12 December 2007

Open Teaching, Learning & Certification

I have to declare an interest in the new blog Open Teaching, Learning & Certification, since I was probably partly instrumental in its creation. Its author, Leo Max Pollak, chatted to me about his interesting ideas, whose principal ideas are:

* An instituted centralised hub of British open courseware from Britain's Russell Group (and contributing) research universities, at www.ocw.ac.uk. Open courseware constitutes of a freely-accessible, IP-cleared, online publication of a university's full catalogue of under- and post-graduate course materials - syllabi, reading lists with links to open access papers, course notes, video/audio lecture notes, slideshows, past exam papers, assignments etc.. The pioneering university in the provision of open courseware is MIT, whose entire course materials can be found at ocw.mit.edu
* Complementing a high-quality and pluralistic British open courseware offering, I will be advocating a new kind of university qualification - an Open degree - whereby citizens can pay a premium fee and take the same exams as do existing students in enrolled face-to-face learning, with certificates signifying information about the specific courses examined on. This would be targetted, via a high-profile public information campaign, at adult learners, excluded minorities, and students at pre-university age.

Recognising that such bold moves might prove hard to get implemented, I suggested blogging to get them out in the open, so to speak. The result is the new blog.

Just one word of advice, Leo: drop that puce colour scheme.

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