Launching the OERu

450px-OERu-logo-white

During Open Access Week 2012,  Dr Wayne Mackintosh, a long-serving member of the Creative Commons Aotearoa NZ advisory panel, detailed an ambitious plan: the OERu, a credit-providing university based entirely on open educational resources.

One year later, a slew of tertiary institutions have signed up, including New Zealand’s own Wintec and Lincoln University, as well as institutions from Canada, Ireland, South Africa, UK, among others.

This might sound a bit like the other MOOCs that have received so much media attention. The OERu, however, is different to most MOOCs.

First and foremost, the OERu is truly open: its courses are openly accessible, its resources are openly licensed and its operations and governance are entirely transparent. As a core principle of engagement, anchor partners commit to releasing educational resources under one of the free cultural works approved CC licenses (that’s Creative Commons Attribution or Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike).

Second, the OERu is committed to offering students credit. This is a remarkable innovation, and New Zealand institutions have been the first to try it out. In late 2012, Otago Polytechnic offered the NZQA-approved Graduate Diploma in Tertiary Teaching through the OERu, in order, as Otago Polytechnic’s Chief Executive Phil Ker put it, “to share these opportunities for learning freely with the world using open educational resources.”

As Paul Stacey concluded on the Creative Commons blog back in February, “the OERu is distinctively open.”

An additional point for the Creative Commons community in Aotearoa New Zealand is that New Zealand has the highest number of anchor partners in the world. It’s great to see so many tertiary institutions in New Zealand getting behind Creative Commons licensing.

The good news is that this distinctively open OERu is officially launching this week! The guest of honour for the meeting will be Sir John Daniel, former UNESCO Assistant Director General of Education, who will officially launch the OER university website. If you’re interested, you can (virtually) attend: Just visit the soon-to-be-unveiled homepage, and register.

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  1. MMD: Celebrating the Outliers « Saylor.org – Free Online Courses Built by Professors - 5 November 2013

    […] Launching the OERu (Creative Common New Zealand) The Open Educational Resource university – a consortium of higher-ed institutions from several countries, will allow students to use open courseware built from open educational resources to earn real college credit. The new program includes intriguing areas of study, including tourism, cultural understanding, and regional economics, with a strong focus in the Asia-Pacific part of the globe. […]