Credentialing of OCW studies by Tertiary Educational Institutions
Ellen Murphy, State University of New York at Empire State College, US
Conference Theme: Impact
Summary: Information gathered from an international survey of tertiary educational institutions regarding assessment of prior learning
Abstract: Open CourseWare has provided new opportunities for access to tertiary academic content, and this has created a need for ways to document, assess, and credential the knowledge and skills gained. In 2011 we saw a number of developments designed to offer this recognition including Badges and Certificates. While both of these will certainly fill the need for recognition of learning, neither of these confers a degree. There are a large number of tertiary institutions throughout the world that provide for Assessment of Prior Learning (aka: Credit by Evaluation), which can provide official credit, towards a degree, for non-traditional learning. A survey of Tertiary Institutions was conducted, in collaboration with the OER Foundation, to determine the extent of credentialing possibilities for individuals who use Open Education Resources (particularly Open Courseware) to gain the knowledge and skills they seek. Surveys were distributed through various listservs, in newsletters, and through social networking venues. Institutions were asked to identify their current policies regarding Prior Learning Assessment and Credit by Evaluation as well as any associated costs. Additionally, schools were asked to identify the percentage of a student’s overall degree/certificate program that could be accounted for through these methods. The surveys included questions regarding Open CourseWare and ePortfolios to determine what credentialing possibilities exist for those individuals who build and submit a portfolio of learning acquired through the use of OCW. A report on the information gathered from this survey, and recommendations for further research will be presented. A comprehensive report/database will be tabulated and published as an OER so that students, who wish to do so, can plan a program of study that will allow them to obtain a credential/degree while strategically utilizing Open Courseware.