OER Universtiy – for those who are serious about low cost, socially responsible university credit.

I have said it before Cours/dacity xMOOCs are businesses who have large debts to repay, they are not social reformers.

There are a few other players such as Edx/Classto Go,  CanvasNet and other who have a different model and are worth looking at.

But surely, if we are serious about a social commitment to education that leads to a real qualification that will help make an actual change to peoples lives we should be looking at the OER University model.

It predates all the xMOOC fluff and is an extension of years of work done by the Commonwealth of Learning.  Unfortunately, no U.S. Ivy League universities or Gates style philanthropists are involved so it has not made the same splash with Forbes and the  New York Times.

The Open Educational Resource (OER) university is a virtual collaboration of like-minded institutions committed to creating flexible pathways for OER learners to gain formal academic credit.

The OER university aims to provide free learning to all students worldwide using OER learning materials with pathways to gain credible qualifications from recognised education institutions. It is rooted in the community service and outreach mission to develop a parallel learning universe to augment and add value to traditional delivery systems in post-secondary education. Through the community service mission of participating institutions we will open pathways for OER learners to earn formal academic credit and pay reduced fees for assessment and credit.

Directed by the core principles of engagement the OER university collaboration:

  • Will design and implement a parallel learning universe to provide free learning opportunities for all students worldwide with pathways to earn credible post-secondary credentials.
  • Offer courses and programs based solely on OER and open textbooks.
  • Design and implement scalable pedagogies appropriate for the OER university concept.
  • Will implement scalable systems of volunteer student support through community service learning approaches.
  • Coordinate assessment and credentialising services on a cost recovery basis for participating education institutions to ensure credible qualifications and corresponding course articulation among anchor partners.

And before you scoff at OER, what do think is underpinning a lot of the current over hyped xMOOC courses? ( xMOOCs = OCW + Cohorts).

If your institutional agenda is really about social responsibility – not about marketing and Me Too,  Fear 0f Missing Out then this the model to get behind.


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