It’s a small world after all: The OERu’s international implementation
of micro-courses and credentialing

Goode, C., and Wood, S.

The OER universitas (OERu) draws on its international network of like-minded individuals and institutions to assemble accredited online courses using open educational resources (OER), for independent study with peer learning support. Learners study for free, and can choose to pay for assessment-only services to gain academic credit towards university qualifications, in a sustainable, international micro-credentialing solution for OER.

In New Zealand, the EduBits initiative, offering alternative digital credentials, was launched in July 2017 by Otago Polytechnic, a founding partner of OERu. EduBits recognise skills and knowledge, with assessment against approved competencies, and the award of digital badges. Learners in OERu micro-courses can opt to complete assessments and gain EduBit credentials. In addition, with micro-courses approved by Otago Polytechnic’s Academic Board, transcript credit for the associated full courses can be issued. The transcript credit then counts towards the OERu’s First Year of Study through its transnational credit transfer model.

In this paper, we use Otago Polytechnic’s experience as the basis to explore the flexibility of micro-courses and micro-credentials to cater for differences in the standard course size in different parts of the world, and illustrate how to draw on the partnership model of the OERu’s international network to support the social justice mandate.

Speaker profiles

Claire Goode is a member of Otago Polytechnic’s ‘Learning and Teaching Development’ team. Her career has spanned 22 years in a variety of education contexts in New Zealand, France, and the UK. She enjoys seeing how educational technology can enhance learning and teaching opportunities, and is particularly interested in teacher development. As part of her role at Otago Polytechnic, she is seconded to work on projects with the OERu, and has been enjoying developing OERu micro-courses, learning more about open principles, and being part of the wider OERu network.

Simonne Wood is also a Learning and Teaching Specialist at Otago Polytechnic, with a focus on supporting academic staff to use educational technologies. Since August 2018 she has been seconded part-time to OERu, where she helps to develop new courses on the WikiEducator platform. Coming from a background of tertiary sector administration and social enterprise, she is interested in the potential of OER to bring together the values of education and social justice.

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Claire Goode and Simonne Wood

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