Report on the assessment and accreditation of learners using open education resources (OER)

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Conrad, Dianne, Mackintosh, Wayne, McGreal, Rory, Murphy, Angela and Witthaus, Gabi. 2013. Report on the assessment and accreditation of learners using open education resources (OER). Athabasca, AB. Canada. Commonwealth of Learning.
Title

Report on the assessment and accreditation of learners using open education resources (OER)

Report TypeOther
Research Report CategoryPublic sector
AuthorsConrad, Dianne (Author), Mackintosh, Wayne (Author), McGreal, Rory (Author), Murphy, Angela (Author) and Witthaus, Gabi (Author)
Institution of OriginAthabasca University University of Southern Queensland
Number of Pages52
Year2013
PublisherCommonwealth of Learning
Place of PublicationAthabasca, AB. Canada
Web Address (URL)http://hdl.handle.net/123456789/505
Abstract

This report shares the findings and lessons learned from an investigation into the economics of disaggregated models for assessing and accrediting informal learners, with particular attention to the OER University (OERu) consortium. It also relies on data from a small-scale survey conducted by two of the authors on perceptions, practices and policies relating to openness in assessment and accreditation in post-secondary institutions (Murphy & Witthaus, 2012). These investigations include the perceptions of stakeholders in post-secondary education towards the OERu concept, combined with a look at economic models for universities to consider in implementing OER assessment and accreditation policies.

The OERu is a global consortium of post-secondary institutions collaborating around the assessment and accreditation of learners studying online and using OER. Taylor (2007) described the aim of the OERu as providing free education to learners worldwide using OER as learning materials, with pathways provided to enable them to gain credible qualifications from government recognised or accredited educational institutions. The OERu concept is based on the notion of community service and outreach, and institutions that are members of the OERu network are committed to developing a 'parallel learning universe' to augment and add value to traditional delivery systems in post-secondary education. The ultimate vision of the OERu is to provide free learning opportunities on a massive scale for learners who lack the financial means to access traditional higher education.

The OERu currently consists of a collaborative partnership among 26 partner institutions. The network includes nationally accredited universities, colleges and polytechnics and publicly-funded organizations (Mackintosh, Taylor & McGreal, 2011). The current geographic spread of institutions includes Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the USA, England, Ireland, Spain, South Africa, India and the South Pacific. The initiative is coordinated by the OER Foundation, which is an independent, not-for-profit organization that works internationally to support the mainstream adoption of OER in the formal education sector (Mackintosh 2012).

Keywordsopen educational resources; OERs; assessment and accreditation; open educational resource university; OERu
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020390303. Higher education
390102. Curriculum and pedagogy theory and development
390402. Education assessment and evaluation
Public Notes

This report was prepared under the UNESCO/COL Chair in OER programme, with funding from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) of Canada, the Commonwealth of Learning and the Technology Enhanced Knowledge Research Institute (TEKRI) of Athabasca University.

Byline AffiliationsAthabasca University, Canada
Otago Polytechnic, New Zealand
Australian Digital Futures Institute
University of Leicester, United Kingdom
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