You can study world-class courses for free and count them towards real qualifications. This is the future of tertiary learning with the launch of the Open Educational Resource university (OERu). The university was unveiled on November 1, 2013.
The OERu will provide more affordable ways for learners to gain academic credit towards qualifications from recognised institutions. Coordinated by the Open Education Resource Foundation, headquartered in New Zealand, the OERu is an independent, not-for-profit network that offers free online university courses for students worldwide using Open Educational Resources (OER). The implementation of the OERu is a designated project of the UNESCO-Commonwealth of Learning OER Chair network.
The OERu is a consortium of more than thirty universities, polytechnics and community colleges from five continents committed to widening access to educational opportunity
- OERu’s primary point of difference is that students study for free, anywhere in the world using courses based on OER, with pathways to gain credible credentials.
- Users can pay reduced fees if they want to get academic credit, and only pay for assessment if and when they’re ready.
- All the course material is taught online, based on OER and openly accessible materials on the internet. This means you won’t need to buy any textbook.
- Designed for independent study, users will get peer-support from fellow learners, while in some OERu courses users will study with full-time registered students at one or more of OERu’s anchor partners – a network of academic institutions in five continents
- Programmes can be distinguished between a Full Course and a micro Open Online Course (mOOC)
- A micro-Course allows the user flexibility to manage learning around their personal commitments and learning interests
- A Full Course can be anywhere between ten to 15 weeks in duration
Courses on offer through the OERu include ‘Resourcing a Small Enterprise’, ‘Understanding Culture in Asia and the Pacific’, ‘Tourism in Asia and the Pacific’, ‘Developing a Business Plan’, and ‘Regional Economics in Asia and the Pacific’. The OERu will also support the UNESCO Paris 2012 OER Declaration, with courses focusing on building capacity in open educational practices.
OERu offers a number of full courses in micro format. These micro courses offer you more flexibility to manage your learning around personal commitments and learning interests.
A micro Open Online Course (mOOC):
- Represents a sub-component of a full course and is usually offered over a two to three week period
- Is for learners interested in the topic of a mOOC but not necessarily the full course
- Gives you a “Certificate of Achievement” after successful assessment
- Qualifies those who have successfully completed a designated number of mOOCs for the corresponding course, to gain full course credits through ‘recognition of prior learning’ systems at a number of OERu partners
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