The OERu makes higher education accessible to everyone.
Coordinated by the Open Education Resource Foundation, the OERu international network of like-minded institutions from five continents offers free online courses (assembled entirely from OER) to students worldwide. The OERu partners also provide affordable ways for learners to gain academic credit towards qualifications from recognised institutions.
OERu first year of study
OERu partners have prioritised the implementation of a first year of university-level study leading to two qualifications:
- Certificate of General Studies, Thompson Rivers University, Canada
- Certificate of Higher Education Business, University of the Highlands and Islands, United Kingdom.
Learners study online courses for free, and pay only for assessment services from OERu selected partners, if and when they wish to gain formal credit.
The OERu network has developed a system of pre-approved bilateral credit transfer from the assessing partner institution to the university awarding the qualification. This is an opt-in model whereby OERu partners choose the courses for which they wish to provide assessment services across the network, or alternatively recognise incoming credit towards their own qualifications for particular courses.
The network plans to expand qualification options to Associate and Bachelor degrees.
A transnational micro-credentialing system
To facilitate international credit-transfer, all OERu courses are assembled from a collection of micro-courses. OERu micro-courses equate to forty notional learning hours, which enables a flexible credit-transfer model where the successful competition of either three or four micro-courses meets requirements for a full university course depending on the country concerned. For example, three OERu micro-courses are the equivalent of one standard 3-credit course in North America, whereas four micro-courses meet the course load requirements of a standard course in Australia.
Summative assessments are provided for each OERu micro-course, which enables a system of stackable micro-credentials. Learners around the world, who successfully complete the assessment, can compile them to get university credit towards exit qualifications from a respected institution in another part of the world.
Local reuse and remix of OERu courses
Not all partners in the OERu network offer assessment services or recognise credit transfer, but gain value from participation in a global network committed to serving their institutional community service goal of widening access to affordable learning opportunities.
A number of OERu partners reuse and remix selected micro-courses for integration into their own curriculum. This not only results in significant cost savings in the development of local online courses, but also provides their learners with the benefits of participation in an international, multicultural learning experience.