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TRU Lunch Presentation

About the OERu

What it is/what it isn't

  • Sponsored by the OER Foundation
  • Collaboration of like-minded institutions
  • Not a university in the institutional sense
  • Virtual presence in WikiEducator wiki
    • Same wiki as Wikipedia
  • Some distinctives
    • Open peer review
    • Open public input
    • Open educational resources
    • Open textbooks
    • Open file formats
    • Open source software
    • Open enrollments
    • Open awareness


  • Low-cost learning to all students worldwide using OER learning material
  • Courses and programs based solely on OER
  • Pathways to earn credible post-secondary credentials
  • Models of scalable and low cost learner support
  • Opportunities for new educational models providing value added services in a disaggregated model

An OER definition

Open educational resources include:

  • OER are defined as teaching, learning, and research resources that reside in the public domain or have been released under an intellectual property license that permits their free use and re-purposing by others.
  • Full courses, course materials, modules, learning objects, open textbooks, streaming videos, tests, software, and any other tools, materials, or techniques used to support access to knowledge.

Source: Hewlett Foundation, 2007

How it works




  • curriculum
  • design and development
  • pedagogy
  • student support
  • assessment and credentialing
  • support infrastructure

TRU's involvement with OERu

Founding anchor partner

TRU has been a member from the very start = Founding Anchor Partner


  • Contribution of two courses
  1. ART 100 Art Appreciation (from Saylor)
  2. To be determined (possibly Sustainability)
  • Ensuring course quality
  1. For courses contributed by TRU: Faculty review, standard course approvals
  2. For other courses: based on OERu quality processes and granting institutions' alternative credit policies
  3. OERu principle is to respect all participant institutions' own standards and processes
  • Determining how to give credit for courses
  1. Still under discussion by joint committee
  2. Options include commercial exams, PLAR (portfolio, assignments, exams, etc.), transfer credit
  3. Proposal to take course forward as TRU course

Benefits to TRU

International collaboration

  • Next annual meeting at TRU this Fall - partners from around the world to attend - Sir John Daniel will attend and speak

Access to courses developed by others in OERU

Tremendous learning experience for participants

  • Gets us working hands-on with OER and open educational practices
    • Finding, working with, repurposing, creating OER
    • Getting to know how to work with alternative licensing e.g. (Creative Commons)
    • Working in an open wiki platform
    • Collaborating openly in developing courses
    • Learning open educational approaches from the inside out
    • Catalyst for discussion and change

Advances our Academic Plan


  • Increased faculty engagement in the scholarship of teaching and learning
    Middle Age-road.JPG
  • Additional domestic and international degree options, such as dual-, joint-, and Masters degrees, with partner institutions
  • International “virtual or distance” projects and collaborations at the research, operational, and assessment stages, including distance study with other Open and Distance universities and other institutions offering multi-modal learning
  • Enhanced local, national and international partnerships, including programs created with external partners in Aboriginal communities, industry, government, and NGOs
  • Flexible instructional environments, including blended/hybrid delivery models, supported distance learning, service learning, field trips
  • TRU continued development of the use/acceptance of Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition
  • The application of principles of universal instructional design