WikiEducator is now a 30579 member strong community of educators who believe in open philanthropy. It is also the unique platform where world’s number one massive wiki skills and OER development initiative – Learning4Content ( L4C) – takes place. The services that have been rendered by WikiEducator for the popularisation of Wiki as an open authoring tool as well as the use and collaborative production of OER, since its launching in 2006, is invaluable. Now it is also the platform for another unique experiment in open education – the OERu. WikiEducator community members are also the stakeholders of new developments in open education both as active players and serious observers. Based on the experience from all the above innovations, the WikiEducator community recognized the need for a community driven setup for facilitating online learning, teaching, mentoring and researches. As part of it Anil Prasad, a member of the WikiEducator Community, has initiated a discussion on the need for establishing a community college for WikiEducator to shape an OERu-ready global community of Educators.See the links to the discussion threads below:
- Email threads and start of initiative using the WikiEducator Main Discussion Forum
- Email threads and start of initiative using the WikiEducator Teacher Collaboration Forum
The community has conducted a detailed open discussion on the matter and the general opinion was to establish a WikiEducator community college, with an appropriate name to be decided by the community, to facilitate training and other supports on the topics listed under the Objectives section below. Accordingly the WikiEducator community has conducted a rough consensus poll and selected the name WikiEducator Open Learning Academy (WOLA) for its community college initiative from 30 nominations added by the WikiEducator community members. The selected name was nominated by Patricia Schlicht.
Subsequently a WikiEducator Workgroup to propose Vision, Mission, Interim Organization Structure, Business Procedure and Pilot Initiatives for WOLA has been constituted and the following members have voluntarily signed in to the group.
- 1 Workgroup Members
- 2 Charter of the Workgroup
- 3 Vision and Mission statements for WOLA
- 4 Interim Organization Structure for WOLA
- 4.1 Stakeholders
- 4.2 Potential Players
- 4.3 Functions
- 4.4 Interim Organization Structure
- 4.5 Tenure of Interim Organization
- 5 Interim Open Governance Policy for WOLA
- 6 Draft Interim Business Procedure
- 6.1 Core principle of business
- 6.2 Interim Academic and Administrative Board (IA&AB)
- 6.2.1 Procedure for taking charge of office by the IA&AB Members
- 6.2.2 Responsibilities of the members of IA&AB
- 6.2.3 Meeting of Interim Academic and Administrative Board (IA&AB)
- 6.2.4 Authority for decision making
- 6.2.5 Voting Means
- 6.2.6 Resignation
- 6.2.7 Removal
- 6.3 Interim House of Tutors (IHT)
- 6.4 Procedure for developing courses
- 6.5 Procedure for conducting courses
- 6.6 Technology for conducting courses
- 6.7 Procedures for Assessment and awarding of Credentials
- 6.8 Procedure for Conducting Researches
- 6.9 Procedure for recognizing the services of tutors
- 6.10 Platform for WOLA's open research projects
- 6.11 Day to day functions of WOLA
- 7 Pilot initiatives
- 8 General recommendations
- 9 Report Conclusion
- Anil Prasad
- Dr. Gita Mathur
- Patricia Schlicht
- Letare Hemrom
- Balqis Thaahaveettil
- Jibril Touzi
- Dr Savithri Singh
- Harbans Singh
- Prof. Supten Sarbadhikari
- Sebastian Panakal
- Elizabeth Mbasu
- Dr. Pankaj Khare
Charter of the Workgroup
The members, through discussions and rough consensus poll, have approved the charter of the WikiEducator Workgroup for WOLA on June 10, 2012.
add the workgroup report here
Vision and Mission statements for WOLA
The Workgroup, though rough consensus poll, has approved the following Vision and Mission Statements for WOLA on June 24, 2012.
Enabling environment for open education
Setting up of a community-driven open learning and research facilitation system that operates within the values of the WikiEducator community for:
- Wiki Skills Development
- Familiarization of Open Authoring Environments
- Popularizing the use of OERs
- Familiarizing and popularizing Open Licensing
- Promoting the development, use and localization of OER
- Developing Online Learning Skills
- Developing Online Teaching/Tutoring/Mentoring Skills
- Providing research and piloting environments for Open Educational Resources University
- Creating congenial environment for the sustainable development of innovative open learning systems like OERu
Interim Organization Structure for WOLA
The workgroup has approved the Interim Organization Structure for WOLA on July 3, 2012.
Potential stakeholders (Organizations)
- OER Foundation
- WikiEducator Community Council
- WikiEducator Community
- Any other Organization or Academic Body or Academic Institution, that follows WOLA activities and makes use of WOLA resources for building/bettering/managing Open Learning Systems.
Potential stakeholders (Individuals)
- Any individual who becomes a part of the WikiEducator Community
- Any individual who follows WOLA activities and uses its resources without becoming a part of the WikiEducator Community
- OER Foundation
- WikiEducator Community Council
- WikiEducator Community
The functions of Interim Organization shall include all activities that are/would be found necessary to realize the Vision and Mission of WOLA. It will include the following (the list is not exclusive):
- Identify learning needs to build/support an OERu ready world
- Identify existing courses to meet such learning needs
- Facilitate collaborative open development of new courses and curricula, whenever necessary, for WikiEducator Open Learning Academy (WOLA)
- Set up community driven Open Learner Support systems for WikiEducator Open Learning Academy (WOLA)
- Set up community driven Open Assessment Systems for WikiEducator Open Learning Academy (WOLA)
- Facilitate research on innovative, sustainable and scalable methods of open learner support for the WikiEducator Open Learning Academy (WOLA)
- Liaise with OERF, WikieEducator Community Council and OERu central Coordination on the above matters
- Plan, Organize and Review all the activities of WikiEducator Open Learning Academy (WOLA)
- Draft a full-fledged Organization Structure and Business Procedure for WikiEducator Open Learning Academy (WOLA)
Interim Organization Structure
A simple organization structure would be ideal for the inception phase of WOLA. The interim organization shall be a two tier system viz Interim House of Tutors and Interim Academic and Administrative Board (IA&AB) (Apex Tier)
Tier 1 (Apex Tier) : Interim Academic and Administrative Board (IA&AB)
The Interim Academic and Administrative Board shall operate within the policies of the WikiEducator Community Council and OER Foundation. As the name denotes Interim Academic and Administrative Board shall be responsible for all Academic and Administrative matters relating to WOLA, till a permanent set up is approved.
Interim Academic and Administrative Board shall be constituted with the following members:
- The Chairman and Deputy Chairman of WikiEducator Community Council
- All members of the first Workgroup for WOLA
- Members nominated by the Chairman of IA&AB (to be elected through open poll during the first meeting of IA&AB)
Officers of IA&AB
The IA&AB shall elect from among its members a Chair, Deputy Chair and Member Secretary through open voting.
- Implementation/facilitation of the core functions listed under the Functions section of interim organization above and identifying new functions shall be the primary responsibility of the Interim Academic and Administrative Board (IA&AB).
- Attend all policy making and policy revision requirements of WOLA during the interim period.
Tier 2 : Interim House of Volunteer Tutors
The Interim House of Volunteer Tutors shall be:
- A pool of WikiEducator Community members, having WikiBuddy or WikiArtisan skill certification, who voluntarily offer to carry out the academic functions of WOLA.
- The General Body of WOLA
- Help WOLA to develop curriculum for various courses by forming academic committees
- Help WOLA to prepare Academic Calendar
- Facilitate courses
- Conduct assessments and reviews
- Help WOLA to develop suitable open community credential systems for learners
- Help WOLA to award such open credentials
- Review the functioning of WOLA and develop proposals for further development as its general body
- All members of the Interim Academic and Administrative Board shall also be members in the Interim House of Tutors
- The responsibility of the members shall be explained in detail under the Business procedure
Tenure of Interim Organization
Two years from the date of the formal announcement in the WikiEducator list about the formation of Interim Organization for WOLA or till the date of establishment of a permanent organizational set up for WOLA, whichever is earlier.
Interim Open Governance Policy for WOLA
The Workgroup on July 23, 2012 has approved the Interim Open Governance Policy for WOLA as given below:
- The Vision, Mission, Interim Organization Structure and Interim Business Procedure, as approved by the Workgroup for WOLA, shall constitute the Interim Open Governance Policy for WOLA.
- The Interim Governance Policy for WOLA derives its authority as well as adopts approved practices from the Open Governance Policy of WikiEducator.
- In the event of conflict, if any, arises between these two polices, the Open Governance Policy of WikiEducator shall supersede.
Draft Interim Business Procedure
As per the Interim Organization Structure for WOLA, as approved by the Workgroup, during the interim period WOLA shall have a two tier organization, viz. Interim Academic and Administrative Board (IA&AB)(the Executive Body) and Interim House of Tutors (IHT)(the General Body. The procedures for executing the business of WikiEducator Open Learning Academy (WOLA) by both these bodies shall be as follows:
Core principle of business
In all processes and procedures, WOLA shall follow open governance and open management principles where all operations are conducted openly and transparently in the wiki.
Interim Academic and Administrative Board (IA&AB)
Procedure for taking charge of office by the IA&AB Members
The IA&AB Members shall be deemed to be in office from the date and time at which they sign the online wiki Register of WOLA IA&AB Members by inputting four tildes, that is: ~~~~
Responsibilities of the members of IA&AB
- Propose agenda for the IA&AB meetings
- Participate at all the meetings of IA&AB and help the IA&AB to take decisions on the agenda items
- Provide support for implementing the decisions of IA&AB
- Carry out individual responsibilities (including the Chairmanship and Deputy Chairmanship of IA&AB), if any, entrusted through a decision of IA&AB
- Oversee and guide the functions of the Interim House of Tutors as part of the collective responsibility of IA&AB
Meeting of Interim Academic and Administrative Board (IA&AB)
- The meetings of the IA&AB shall be chaired by the Chairman of IA&AB.
- The IA&AB shall meet at least two times every year.
- The quorum for the meeting shall be 50%.
- The regular meetings of the IA&AB shall be conducted online and asynchronous on a WikiEducator page (s) designated for the purpose.
- The duration of each asynchronous meeting shall be not less than two weeks.
- The notice for each such meeting shall be published at least three weeks before the scheduled time on a designated WikiEducator page.
- A minimum of two weeks shall be allowed to the IA&AB members to propose new agenda items and changes to the already proposed items.
- The matters that have to be included in the agenda of IA&AB meetings shall be proposed by an IA&AB member and seconded by another IA&AB member.
- In the event of changes are proposed/conflicts arise on a proposed agenda item preior to the commencement of meeting, the decision of the Chair on the nature and format of the item to be included in the agenda shall be final.
- Once discussions on any one of the agenda item is completed, any member of the IA&AB may propose it as a draft resolution to be adopted by the IA&AB.
- Draft resolutions proposed by one IA&AB member shall be seconded by another member of IA&AB.
- Once a resolution is properly seconded, the Chair shall announce the commencement of the rough concensus voting on the draft resolution.
- Well in advance to the commencement of the meetings, any one of the officers of IA&AB shall create a WikiEducator page for the meeting with the following sections:
- Section for members to sign in to the meeting using ~~~~ sign.
- Section for proposing agenda items
- Section for discussions on proposed agenda items
- Section for adding draft resolutions
- Section for discussions on draft resolutions
- Section for posting final form of resolutions for voting
- Sections for casting rough consense votes using ~~~~ sign on each resolution
- Section for announcing voting results by the Chair
- Section for concluding remarks of the Chair
Special meetings of the Board may be called by the Chair, by the Deputy-Chair or any five (5) Board members. The person or persons who call a special meeting of the Board must fix the technology and time for holding such special meeting.
Constructive Presence at a Meeting
A member of the Interim Academic and Administrative Board (IA&AB)may participate in a meeting by means of a conference telephone or online, by means of which all persons participating in the meeting can communicate with each other at the same time or within the time frames stipulated for an asynchronous meeting. Participating by such means shall be deemed presence in person at such meetings.
Authority for decision making
- During the interim period, the Interim Academic and Administrative Board (IA&AB) shall have the authority to take policy decisions that are required to carryout the functions entrusted to it. In this process, the IA&AB may consult the Interim House of Tutors, WikiEducator Community Council or the WikiEducator Community in general and OER Foundation, whenever it is found that such a consultation is necessary.
- The matters that require approval from IA&AB shall be included as agenda items for the meetings of the IA&AB, and such agenda items shall be discussed and approved through rough consensus poll.
Voting on all matters, including the election and nomination of IA&AB members and officers, may be conducted by mail, electronic mail, facsimile transmission, chat software, video conferencing, wiki software, or other similar verifiable means. Proxy voting shall not be allowed.
Any IA&AB member may resign at any time by giving written notice to the Chair of the Board, the Deputy-chair, or the Member Secretary of the Board. Any such resignation shall take effect at the time specified therein, or, if the time not be specified therein, upon its acceptance by the Board.
The procedure for removing a Board member from office, if any, will be determined by resolution of the IA&AB.
Interim House of Tutors (IHT)
Immediately on assuming office, the Interim Academic and Administrative Board shall make arrangements for the WikiEducator community members, having WikiBuddy or above skill certification, to enroll themselves as Volunteer Tutors for WOLA.
The Officers of IA&AB shall be the officers of IHT also in the same order.
Procedure for taking charge of office by the IHT Members
The IHT Members shall be deemed to be in office from the date and time at which they sign the online wiki register of WOLA IHT Members by inputting four tildes, that is: ~~~~
Responsibilities of members
- The WikiEducator community members who enroll themselves as Volunteer Tutors should ensure that following minimum information about them are added on their WikiEducator user pages:
- A brief profile
- Country of residence
- Educational qualifications and institutions studied
- Professional experience
- A brief description of volunteer support provided to WikiEducator
- Interested areas for voluntary service in WOLA
- A valid e-Mail address should be provided in the user preference page
- The members shall attend all the annual or special meetings of Interim House of Tutors (IHT)
- The members shall function in the Academic Committees for specific Courses of WOLA as its member or as Course Director, based on their choice and nomination either by the IA&AB or the meetings of IHT
- The members of the IHT shall help the IA&AB to prepare course calender
- The members of the IHT shall volunteer to facilitate specific courses, based on their previously intimated interest and the course calendar
- The members shall mentor learners based on the system for mentoring (that would be designed by the IA&AB) and based on their previously intimated interest
- The members shall conduct/promote researches on open learning, open tutoring, open mentoring and any aspect of open education with a view to build enabling environment for open education
Meetings of IHT
- The General Meeting of the Interim House of Tutors (IHT) shall be conducted at least once in every year.
- The meetings of the IHT shall be chaired by the Chairman of IA&AB
- The quorum of the meeting shall be 40%.
- All procedure for meeting shall be as in the case of IA&AB
The procedure for resignation shall be same as in the case of IA&AB members.
The procedure for removal shall be same as in the case of IA&AB members.
Procedure for developing courses
To develop new courses, revise the curriculum of existing courses and to coordinate the course delivery in WOLA:
- Academic Committees shall be formed in the IHT in the form of WikiEducator Workgroups.
- Preferably all the courses shall have separate Academic Committees in WOLA, however, there shall be no barriers for any one Academic Committee to consider more than one course.
- The Academic Committees shall submit the new course/course revision proposal in the form of a report to the IA&AB.
- There shall also be an open wiki page for the OERu to request new courses and revision of existing courses. Such requests shall be given priority by IA&AB, IHT and Academic Committees.
- The Academic Committee reports shall also contain a plan for online delivery of the courses in the form of minimum standards to be observed in online course delivery.
- After approval from IA&AB course (s) will be developed collaboratively.
- Courses shall be developed for delivery through WikiEducator and moodle.wikieducator.org.
- Newly developed courses and revised versions of existing courses shall require the approval of IA&AB. Therefore, once the course development/revision of existing course is complete, the Academic Committee shall request the IA&AB to approve the course.
- After a thorough examination, the IA&AB may approve the course for delivery or return the same to the Academic Committee with specific comments/suggestions for further modifications.
- To maintain quality and relevance, revision of the course will be done once in two years.
Procedure for conducting courses
- The IA&AB, in consultation with IHT, shall prepare and notify the Academic Calendar for WOLA in WikiEducator.
- The Academic Year shall be from January to December.
- Forthcoming Academic Year's calendar shall be notified before October 31, every year.
- Once the Course Calendar is notified, IHT members can propose themselves as Lead Facilitators for the courses of their choice.
- Once a member is added himself/herself as Lead Facilitator for a given course, other members can also support the same course as Facilitators.
- Before November 30 every year, the Academic Committees shall ensure that all the courses in the calendar got Lead Facilitators and Facilitators.
- Lead Facilitators along with the Facilitators shall plan the course delivery in accordance with the approved minimum standards to be observed in online course delivery.
- The course delivery, assessment and awarding of credentials shall be coordinated by the respective Academic Committees.
- If found essential, the IA&AB shall be free to add new courses to and remove/hold existing courses from the academic calender at any time during the academic year.
- A minimum period of two weeks, before the commencement of courses, shall be ensured to the prospective learners to enrol.
Technology for conducting courses
Courses shall be conducted in WikiEducator and moodle.wikieducator.org
Procedures for Assessment and awarding of Credentials
- The existing skills development and certification framework for WikiEducators shall be further developed to cater the requirments for assessment and awarding of credentials in respect of all the courses of WOLA.
- The Assessment and Awarding of credentials shall be coordinated by the respective Academic Committees.
Procedure for Conducting Researches
- IA&AB and IHT shall promote open researches on topics that would strengthen Open Education system in general and OERu in particular.
- IA&AB and IHT, in consultation with WikiEducator community,OERu and other stakeholders of Open Education shall develop ethics and standards for Open Research Projects.
Procedure for recognizing the services of tutors
IA&AB shall design an appropriate open system for recognizing the services of WOLA Tutors.
Platform for WOLA's open research projects
http://wikiresearcher.org shall be the platform for WOLA's Open Research Projects
Day to day functions of WOLA
- Though all the memebrs of the IA&AB and IHT shall be responsible for the successful day to day functioning of WOLA, for the officers of the IA&AB, it shall be their primary responsibility.
- Among the officers of WOLA, the Member Secretary shall be the initial point of action as well as reporting.
- The Member Secretary in consultation with the Chiar and Deputy Chair shall take necessary action for implementing the decisions of the IA&AB.
- If the Member Secretary becomes unavailable for attending such functions, for any reasons and for any period, or intimates the Chair/Deputy Chair her/his inability to attend the functions of WOLA for any period, the Chair/Deputy Chair shall attend such functions or nominate another member of the IA&AB to attend such functions.
- In the event of the Deputy Chair becomes unavailable for attending the works of WOLA for any period or formally intimate the Chair his/her inability to function as Deputy Chair for any period, the Chair may authorize the Member Secretary or any other Member of IA&AB to act as Deputy Chair during the absence of the elected Deputy Chair.
- In the event of the Chair becomes unavailable for attending the works of WOLA for any period or formally intimate the Deputy Chair or the Member Secretary that he/she shall be unavailable for any period, the Deputy Chair may act as the Chair for such period.
On August 3, 2012 the Workgroup has approved the list of pilot initiatives for WOLA along with certain general recommendations.
These courses will be scheduled immediately on launch of WOLA
- e Learning4Content (eL4C)
- Platform for course delivery: WikiEducator
- Technologies: Wiki, group instructions using WikiEducator Moodle
- Curriculum: WOLA may adopt the existing curriculum for e Learning4Content (eL4C)
- Open content licensing for educators (OCL4Ed)
- Platform (s) for course delivery: WikiEducator, WikiEducator Moodle
- Technologies: Wiki, WikiEducator Moodle
- Curriculum: WOLA may adopt the existing curriculum for Open content licensing for educators (OCL4Ed)
Other courses that would be taken up during the Interim Period
These courses will be developed subsequently
- Online Tutoring & Mentoring skills development programme
- Online Learning skills development programme
- Skill development programme for the use and localization of OER
- Any other course that would be decided by IA&AB
Development of open credentials
- Develop criteria for the WikiMaster typology certifications for the levels above WikiArtisan
- The Workgroup recommends that WOLA IA&AB members may now take charge by signing the online Register of WOLA IA&AB Members as stipulated in the Interim Organization Structure and Interim Business Procedure.
- IA&AB Members may also sign the online Register of WOLA Interim House of Tutors as stipulated in the Interim Organization Structure and Interim Business Procedure.
- The first meeting of the IA&AB may be scheduled from August 20, 2012 with the Chair of WikiEducator Community Council as the pro tem Chair.
- The workgroup recommends a formal online launch of the academic activities of WOLA. The first meeting of IA&AB may discuss and finalize the same.
Thus the Workgroup has successfully completed its mission on August 3, 2012. The Workgroup members would like to convey their sincere gratitude to all community members who supported and contributed for the successful accomplishment of the mission of the fist Worgroup for WOLA. We would also convey our sincere gratitude to Dr. Wayne Mackintosh, the founder of WikiEducator, who popped in at very crucial occasions to guide and support the group. Finally we thank the WikiEducator community as a whole for providing us this wonderful opportunity to become part of a historical achievement of the community.
Now the venue is set ready for the formal constitution of WOLA!