OERu 13.10 report

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Group photo of the attendees[1] at the 2nd meeting of OERu anchor partners on the occasion of the official launch of the OERu.

The second meeting of OERu anchor partners and international launch of the OERu collaboration was hosted by Thompson Rivers University on 31 October and 1 November 2013 in Kamloops, Canada.

Sir John Daniel, open learning visionary and former UNESCO Assistant Director General of Education, was the guest of honour and formally launched the OERu website on 1 November 2013.

As an open project, all accredited post-secondary institutions are free to join the OERu international partnership. Find out more about becoming an OERu partner or email Wayne Mackintosh, UNESCO-COL Chair in OER.

Session 1: Aims of the meeting and meeting our partners

Dr Irwin DeVries, Director, Curriculum Development at Thompson Rivers University facilitates the opening session of the 2nd meeting of OERu anchor partners.
Welcome from the Chair,
OER Foundation Board
By dreaming big, big things will happen

—Alan Shaver
President and Vice-Chancellor, Thompson Rivers University.

Video recording of Session 1
Time Presenter Item
00:11 Irwin DeVries Session facilitator
02:03 Elder Jimmy Jack Blessing
06:46 Alan Shaver Welcome from the President
15:30 Wayne Mackintosh Objectives of the meeting
18:36 Brain Lamb Participant introductions
Dr Alan Shaver, President and Vice-Chancellor, Thompson Rivers University

The 2nd meeting of OERu anchor partners commenced with a blessing from Jimmy Jack, First Nations Elder for the Secwepemc Nation.

Senior leaders including Vice-Chancellors, Chief Executives and Deputy-Vice Chancellors convened for the 2nd Meeting of OERu anchor partners at Thompson Rivers University. Thirty-five participants attended the meeting in person and one hundred and seventy nine individuals registered as remote participants.

Brian Lamb, Director for Innovation Open Learning at Thompson Rivers University, facilitated the participant introductions

President Alan Shaver welcomed the participants to Thompson Rivers University. Reflecting on his decision to join the partnership, Dr Shaver shared that the OERu was such a remarkable idea that the leadership was compelled to take a decision to join with internal consultation to follow. Alan commended the remarkable progress of the open access and open education movement, remarking that higher education is on the threshold of a new age. He concluded that the OERu partners are going to be the leaders of new futures in tertiary education.

Dr Robin Day, Chair of the Board of the OER Foundation thanked OERu partners to date who were instrumental in developing the prototype courses and welcomed new partners to this world-leading collaboration focused on widening access to learning for students excluded from the formal sector. Robin acknowledged the generous support from Thompson Rivers University for hosting the meeting; the Commonwealth of Learning for hosting the Transnational Qualifications Framework meeting; Kwantlen Polytechnic University for hosting the inaugural meeting of the OERu Council of Chief Executive Officers; the funding contributions from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation to establish the OERu initiative; and the counsel and advice from members of the Board, in particular Emeritus Professor Jim Taylor, Professor Rory McGreal and Dr David Porter. Robin noted that the aims of the OERu 13.10 meeting build on the work done to date and focus on establishing an implementation schedule for the sustainable and scalable implementation of the OERu.

Dr Wayne Mackintosh, UNESCO-COL Chair in OER at Otago Polytechnic and the OER Foundation underscored that the OERu is not an institution but something greater. The OERu is a network of institutions cooperating on widening access to more affordable education using open education approaches. Wayne highlighted that the OERu network uses a small "u" because it refers to the original etymology of "universitas magistrorum et scholarium" encompassing our community of scholars returning to the core values of education, namely to share knowledge freely.

Wayne confirmed the objectives for the meeting, namely to: (1) transition the OERu from the prototype phase to a sustainable and scalable programme of study; (2) launch the OERu to the world; and (3) identify prototypes for supporting incremental innovation of the OERu network.

Brian Lamb, Director for Innovation Open Learning at Thompson Rivers University, miraculously achieved the impossible: facilitating the completion of the introductions of OERu meeting participants on time.
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