Mooc rival OERu puts accreditation on menu

Coursework to be assessed for academic credit by member institutions

October 31, 2013

A “university” that will allow students to study courses from 31 institutions around the world for free online is to launch this week – and is billed as a more attractive option than massive open online courses.

Students who complete an Open Educational Resources University course will be able to pay a fee to have their work assessed for academic credit, which would then be recognised by all the universities participating in the OERu.

In theory, the students could approach any of the partner institutions with evidence of the credits they have amassed and apply for degrees.

Once the university assessors are satisfied that the applicants can demonstrate the learning outcomes associated with its programmes, they would become eligible for graduation.

Wayne Mackintosh, director of the Open Educational Resources Foundation, the New Zealand-based organisation that is coordinating the development of OERu, said he hoped the project would “widen access to education for learners excluded from the formal sector” by making for-credit courses more affordable.

“My faith in education is restored by seeing recognised institutions around the world returning to the core values of education – namely to share knowledge freely,” he said.

He also claimed that the option given to students to gain credit for their work made OERu more attractive than Moocs.

Full details of how much students will have to pay to have their learning assessed for credit have yet to be confirmed, although the University of Southern Queensland has said that the cost to OERu users wishing to gain academic credit for a module on international relations would be A$200 (£120).

OERu will be officially launched by Sir John Daniel, former vice-chancellor of The Open University, at Thompson Rivers University in Canada on 1 November.

“I believe that radical innovations in higher education must be accompanied by particularly robust frameworks of accreditation and credentialing in order to reassure the public,” Sir John said.

“It’s all very well for evangelists to promote do-it-yourself accreditation from the personal safety of CVs replete with reputable qualifications, but ordinary people want the ‘beef’ of proper recognition, too.”

OERu’s partners include four universities in Australia, four from the US, 10 from New Zealand and one from the UK – the University of South Wales.

chris.parr@tsleducation.com

You've reached your article limit

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 6 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments
Register

Reader's comments (1)

I wrote a blog in 2010 called global university, everyone was sceptical, now its happening. i think this will be the best for all

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Featured Jobs

Most Commented

United Nations peace keeper

Understanding the unwritten rules of graduate study is vital if you want to get the most from your PhD supervision, say Kevin O'Gorman and Robert MacIntosh

David Parkins Christmas illustration (22 December 2016)

A Dickensian tale, set in today’s university

Eleanor Shakespeare illustration (5 January 2017)

Fixing problems in the academic job market by reducing the number of PhDs would homogenise the sector, argues Tom Cutterham

Houses of Parliament, Westminster, government

There really is no need for the Higher Education and Research Bill, says Anne Sheppard

poi, circus

Kate Riegle van West had to battle to bring her circus life and her academic life together