OERu 19-10 Group 1, Session 8: Decisions for action

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Strawdog objective

Each OERu financial partner ‘‘adopts’’ a ONE or more OERu course(s) locally to provide assessment-only services for 60 learners (or 182 micro-credentials) to cover cost of OERu membership fee.


Item US$ (Micro course)
US$ (Full course)
Assessment-only Fee
$50
$150
Less Admin Cost (15%) ($8)
($24)
Less Grading fee ($20) ($60)
Profit $22 $66
Break-even No. of Learners 182 60

Adopting an OERu course can mean:

  • Including an OERu course as an optional elective within an existing degree for full-fee students (would qualify for local government grant)
  • Providing assessment-only services for local academic credit towards a local qualification.
  • Opportunities for OERu partners to award micro-credentials.

OERu provides:

  • Hosting and unrestricted access to the course materials (no additional cost to OERu partner)
  • Published assessments and corresponding rubrics (no additional cost to OERu partner)

Suggested course(s):

  • Learning in a digital age (4 micro-courses)
  • Others?

What opportunities do YOU see for making progress on this challenge?

  • We need to expand this list to include benefits beyond just financial numbers. As an example, some might institutions might benefit from FTE increases. Other institutions might have social justice reasons for bringing in courses.

Do learners who do challenge exams (PLAR, etc…) count towards FTE or do they just bring in revenue

Refine the “assessment cost” to get to the ideal figure to maximize enrolments while still being fiscally responsible to students

We need to dispel myths about how this program will or will not “steal” traditional students.

We need to get a follow up on the LIDA cohort - i.e. how many students went on to a credential

Come up with progressive credential models. Can you pay $20 and get a “verified” certificate from the OERu, where if you need academic credit you pay $150 to an institution

Come up with digital badges or other electronic means of transcript. This will be a scalability issue. Does there need to be a cost involved with this?

What are the barriers YOU see for making progress on this challenge?

  • There is are still lots of fears about losing “traditional” students who view this is an alternative

Financial stakeholders worry that we will lose money

Some countries have legal restrictions that could be barriers. For example, UK has legislated tuition fees.

Need for institution expertise in assessing OERu credentials (i.e. does the instructor at your institution know the material to assess?)

Need for assessments that are robust to protect academic integrity. We need to make sure assessments are not compromised.

Decisions for action

List your decision proposals including who is assigned to take this forward:

The ROI needs to move away from “breaking-even” on the OERu membership fee. The membership fee is not necessarily a lot of money, so the focus should be beyond breaking even and more on what membership value can bring (access to OER, hosting of courses, open source tech, good social reputation, networking opportunities with partners, SEM planning)

We need to get a follow up on the LIDA cohort - i.e. how many students went on to a credential. Does Wayne have figures on the follow through rate? If not, this needs to be a priority otherwise we will not know how to measure the success.

Need for credit bank meaning once an assessment of credit is done, it is good moving forward for all students without needing to reassess the credits again.

Coming up with an MOU or some other agreement to make challenge fees less. If fees are too high then we will not get students through this. Find the “sweet spot.”

Have a discussion about credential options. i.e. verified certificate vs academic credit vs badges

Using OERu to talk about diversifying learner recruitment at institutions. In Canada we call this SEM (Strategic Enrolment Management), this term may be different in other countries?

A talk about how we make sure our offerings are accessible for those with a disability