Assessment and open educational practices (OEP)

Question mark on head symbolising assessment

Open education spans formal, accredited courses, not-for-credit certified participation, partial credit (in the case of this micro course) and informal learning options. In some cases, learners participate formally and informally in the same course, in parallel (e.g. Open University’s OpenLearn and the Open Educational Resources Universitas (OERu)). Open education has positioned prior learning assessment and recognition (PLAR) services as essential for formalising learning demonstrated in other work and life contexts, and credit transfer mechanisms are also increasingly relevant as learners undertake formal courses with different providers over time. A major shift underway is to offer learners ‘challenge-for-credit’ services through which they pay to demonstrate their attainment of learning outcomes through assessment, rather than paying for tuition. This is demonstrated by Otago Polytechnic’s Open Content Licensing for Educators (OCL4Ed) course and its ’learning for credit’ option.

The proliferation of open, informal learning options has in turn prompted mechanisms for validating, issuing, porting, and displaying symbols of the knowledge and skills attained by learners, in the form of digital badges. The Mozilla Open Badges project describes badges as a means of ‘knitting your skills together’ to ‘build upon each other and be stacked to tell the full story of your skills and achievements’. In this micro course, our assessment design responds to informal learners seeking formative feedback, in addition to formal recognition of learners’ attainment of learning outcomes via PLAR processes.


During this learning pathway you will:
  • Explore emergent assessment issues in open education, including for-credit, not-for-credit and prior learning and assessment recognition (PLAR) approaches
  • Identify prior learning assessment and recognition, and credit transfer structures in your institutional context.