The possibility of defining a credential using OER is intriguing. There are a variety of post secondary credentials that could be developed including certificates, diplomas, bachelor's degrees and graduate degrees.
Most jurisdictions around the world have established a framework for post secondary credentials. See the Ontario Qualification Framework for example. For each credential the framework defines a range of attributes including admission requirements, duration of study (expressed as number of instructional hours), and depth and breadth of knowledge.
OERu accrediting institutions, such as the existing anchor partners, will likely be working within a similar framework. One approach to defining OER credentials is to structure them in such a way that they align with these frameworks.
Do you think OERu should focus on using these frameworks or design credentials in a different way?
A great deal of the OER currently available have not been developed as complete credentials. Instead OER are largely courses or more typically course components. A challenge in designing an OERu credential is assembling these smaller units into a coherent credential framework.
So lets say I want to use the Carnegie Mellon Open Learning Initiative OER in creating a credential. If you access the For Students section of their site they explicitly state what is being made available. Course Materials, Simulations, Computer Based Tutors, Virtual Laboratories, Self-Assessments, and Formative Feedback are all freely available to students as OER. But look at what isn't part of the OER - Access to an Instructor, Graded Exams, Tracks Student-Learning as Feedback for Instructors, Credit/Verification of Course Completion. So a significant challenge around using these OER resources in creating a credential is fulfilling all the elements not part of the OER. OERu anchor partners have the opportunity to take on any or all of these elements as part of their role.
I've jumped right in to the deep end of this Designing OERu Credentials so let me stop there and ask all of you some questions: