OER 2011 Rapid fire: Ralph Wolff, President, Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC)
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30 March 2011
Accreditation – described as one of the biggest barriers to OER. Need to bust the system, which is not sustainable. Both students and employers not satisfied with the current situation. But people are afraid of OER – it is disruptive change and people remain in denial that change is needed. BUT accreditation and “credentialing” matters and brings connections. But more regulation is coming, more accountability, more information, more requirements of “classroom contact” and more models – will we accept the alternative models. Cartoon: “These new regulations will require new ways to get around them”. Private solutions are in trouble stories of fraud and abuse– University of Pheonix numbers down 40% and its share value down as well. Student loan value exceeds mortgage debt in US. University of people aim to get accreditation but may take 6 years. Straighterline – low cost but not accredited as too much (>25%) outsourced. For DIY-U approach may need to accredit the learner rather than the institution. Plan is to create an OER unit within WASC – what does it need to do?