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Dear DS4OER participants

I applaud the "Class of 2015" who braved the prototype offering of the DS4OER course, especially those learners who have persevered and successfully published their own course sites reclaiming a small corner of the web for themselves. Well done! A special shout-out goes to the following participants for their courage in sharing openly:

A number of DS4OER learners are still working on a completing a few additional learning challenges as evidenced by the register of completed learning challenges. As an open course, the materials will remain accessible. I will also monitor the course feed till the end of this working week.

DS4OER is a demanding course both in terms of the time commitment and new digital skills required for success. Celebrate your achievements!

A few course statistics

209 individuals signed up to receive course instructions via email. The DS4OER course site has generated +10,000 page views from 876 unique visitors for the duration of the course to date. 58% of the sessions were from returning visitors to the site. On average, each visitor spent approximately 9 minutes on the site during each visit. Approximately 20% of all site visits were from mobile devices suggesting that the OERu's efforts in promoting responsive design are important for the future.

Evaluation survey

If you were able to complete one or more of the DS4OER learning challenges, please help us by completing the short online evaluation survey.

Formal certification

A few learners have enquired about formal certification for DS4OER from Otago Polytechnic. I have your details and will be contacting you via email to provide more information. If you are interested in formal assessment for certification purposes, please email me at

Thank you

I extend a special word of thanks to Jim Tittsler and Pat Lockley who were instrumental in progressing technical solutions for learners to reclaim the web by publishing their own course sites using open source technologies they control. This is a significant step forward for our charitable work at the OERu. Finally, I wish to acknowledge the funding support we have received from the New Zealand National Commission for UNESCO to progress the development of the course resources and the supporting technologies for DS4OER.

Above all, thank you for helping the OERu complete the pilot offering of this course and for your patience in helping us iron out a few teething problems. In the near future, DS4OER will assist thousands of educators around the world in building capacity for collaborative OER development. Your gift of knowledge and time to help us test components of the course and to provide constructive feedback will contribute to widening access to these open learning opportunities for all educators. Working together we can achieve far more than working alone.

Greetings from New Zealand until I see you again online.


Session 9

Dear DS4OER participants

Welcome to Session 9 of the syllabus on Publishing a course site. These instructions are for your Friday 1 May 2015.

We will use the WordPress content management system for publishing your course site from the outline page you created in WikiEducator. In DS4OER we encourage learners to install their own WordPress using the custom OERu course theme as part of your digital skills development on this course. We will show you how to do this.

Here are the links to the course resources you will need for Session 9:

Remember - this is a prototype course

This is the first course we are running using the snapshot script for hosting your own WordPress installation. Consequently, we do not have prior experience with the common mistakes learners may make when setting up a course site or technologies we have been unable to test. If you encounter any problems, please report these issues as questions on the FAQ page in the wiki. We apologise in advance for any bugs you may encounter, but appreciate your assistance in reporting any issues. The technology definitely works because I have been hosting the DS4OER course site on my own WordPress installation using the same hosting services we are recommending for learners. (For the record, I'm not a programmer, so you should also be able to do this.) However, we do not have access to proprietary operating systems and all the browser software versions learners will be using, so we may encounter a few issues.

Course evaluation

This is the last session in the DS4OER course. However, I will be around next week and will continue to monitor the course feed. As an open course, the course materials will remain accessible.

Please complete the short course evaluation survey.

Your responses to the course evaluation are used to improve the design of future open courses facilitated by the OERu. The aggregated responses are also used to provide feedback to the donors and sponsors of the the DS4OER course.

I thank you for your gift of knowledge and your time to help improve open education initiatives at the OER Foundation.


Session 8

Dear DS4OER participants

Welcome to Session 8 of the syllabus on Creating a learning pathway. These instructions are for your Wednesday 29 and Thursday 30 April 2015.


We have now completed the DS4OER learning challenges which constitute the subcomponent parts and digital skills necessary to develop a learning pathway in the wiki. Thus far we have:

  1. Published a course description;
  2. Designed a course blueprint;
  3. Developed a storyboard;
  4. Published a course outline; and
  5. Improved digital skills for collaborative OER development by generating artefacts for inclusion in the course materials including images, diagrams, video and pedagogical templates.

Creating a learning pathway

By the end of Session 8 you will have published your own learning pathway incorporating existing OER you have identified for reuse and remix.

We commence Session 8 by generating an inventory of existing OER to augment and expand the open artefacts identified for reuse to date. The exercise of reviewing available OER for remix may generate additional ideas for refining and tweaking your course outline before tackling the authoring of the individual pages of your course outline.

Drawing on your design blueprint and storyboard, you will populate the individual pages of your course outline incorporating learning activities.

Here are the links to the course resources you will need for Session 8:

Don't forget to register your completed learning challenges. Please assist your fellow learners by sharing the gift of knowledge through comments and feedback.

Have a great day!