Open Education Resources university

Learner FAQs

Are you thinking about studying with OERu? Want to make sure our courses are for you? Below, are the most common questions asked by prospective learners. Our answers should help you take the first step towards gaining the knowledge, or qualifications, you want.

 

+ Can I get formal academic credit for OERu courses?

Yes, all OERu courses provide the option for assessment towards academic credit at the one of our OERu partner institutions. This means you’ll pay significantly reduced fees when compared to full-tuition costs. Once you successfully complete your assessments, and meet the assessment requirements, you will earn credit towards the specified course from the OERu partner. You can find the credentialing information on the relevant course page in the course section of this website - please check that you meet the institution’s admission requirements for tertiary study.

 

+ Can I participate in OERu courses for free without taking the formal assessments?

Yes! We encourage you to join OERu courses and ‘sip and dip’ into topics you find interesting. We welcome your participation in the online learning interactions - even if you’re not taking the course for formal credit. Learning as a community is far more fun than learning alone. The OERu offers a great way to experience university-level study, without spending any money or feeling obligated to complete the formal assessments. You have the freedom to manage the level of effort you put into your studies. You will also have the opportunity to complete the formal assessments, should you want to consider gaining formal credit for your learning from one of our recognised partners.

 

+ Can I study OERu courses independently at my own pace?

Yes, OERu courses are designed for independent self-study and published as open educational resources on WikiEducator. You don’t require a password to access the materials, and you are free to work through the learning materials at your own pace at any time. Many OERu learners prefer to study with classmates for scheduled courses. These courses provide opportunities to interact with other learners studying the same materials at similar times.

 

+ Learning is free - but does the OERu place restrictions on where I can apply my learning?

No, you are free to apply your learning from OERu courses for any purpose. Although some of the free learning providers place restrictions on where and how you can use the learning from their courses, the OERu does not apply these restrictions. We hope that you will consider one of the OERu partners for formal assessment services, but you are under no obligation to make use of these services.

 

+ Does the OERu offer ‘certificates of achievement’ for assessed learning?

Yes, a number of OERu partners offer ‘certificates of achievement’ (or equivalent) for assessed learning. This option will suit you if you would like your learning to be formally assessed, but are not necessarily interested in gaining formal academic credit. For example, you may be taking only one micro-course, rather than completing the full set of micro-courses required for the university credential. In courses which offer these micro-credentials, you complete the same assessments as the students taking OERu courses for academic credit. Some of our OERu partner institutions offer these services for significantly reduced fees. Please consult the course page on this website to find out if your course offers ‘certificates of achievement’.

+ Will more OERu course options become available?

Yes, the number of courses available on offer will increase as more courses become available from our OERu partner institutions. If you don’t find a course which meets your interests, sign up for OERu news and announcements on the homepage and we will let you know when more courses are launched in the OERu network.

 

+ Will OERu courses be accepted for credit transfer at all the OERu partners?

We are currently in the process of widening credit transfer options within our network. While credit transfer options are restricted at this time, we are launching the OERu collaboration in two phases:

  • Phase 1:  During this phase, academic credit will be available at the OERu partner who contributed the original course plus any credit transfer options listed on the course pages.

  • Phase 2: Maximising pre-arranged credit transfer and course articulation options in the OERu network.

Please note that many OERu partners have recognition of prior learning protocols, which will recognise academic credit earned from recognised institutions. However, this is done on a ‘case-by-case’ basis. Please contact the conferring institution for more information about credit transfer.

 

 

+ Does the OERu network offer certification for participation?

Yes, many courses offer certificates for participation. This may take the form of an open digital badge or print version certificates of participation. Digital badges are usually issued free of charge, while a small fee may apply for the issue of print versions to cover the administration costs. Details of the certification options and corresponding requirements are provided in the course guide for your course.

 

+ Why must I register for a scheduled course if the learning is free?

Registration for courses is not mandatory, as you can access the learning materials on WikiEducator without the need to register. However, we recommend that you register to receive course announcements via email from the course facilitator.

 

+ Are all the resources available online? What if I want offline materials - a book, for example?

Yes, all OERu resources are available online and we recommend that learners have access to an Internet connection. OERu course materials hosted on Wikieducator can be converted into PDF format for local printing or ePub for reading on a tablet or computer, so continuous connectivity is not an absolute requirement for study. Students carry the costs of local printing, but as our materials are openly licensed, print copies can be duplicated locally for distribution. Some reference links to third party websites in the course materials may not be easily converted into PDF or other printable format. However, the URLs, which can be accessed at times when the learner has reliable connectivity, are clearly indicated.  

+ Are there ‘live lectures’ or can all the work be done when and where I want?

All our courses are designed for independent asynchronous study - without constraints on time or place. There are no residency requirements for OERu courses. As an international project, OERu learners live and work across all time zones, and consequently it is difficult to schedule live events at times which are suitable for all learners. In cases where an online live event is scheduled, a recording will be made and published on the Internet to ensure that all learners will have access to these events.

 

+ Do OERu partners provide free tutorial support for OERu courses?

OERu courses are designed for peer-to-peer learning support from your fellow learners. In order to provide free learning opportunities and to keep the cost of study to a minimum, OERu partners do not provide free tutorial support. However, there are numerous self-study student support resources and course FAQs you can consult. These are referenced in the learning materials. Community volunteers may also provide support during courses. If you get stuck, post a question in the allocated forums or aggregated course feed. In most cases a fellow learner will know the answer.

+ Must I travel to the institution for assessment?

No, the majority of OERu courses don’t require you sit physical examinations and therefore won’t require you to travel for assessment. Each partner institution will employ appropriate identity validation procedures. Some courses may provide the option for proctored examinations - these will require you to be present at a physical location. However, our international network of open distance learning providers has wide international coverage. They are experienced in facilitating examinations within easy reach of your residential location. The course details will provide information on those courses where travel may be required.

+ Is there a time limit for completing the formal assessments for credit?

There is usually no time limit for completing assignments in OERu courses that provide assignments for formal credit. You can work at your own pace and submit assignments when you’re ready. Some OERu courses may offer proctored examinations from some of our partners, and this information is specified on the course page. These examinations will typically have set dates, venues and time limits. For more information, consult the OERu partner(s) listed on the course page who provide assessment services.

 

+ What are the terms of service for OERu learning?

In summary, OERu learners retain their copyright of the content they produce but we require that you apply a Creative Commons Attribution license to your interactions. This provides us with the permission to share your comments with fellow students in support of your learning.

We are a charitable service helping learners to gain access to more affordable education. Our courses are provided in good faith on an "AS-IS" and "AS-AVAILABLE" basis.

The OERu serves many countries and users are encouraged to be respectful of the diverse cultures participating in OERu courses. Offensive comments, insults, personal attacks, inappropriate language, and illegal activity will be deleted from OER Foundation (OERF) maintained websites. The OERF reserves the right to ban disruptive user accounts on any of the websites maintained by the Foundation to support the OERu network.

Please read our detailed terms of service, which gives you information on privacy, and how we use data to support your learning. All students should read our terms of service carefully.

There is no contractual relationship between you and the respective OERu partner institution, until you formally enrol as an OERu learner within our network for assessment and credentialing services.

+ What if I’ve earned credits from a recognised institution that withdraws from the OERu collaboration?

Should an institution withdraw form the OERu network, your credits will remain valid at the conferring institution. In the OERu model, credits and credentials are conferred by the individual OERu partner you select for your assessment services. All OERu partners must be registered with the relevant local government agency authorising institutions to award credit towards recognised credentials.

+ I’m not comfortable sharing all of my work publicly. Are there ‘private’ forums where I can interact only with instructors and other students?

We understand that it can be daunting to share your work publicly. However, this provides you a unique opportunity to network online with other students and to develop your social media skills and digital online history. These are beneficial skills for future employment!  Most OERu courses require that you publish selected activities publicly to support your learning process, but you remain the arbiter of what you publish online. The OERu does not provide ‘private’ forums, but you will be able to communicate privately with other students who share their email addresses.

+ Must I use my real name for my social media?

Where possible, we encourage you to use your real name, as this supports the sense of a learning community. You will choose your own username for any social media you use. Some OERu courses provide optional certification for participation, based on your actual participation using different social media. If you are interested in working towards certification for participation, you will need to register your social media usernames with the OER Foundation; you must use your real name to do this. When submitting assessments, OERu partners will require identity validation. This may include information that you have provided on your social media accounts.