nor with other institutions.

Discussion of the Scenarios

OER Traditional: The only difference from traditional e-learning is that this is done using OER-based materials. Self-study modules with credit are not unusual. Comment on this scenario here! Feasible?

OER Erasmus: Under this scenario, a student takes OER-credit from a trusted university, with an existing relationship with their home university. Comment on this scenario here! Feasible?

OER Summer School: Here, U1 has no agreement on standards etc. with U3, and so must assess quality of the credits, perhaps using exam or portfolio model. Comment on this scenario here! Feasible?

OER Credit Market: In this model, U1 assesses a learner using the methods it has decided are appropriate for its own OER module and offers ECTS credits to be taken away and used as learner wishes/is able.  Comment on this scenario here! Feasible?

OER Anywhere: U1 has no knowledge of the curriculum or standards etc of the offering at X, and so must assess quality of the credits using RPL methods, eg exam or portfolio model
Learner wishes to enter U1 and offers learning from OER as basis for entry. Comment on this scenario here! Feasible?

OER RPL: U1 must assess using protocols similar those used for Recognition of Prior Learning, as it has no prior basis for evaluating standards of the OER curriculum
Comment on this scenario here! Feasible?