2011.11 Founding OERTen anchor partner statements

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Athabasca University

Why AU joined OERTen
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AU, as an open university supports opening up learning and making it accessible to as many learners as possible; joining the OERTen network supports the strategic goals of AU by opening up learning to a wider population.

Athabasca University is Canada's Open University. All courses are delivered at a distance. It is a comprehensive research institution which offers online courses and programs. The university hosts more than 39,000 students in over 70 000 courses at the undergraduate, Master's and Doctoral levels. Canadian athletes, politicians and broadcasters have chosen AU to complete their studies due to the flexibility in the university's schedule, that allows students to start and finish whenever they wish. The enabling legislation is the province of Alberta's Post-secondary Learning Act and AU is the only Canadian public university that is accredited in the USA with the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

Planned contribution to the OERu logic model

AU is opening up courses and modules under a CC BY license and allowing students to gain a Bachelor's degree in General Studies through the OERu using challenge examinations and prior learning assessment.


Why BAOU joined OERTen
Logo baou.jpgThe BAOU finds a powerful synergy between OERTen network and its own O M K A R model, which is a multi-institutional, virtual multi-media classroom, accessible to millions of students and aspirants across the globe.

Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Open University (BAOU) is the first and the only open university established by the Government of Gujarat in the state of Gujarat (the western-most state of India). In a recent national survey in India, BAOU is ranked amongst the top five Open Universities across India in terms of performance and output in 2011. BAOU offers seventy four courses ranging from certificate to post-graduate level and covering diverse disciplines like Education, Social Sciences, Humanities, Information Technology, Commerce and Management, and Foreign Languages.

BAOU is proud to be the first and the only open University in Asia to join the proposed OER University as one of the founding Anchor partners of this international network.

Planned contribution to the OERu logic model

The BAOU team is currently studying the logic model and individual initiatives. In near future, the BAOU would be ready to contribute to multiple initiatives in consultation with the founding anchor partners to make the contribution cumulatively complementary.


Why BCcampus joined OERTen
As a long time advocate of OER, BCcampus sees the OERu as an emergent model for leveraging existing OER and using global institutional services to provide access, support and graduation services to millions of learners around the world.

BCcampus is a publicly-funded organization that uses information technology to connect the expertise, programs, and resources of all BC post-secondary institutions under a collaborative service delivery framework. We:

  • Federate common online student services and facilitate open data exchange and reporting between all BC institutions;
  • Gain system benefits and reduce costs using collaborative shared services;
  • Share educational resources and professional expertise using open licenses and open practices.

Planned contribution to the OERu logic model

BCcampus is not a teaching institution so many of the elements of the logic model do not apply to us. Here is how we see ourselves fitting:

  • we are OER thought leaders and facilitators of government and institution OER action plans
  • our tag line "Connect - Collaborate - Innovate" captures the essence of much of our activity. We help institutions to connect and learn from each other. We support institution collaboration and pooling of ideas and requirements. We innovate shared services that translate ideas into actions and fulfill collective pooled requirements.
  • In the OERu logic model we've been active on the Open Collaboration side of the model and could play a role in OER Support Infrastructure.
  • We've been providing through SCoPE an open online forum for global discussion and planning of the OERu.

Empire State College (State University of New York)

Why SUNY ESC joined OERTen
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Our commitments, based on our mission include many intersections with the mission of OERTen, including working in a global environment, embracing new approaches to learning and expanding access to affordable, high-quality higher education.
SUNY Empire State College's dedicated faculty and staff use innovative, alternative and flexible approaches to higher education that transform people and communities by providing rigorous programs that connect individuals' unique and diverse lives to their personal learning goals.

We do this through students working with their mentor to develop an individual degree program. These programs can include a significant amount of credit attained through other institutions (accredited) and through a PLA process.

Planned contribution to the OERu logic model

We are planning an onsite Learning4Content workshop in the spring, to increase our members in the WikiEducator community. As we move to Moodle, we will be piloting an OER repository to store OERs and we are currently developing OERs in diversity studies. A Learning Resources Task Force is developing recommendations for our development and use of OERs. We also plan to offer more MOOCs (are offering one now on Creativity and Multicultural Communication). We are committed to developing a course for credentialing (possibly a MathMOOC) to be available in fall 2012. As an anchor member, we are committed to working with other anchor partners to credential at least one course per anchor partner.

Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology

Why NMIT joined OERTen
We are delighted to have become a founding anchor partner, joining our New Zealand and overseas partners in this exciting and challenging initiative. We recognise the advantages both to educational organisations in terms of improving the cost effectiveness of provision and to the millions of people who will potentially benefit from greater access to learning.

NMIT serves the ‘Top of the South’ of the South Island in New Zealand. We have four main campuses in the Nelson and Marlborough regions and work in collaboration with a range of overseas and New Zealand organisations to increase our range of learning opportunities. We constantly seek to develop more flexible delivery models and have clear targets for the expansion and quality of blended learning.

Planned contribution to the OERu logic model

We initially plan to promote OER within NMIT encouraging colleagues to embrace the movement within the strategic objectives of the organisation.


Why NorthTec joined OERTen
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We believe that the future of education is open and accessible. We not only want to be part of that future, but to help invent and build it.

NorthTec is the largest provider of tertiary education in the northern region of New Zealand, servicing a population base of approximately 160,000. Our largest campus is based at Raumanga, a suburb of Whangarei city, with close to 60 other learning centres and community based delivery sites throughout the north. NorthTec has achieved flexibility in programme provision for smaller or more isolated areas through community based delivery, blended delivery and fully online programmes. This has been made possible through the development of memorandums of agreements with education providers, industry, iwi and charitable trusts. NorthTec offers a range of programmes in health, science, business, technology, tourism, education, Maori studies and the arts. These programmes cater for student learning from foundation to degree level and provide pathways with partner organisations like Te Wananga O Aotearoa, Te Wananga O Awanuiarangi, AUT University and Unitec.

Planned contribution to the OERu logic model

Initially we envisage our main contribution to be in the design and development of the open curriculum and learning resources, open pedagogy and the development of open, scalable and sustainable business models.

OER Foundation

Why the OER Foundation joined OERTen
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The OER Foundation has joined the network to facilitate partnerships that can provide free learning opportunities for all students worldwide using open education approaches with pathways for these learners to gain credible credentials.
The Open Education Resource (OER) Foundation is an independent, not-for-profit organisation that provides leadership, international networking and support for educators and educational institutions to achieve their objectives through Open Education. The OER Foundation is coordinating the OER Tertiary Education network of accredited colleges, universities and polytechnics who are implementing the OERu.

Planned contribution to the OERu logic model

The OER Foundation as a coordinating institution and will contribute to each of the components of the logic model. We will also collaborate on the development of strategic funding proposals for the benefit of the OERu network with anchor partner members.

Open Polytechnic

Why the Open Polytechnic joined OERTen
As an institution that has thought differently about teaching and learning to increase access for 65 years, the Open Polytechnic wishes to be part of a group that it believes will lead innovation in affordable, accessible teaching and learning for the immediate future.
The Open Polytechnic is New Zealand’s specialist provider of open and distance vocational learning at tertiary level. Nearly 29,000 students enrolled with us in 2010, studying anything from basic skills to degree level and living throughout New Zealand and overseas. Three-quarters of our students are in the workforce and studying part-time to improve job skills or career development.

We remove the barriers of time, place and cost to deliver effective learning solutions. We often work with partners to support learning in a wide range of other contexts. We supply training and education in conjunction with commercial clients, industry training organisations, schools and other training providers, both in New Zealand and internationally.

Planned contribution to the OERu logic model

The Open Polytechnic is a relative late comer to the OERu and is still clarifying how it might contribute to the components of the logic model for the OERu. However, as an established distance provider, we envisage we could contribute some of the following:

  • Some of our existing resources as OERs
  • Learning from 65 years of open and distance education, especially for vocational learning, in design and development, pedagogy and support
  • Formative and summative assessment services
  • Assessment of prior learning and credit transfer
  • Mapping of credentials
  • Local accreditation
  • To the development of scalable and sustainable business models
  • Open source software solutions
  • To the development of open administration solutions.

Otago Polytechnic

Why Otago Polytechnic joined OERTen
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OER is the means by which education at all levels can be more accessible, more affordable and more efficient. OER is a sustainable and renewable resource and is well aligned with our strategic commitment to sustainable education practice
Established in 1890, Otago Polytechnic is New Zealand's oldest institute of technology. As a regional polytechnic we serve students in the Dunedin and the wider Otago region with a growing number of national students choosing to study at Otago Polytechnic. Otago Polytechnic is building a leadership role in open education. We are the first post-secondary institution to adopt a default Creative Commons intellectual property policy. Otago Polytechnic provides a world-leading Assessment of Prior Learning (APL) service that can can serve the formal accreditation needs of OERu learners. Otago Polytechnic hosts the head office of the OER Foundation and the Commonwealth of Learning Chair in OER.

Planned contribution to the OERu logic model

At Otago Polytechnic, we have a strategic commitment to specialise in education for sustainability. As OER is a sustainable and renewable resource we have made an organisation-wide commitment to open content through the adoption of a default Creative Commons Attribution Policy. Otago Polytechnic is willing to contribute to all components of the logic model, with a particular interest in building sustainable open business systems, the integration of RPL in open credentialing practices and contributing to the open curriculum. We will actively lobby refinements in the New Zealand tertiary education funding model to widen access to quality education for all New Zealanders using the OERu model.

Southern New Hampshire University

Why SNHU joined OERTen
We believe that a sea-change in education is coming - the perfect storm of rising tuition, exorbitant textbooks and dated models of teaching and learning is close to upon us - we want to be involved with those shaping the future, with Open Educational Resources and Social Mission as core values.
Southern New Hampshire University is mid-sized, not-for-profit and based in New England USA.
  • 2,500 on campus / traditional students
  • 8,000+ online / continuing education students (and growing)

Dynamic school with forward-thinking leadership and a social mission to disrupt and explore new models for teaching and learning. We have recently established an Innovation Lab with the following (draft) mission statement (feedback please):

"The SNHU innovation lab seeks to (disrupt and) increase access to a viable, relevant and transformational educational experience with a focus on under-served students."

Planned contribution to the OERu logic model

SNHU has solid general experience and a development process that can be applied to the Logic Model. We are currently piloting Flatworld texts, are partners with the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL) Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) project and are working with the Virtual Learning Academy Charter School on self-paced, dual enrollment (high school students getting college credit).

The "freedom" that we have as an independent Innovation team with a clear brief to "Disrupt" with Clayton Christensen a member of our extremely supportive board means that we can donate considerable time to the management and drive behind the project.

SNHU can also perhaps, given our US base, look to bring in stateside thought partners who could be of assistance - OERGlue, P2PU, Open Study etc (many of whom were at the recent Utah Open Ed 2011 conference.

Thompson Rivers University

Why TRU joined OERTen
We believe that TRU Open Learning's outcomes based educational philosophy -- the articulation of learning outcomes required to receive TRU credits and credentials, the development of a variety of assessment mechanisms to validate that the learning outcomes have been achieved (of which recognition of prior learning is one), accepting that there are multiple pathways that a learner can take to acquire the necessary learning, and provides the ability to credential the learning that meets our outcomes-- is congruent with the work of the OERTen network.
Thompson Rivers University (TRU), located in Kamloops, British Columbia, Canada, is a dual-mode, dual-sector, nationally accredited public university offering a wide range of post-secondary programs including undergraduate and graduate degrees, career diplomas and a variety of vocational and developmental certificates. Founded in 1970, the institution now serves more than 25,000 students on campus, at a distance and with international partners around the world.

The Open Learning Division of TRU has a legacy rooted in its origins as the British Columbia Open University, which formerly operated as the Open Learning Institute (OLI) in 1978, and is one of the pioneers in open and distance education globally.

Thompson Rivers University, Open Learning (TRU-OL) mandate is to provide excellence in service and high quality education in order to meet the open and distance needs of learners provincially, nationally and worldwide. The barriers to quality post-secondary education are removed by offering continuous enrolment, flexible scheduling, minimal admission requirements, recognition and acceptance of credits earned at other national and international institutions through an established credit bank and recognition of knowledge and experience gained from past work experience through Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR).

Planned contribution to the OERu logic model

Thompson Rivers University envisions participating at all levels of the logic model. Our particular interest is in the reuse of OERs and the recognition of learning achieved through OERs.

University of Canterbury

Why Ucan joined OERTen
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To increase understanding of co-evolutionary processes of education and digital technologies to counter decreasing equity - 'UCan' goes global with OERu.
The University of Canterbury (UC) is a research intensive university with its main campus in Christchurch. Established in 1873, UC is ranked in the top 200 universities in the world, with over 100 programmes, from foundation to doctoral studies, and over 150 disciplines, from Accounting to Zoology. As one of the largest providers of teacher education in New Zealand, the College of Education has evolved multiple modes of course offerings, including culturally sensitive flexible learning options that may be studied from a distance. The Postgraduate Diploma in e-Learning and Digital Technologies in particularly relevant to OERu.

Planned contribution to the OERu logic model

UC led by e-Learning Lab recognises that tertiary education is co-evolving with e-learning. Professor Davis is preparing with support from UC ELM to offer a postgraduate course, probably EDEM630 Change with digital technologies in education, as the first UC course for the trial alongside strong quality assurance processes underpinning the OERu logic model. UC e-Learning Lab is keen to play a leading role to counter global educational challenges. The 'Ucan' initiative began with UC students' response to Canterbury earthquakes, 'UCan' goes global with OERu.

University of South Africa

Why Unisa joined OERTen
Our vision to be "the African university in service of humanity", our locatedness on the African continent and our significant global footprint place us in the unique position to represent African perspectives within the OERten network while displaying local relevance and global consciousness.
The University of South Africa (Unisa) is a mega university with over 374 000 students.
  • We are a dedicated and comprehensive Open and Distance Learning institution.
  • We house one of the largest libraries in Africa and host a massive digital repository.
  • Unisa offers a diverse PQM -from certificates and diplomas to Doctoral studies.
  • We predominantly serve African students but have students and exam centres around the world.
  • We are constantly in pursuit of national and international networks and alliances that resonate with the University’s social justice and development-orientated mission so we are better able to address local and global challenges.

Planned contribution to the OERu logic model

On the African continent we seek to ensure the viability of higher education in the digital age. Our envisaged contribution to the components of the logic model for the OERu could possibly include:

  1. Open curriculum: Selected contribution to OER curriculum
  2. Open student support: Sharing our model of online student support - myUnisa
  3. Open pedagogy: Contribution to the development of digital learning literacies
  4. Open pedagogy: Sharing models of pedagogy and pedagogical policies
  5. Provision of OER assets (textbooks, tutorials, journals)

University of Southern Queensland

Why USQ joined OERTen
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USQ joined the OERTen network because the OERu initiative is consistent with its mission to enable broad participation in higher education and to a make significant contribution to research and community development.
The University of Southern Queensland (USQ) is a dual mode university with three regional campuses in Toowoomba, Fraser Coast and Springfield respectively. USQ has forged a reputation as one of Australia's leading providers of on-campus and distance education programs. More than 75 percent of USQ’s 25,000 students are studying off campus, including more than 5,000 international students across 85 countries. USQ has five Faculties : Arts, Business and Law, Education, Sciences, and Engineering and Surveying. It also hosts the Open Access College and the Australian Digital Futures Institute.

Planned contribution to the OERu logic model

USQ is committed to the concept of the OER university and as such is prepared to collaborate closely with other anchor partners to trial a prototype program. The University is prepared to offer one or more courses for the trial which it anticipates will lead to refinements of the operational processes underpinning the logic model. While it is willing to contribute to all components of the logic model, it has a particular interest in open pedagogy and the ongoing evaluation of the project.

University of Wollongong

Why UoW joined OERTen
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Central to the university's mission is its social responsibility to engage in open public debate and knowledge transfer, to raise our community's aspirations for lifelong learning and to provide effective pathways into formal university education.

University of Wollongong pioneered open and free delivery of academic content in the 1990s via national television broadcast and it now joins the OERTen network to profile via the internet its quality teaching.

We have been opening content in both research and teaching for a number of years and the next logical step is to offer whole courses in the open at at time which coincides with the Australian government's strong Social Inclusion Agenda.

'UOW Mission: To enrich people, communities and the environment by making original and creative connections across disciplinary, social and cultural boundaries.

Founded in 1951, UOW has awarded over 93,000 degrees & diplomas and currently has more than 30,000 students at 7 Australian campuses and a major campus in Dubai which has been operating for 20 years. International enrolments onshore and offshore total over 10,000.

Some relevant achievements include:

  • Top 200 Times Higher Ed Rankings 2009, 2006 & 2007
  • 1 for Student Satisfaction Sweeney Research Group 2009
  • Top 500 Shanghai Jiao Tong Index 2006
  • Decade of 5 stars in Australia's Good Universities Guide
  • #1 for 3 years of Australian Teaching & Learning Performance Fund
  • #1 for 4 years of Australian Learning & Teaching Council Citations
  • Inaugural Commonwealth University of the Year Award for Community Engagement 2006
  • University of Year for Preparing Graduates for e-World 1999

Planned contribution to the OERu logic model

Open curriculum: Our proposed course for the open BA is jointly run by the Faculty of Arts and the Faculty of Law. "Community, Power and the Common Good" practises what it preaches by allowing free participation in a course being run for fee-paying students and by involving international community leaders in its teaching team. As a pilot in summer session it enrolled 30 fee-paying students and 100 additional students in blended modes of online and f2f at all UOW campuses.

Open design and open pedagogy: UOW has a 10 year history of educational research in learning design. The proposed course is based not only on open content but also on open dialogue and debate between students, academics and community leaders. We are interested in exploring with other OERu members, the sustainability issues around this design.