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Credentials for open learning: Scalability and validity

TitleCredentials for open learning: Scalability and validity
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2018
AuthorsHoffman, M., & Olmsted R.
PublisherInternational Journal of Open Educational Resources
Date Published10/2018
Keywordscredentials, credit, OER, Open Educational Resources, open learning, scalability, transfer credit, validity

The authors of this study advocate separating credentialing from the learning process as a path to greater scalability and better measurement of what independent learners learn from OER. They address the challenge of matching/aligning OER offerings with standardized exams as a way for independent learners to access academic credit, and explore ways to achieve consensus among educational institutions about what academic
credit means and which types of evidence to accept in terms of learning that occurred outside a particular institution. The study begins with an overview of credit by examination, contrasting the standardized testing approach with the classroom teaching approach to academic credit. The process for creating exams and the accompanying materials that make clear to potential test-takers what the learning objectives, are briefly
described. Next, a methodology is developed for building the bridge between OER and the exam. Finally, policy issues around exam acceptance-for-credit are discussed in addition to accepting exams for credit and envisioning a future in which learners can receive transferable credentials in a cost-effective, efficient and valid manner.


Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

Short TitleIJOER
Refereed DesignationRefereed
IJOER-Vol-1-No-1-Credentials-for-Open-Learning.pdf1.84 MB
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