Wayne Mackintosh

Manager, OER Foundation

Wayne Mackintosh is New Zealand’s UNESCO-ICDE Chair in OER and the Managing Director of the OER Foundation, implementing the OERu.
Wayne has extensive international experience in educational technology, learning design and the theory and practice of open and distance learning (ODL). Previously, he was Education Specialist, eLearning and ICT policy at the Commonwealth of Learning (COL), an intergovernmental organisation based in Vancouver, Canada. Before joining COL he was Associate Professor and founding director of the Centre for Flexible and Distance Learning (CFDL) at the University of Auckland, New Zealand. At the University of Auckland, he was tasked with eLearning strategy and leading CFDL’s professional staff team. Prior to moving to New Zealand he spent eleven years working at the University of South Africa (UNISA), a distance
learning institution and one of the world’s mega-universities.

Towards more open and sustainable higher education futures: Sharing the OERu’s component-based NGDLE

The OERu envisions a world where all learners can have more affordable options to higher education.
The Open Educational Resource universitas (OERu) is an international collaboration of universities, colleges and polytechnics spanning five regions of the world which provides free learning opportunities using courses based solely on Open Educational Resources (OER) with pathways to obtain stackable micro-credentials towards university-level qualifications. The OERu offers a philanthropic alternative to the commercial Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC) startups.
The presentation will highlight how open design and open education practices are implemented by OERu to assemble open online courses available for remix and reuse across multiple delivery platforms and demonstrate how student mobility for credit transfer and course articulation has been resolved within the OERu network. The session will demonstrate the implementation of an open source, component-based Next Generation Digital Learning Environment (NGDLE) designed to facilitate learning on the Internet rather than learning via a single application like a learning management system.
The OERu is succeeding in shifting the question from how to achieve a fiscally sustainable OER initiative to how will education in your institutions remain sustainable without OER? With the launch of the OERu 1st year of study, the network is demonstrating that the OERu is a low cost, low risk but high impact innovation

Som Naidu

Pro-Vice Chancellor Flexible Learning, University of the South Pacific
Director, Center for Flexible Learning, University of the South Pacific

Proessor Som Naidu is currently Pro-Vice Chancellor Flexible Learning, and Director, Center for Flexible Learning, at the University of the South Pacific. He has previously has served as Associate Professor (Learning Transformations) at Swinburne University of Technology in Melbourne, Director of Teaching and Learning Quality Enhancement at Charles Sturt University, NSW Australia, and Associate Professor of Educational Technology and Multimedia Education at the University of Melbourne, Australia.
Dr. Naidu possesses undergraduate qualifications in Education from the University of Waikato in New Zealand and graduate qualifications in Educational Technology from Concordia University in Montreal, Canada. He has undertaken sabbaticals in the Institute for Learning Sciences in the Graduate School of Computer Sciences at Northwestern University, Illinois, USA, in the Learning and Teaching Unit at Manchester Metropolitan University, the Learning and Development Directorate at the University of London, United Kingdom, and in the Centre for Research, Innovation and Training in eLearning, Universitat Oberta de Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain.
A former president of the Open and Distance Learning Association of Australia, Dr. Naidu has continued to serve as executive editor of its journal Distance Education since 1997. In May 2014 the Open University of Sri Lanka awarded Dr. Naidu a D.Litt. (Honoris Causa), in recognition of his extensive contribution to the field of open, flexible, distance and e-learning both regionally and internationally.

Open Educational Practice: Caveat Emptor

Few developments in the open, flexible and online education space have rattled the zeitgeist of educational practice and caused as much interest in, as well as controversy over its form and function, as has the case for open educational resources and open educational practices more broadly. Although the open and distance education community is no stranger to these concepts and issues surrounding them, the case for all things open is clearest and strongest when seen within the broader conversation around open and flexible educational practices. This comprises open access to educational opportunity, and alternative modes of learning as well as engagement with open scholarship. While the case for access to educational opportunity and approaches to various modes of open learning are now widely recognized and accepted, the case for engagement with open scholarship is not entirely clear and convincing. In this conversation, I will explore the major confounds around the case for open scholarship to separate the hype from the facts, and shed light on ethical and moral issues surrounding engagement with open educational practices. Implications of these practices for the roles, responsibilities and commitments of universities as well as other educational institutions in society, and the framing of a values driven and future-proofed curriculum will be outlined and discussed.