Posts made by Irwin DeVries

Wayne Mackintosh wrote,

When you say cluster (overlapping) -- are you referring to different designations or specialisations streams within the credential?

Yes – the idea is that the initial OER/courses could focus on such areas as nursing and education or business with several of the OER/courses possibly common to all three or at least two of such areas while also allowing for an Arts diploma. Quite a few lower level courses that are useful (core or elective) for regulated professions are generic. International credentialing services provided by various higher education jurisdictions could be consulted to see which courses are broadly accepted internationally for starters. I realize this approach aligns more with the existing system of higher education than some would advocate, but it makes sense to me to start with as many knowns as possible and move forward from there. This approach also does not preclude building new and unique credentials from the same OER/course pool.
Hi Wayne,

The Arts Diploma will obviously provide a broad-based array of laddering possibilities. One thought is to cluster the 18 courses into (overlapping) sets of 8 that best support the next layer of choices and to promote those as well while not excluding general studies. This arrangement may then appeal both to those who want to sample, and to those who have some clear goals in mind and can begin tracking from the outset. For instance, one area of strong interest in higher education - and with broad global relevance - is Business. Access both to degrees and to opportunities for employment are relevant factors here. If some of the initial Arts courses double up for career program prerequisites or requirements, all the better.
I would like to highlight Jacky's third point. Course/OER content can have an extremely limited shelf life and if we do not have a reasonably well-understood OER/course lifecycle model in mind at the outset, within 1-2 years the system will start to deteriorate. That means thinking beyond startup and into a steady state scenario. Perhaps it need be incumbent upon each contributing university to commit to a level of maintenance - and/or alongside have an ongoing quality assessment of OER such that the stale ones can be identified and dealt with.
Greetings all,

It's great to see this discussion taking place and I'm sure we will share and learn many things. I'm particularly interested in the mechanisms that turn OER into courses, as I work in the instructional design field. I'm very pleased that we at Thompson Rivers University are now members of the OERu Foundation.

Irwin DeVries
Director, Instructional Design
Thompson Rivers University - Open Learning