OERu/Planning/Strategic planning working group/2015 Annual report

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Report of the Strategic Planning Working Group (SPWG)

Summary of Main Outputs The SPWG was instrumental in preparing the “OERu Progress Report June 2015”. This subsequent report therefore concentrates primarily on activities in the latter part of the year to date. While the projected updating of the OERu Quicklinks is still not yet quite complete, a great deal of progress has been made.   In association with the Creative Commons’ Open Business Models Project regional meetings for Oceania and North American OERu Partners respectively have recently been conducted.  These meetings, facilitated by Paul Stacey (CC’s Associate Director of Global Learning), have led to the generation of OERu Open Business Models. Other spheres of notable progress include the implementation of the OERu Input Evaluation Survey, and the implementation of the new OERu Onlinegroups and new OERu Community sites.  The establishment and maintenance of a current Course Development and Delivery List by consolidating the current status of various course nominations is taking more time than anticipated and is emerging as a key operational priority likely to be highlighted in the continuing development of the OERu Action Calendar as we make the transition from 2015 to 2016.    

Performance of SPWG against Key Performance Indicators

Product Development
  1. 15 new full course equivalent nominations (Shared KPI with Curriculum & programme of study and Course approval & quality): As reported in the “OERu Progress Report June 2015”, the number of anticipated full course nominations has been exceeded. 53 full-course equivalents have been nominated for development exceeding the target of 25 courses for 2015.
  2. Complete 10 full course equivalents for delivery by 30 June 2015 (Shared KPI with Curriculum & programme of study and Course approval & quality): This KPI has yet to be achieved.
  3. Complete additional 15 full course equivalents by 31 December 2015 (Shared KPI with Curriculum & programme of study and Course approval & quality): This KPI will not be achieved by the projected date of completion.
  4. 80% of OERu teaching partners have nominated their 1st course contribution (Shared KPI with Curriculum & programme of study and Course approval & quality): This KPI has been achieved.
  5. One additional programme leading to alternate exit credential (Shared KPI with Curriculum & programme of study and Course approval & quality): This KPI has not been achieved.
Network Development
  1. Establish regional / national OERu hubs aiming to achieve 4 regional / national OERu meetings: Some progress has been made towards achieving this KPI with the recent conduct of two regional meetings of OERu partners in Oceania (hosted by USQ) and North America (hosted by BCcampus).
  2. Partner recruitment: 50 contributing partners by 31 December 2015: This KPI is unlikely to be achieved by the projected date of completion.
  3. Progress the implementation of 2 innovation pilot projects: Progress the implementation of 2 innovation pilot projects: Progress towards this KPI is evident in the ongoing collaborative design of a micro open online course (mOOC) in culinary arts to showcase OERu opportunities in the vocational/trades education sector. A second innovative project, which entails the harvesting of open access research literature from institutional repositories, is also making headway. 
Monitoring and Evaluation
  1. Collaborative review of the survey items for the input evaluation: Achieved successfully.
  2. Conduct input evaluation survey and selected qualitative interviews: Survey completed and interviews ongoing.
  3. Publish input evaluation report: Initial quantitative overview has been published.

Recommendations for 2016 and the Future

Product Development and Delivery

Product development and delivery is emerging as the key operational priority for 2016. There is an urgent need to establish and maintain a current “Course Development and Delivery List” by consolidating the current status of various course nominations and their associated stage of development, and to embed these courses in a curricular framework. Such an exercise, which is ongoing, but which needs to be finalised, will provide a platform for 2016 to become the year of implementation.

OERu Minimum viable product

Consistent with the OERu.org website ("Study world-class courses for free - and count them towards real qualifications!”), the OERu is rapidly reaching a critical juncture where we need to initiate delivery of the first phase of our fundamental value proposition. With the agreed focus on giving priority to the development of a "First Year General Education Component” as the foundation for the Bachelor of General Studies, it would seem reasonable to set a target date to launch a minimum viable OER product targeting the half of the courses required for the first year of study leading to an exit credential. This is the equivalent of 5 full courses (each a 3 credit equivalent in North American terms) ideally structured as 15 component micro-courses.

During 2016, the aim should be to advertise the selected courses/micro-courses in a public curricular framework, constituting a coherent free first year of study incorporating clear pathways to gain transcript credit from a number of partner institutions. Completion of the appropriate number of courses should enable students to qualify for an exit credential such as a “Certificate in General Studies” which is already offered by a number of OERu partner institutions, including for example, Thompson Rivers University and Charles Sturt University. As well as being available as an exit qualification, the “Certificate of General Studies” could gain credit towards a “Diploma in General Studies” (an exit credential for the 1st year of study at some institutions) and ultimately a “Bachelor of General Studies”, and where appropriate to other degree programs. Further, once the “Course Development and Delivery List” has been consolidated, a completion date for the offering of the second set of 5 courses should be delineated to enable the publication of an OERu Academic Calendar for 2016 - 2017.

Network Development

To enable this strong focus on product development and delivery, and associated evaluation of operations there is still, of course, an ongoing need to focus on network development. It would be helpful to think of network development not only in terms of recruiting new member institutions, but also in terms of active participation in working groups and OERu meetings, and not least contributing courses/micro-courses (including possible collaborative development) and offering associated opportunities for credit transfer.

Monitoring and Evaluation

With a coordinated public launch of a “Free First Year of Study”, supported by appropriate marketing and publicity by partner institutions, the recruitment of a sufficient cohort of students from the first public offer should make it feasible to plan and commence implementation of a meaningful “Process Evaluation” during 2016.

Similarly it will also be viable to plan and initiate an associated “Product Evaluation” during the year. Consistent with the CIPP Model, the insights gained from a comprehensive process-product investigation will provide an empirical foundation for the initial evaluation of effectiveness, impact and sustainability of the OERu. Such an exercise will also provide opportunities to reassess and refine the evolving operational context and associated design decisions that were embedded in the “Context Evaluation” and “Input Evaluation” respectively.