Friday, September 2, 2011

OERu, open courses, credentials

Designing OERu Credentials: Aug 29-Sept 13, 2011 - A SCoPE seminar on "defining the variety of academic models by which an institution, or consortia of institutions, can use OER to create credentials." Interesting discussions! I'm wondering since PLAR (prior learning and assessment recognition) already exists and some academic institutions already accept all manner of prior learning that can include assessment of courses, life experiences, etc. what would be different about accepting learning pursued using open education resources? Why does the vehicle of learning - OER - matter? However I do understand that setting up the means to evaluate work done via OER is one way to encourage the growth and acceptance of open courses, etc. One issue that has surfaced is the price that institutions charge for assessing prior learning. A learner could be self-taught using open education resources - (even books from their local public library) - , only to find a cost barrier at the point of asking an institution to provide credentials. There was some discussion of freeing granting of credentials from traditional academic institutions. Some mentioned that associations provide credentials in some countries. There are also companies that offer evaluation services. Would these groups would be any less bound by standards of some sort? Once we've got standards, some learners are not granted credentials. Would these new credentialing groups be less "traditional"? About standards: Shouldn't we have some? Aren't there in fact some students who haven't learned?

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