OERu/Open credential services
Issues, questions and suggestions
- Prior Learning Assessment Recognition (PLAR) is considered one of the open credential pathways. In other systems it is known as the Assessment of Prior Learning (APL) where it refers to expanded credit transfer routes (learning that has previously been accredited in some way), and the Assessment of Prior Experiential Learning (APeL) where it refers to learning that has not previously been assessed and accredited. I think the OER University model is interested in APeL here.
APeL is expensive and time consuming. It costs an institution more, in staff time and in associated costs, to award credit via APeL than via standard assessments. JISC has supported an attempt to automate parts of the APeL process, via the http://www.jisc.ac.uk/whatwedo/programmes/elearningcapital/xinstit1/eapel.aspx project at Derby University. The conclusion was that it was not possible to automate the process, the software they produced was effectively a client interaction management system.
My worry here is that, as often happens in the "radical fringes of education" world is that we are focusing on shiny openness stuff, leaving the traditional institutions to do the heavy (& costly) lifting around actually vouching for the quality of learning. Or we (pace Anya K) imagine a fairyland where we don't need accreditation at all.
Basically, traditional institutions (mainly) are releasing OER and traditional institutions are being asked to accredit OER-related learning. And OER University is actively reducing their income, whilst incurring more costs for them.
We need to be more radical. We need to get in to accreditation. If we want to call stuff "university" were going to have to start building the non-exciting bits around quality processes and get our own degree awarding powers.