Open Accreditation

Posted by admin on September 30th, 2008 filed in apps

I’ve long seen something like this as the final piece in the (theoretical at least) jigsaw puzzle when it comes to open education. So it’s great people are now being as inventive concerning accreditation as much as everything else. I’m particularly interested in the idea of open accreditation - seen here from the unique angle of D’Arcy Norman’s bikecast! (Gillian and Ross take note!) …

and David Wiley and Tony Hirst seem to have done some interesting work on an Open Achievements API (brief description). There is a good post about this is on Tony Hirst’s blog. And, David Wiley writes about “hacking” degrees.

2 Responses to “Open Accreditation”

  1. matwallsmith Says:

    More radical musings…

    What strikes me about the desire for accreditation is that is tends to mired in an the old gate-keeper paradigm – that there needs to be a top down ‘institutional’ approach to assessing and qualifying outcomes. I think this is decidedly un-punk. We can already see that -in the North American fashion -this then tends to figured as ‘new ‘opportunities’ for independent accreditors’ – I guess all punks must sell out eventually – why not just get it over and done with early..

    This is not to say we don’t need a substitute for accreditation but that the valuing of an open-course should not be in an accreditation of the course itself but in the ‘promiscuity’ and ‘proliferation’ of its cultural/ecological outcomes – what value do its students add? How does this value fold into a cumulative cultural momentum? Maybe the simple way of saying this is that the outcomes of a course – by which I mean the continuities into which the open-course folds - should rather obviously be the basis for its accreditation/valuation. Rather than a course evaluating or accrediting students – students should credit the course with the outcomes they achieve – We could call one solution to this an API but its not really an API we need – its really just a standard for open-framework accreditation (XMLish). An API comes at it all the wrong way because API’s are about building a consensus or cohesion from the inside out, or top down, rather than a protocol for open networking. An API is great for those un-punks who want to rebuild the institution rather than bleed it out- In an open source community why do we need accreditation? The first reason is exactly why Open Humanities Press has become important – to acknowledge that not all online publications are born equal or with the same intent and to ensure minimum standards are met and acknowledged. But surely a better a better way is via something like a trackback that allows a courses influence to become its accreditation. This is a bit like page rank for education (or wait a minute – maybe page rank is page rank for education?). If you really need to standardise this; Make sure your assessments have real open sourced outcomes, Make sure the real outcomes are submitted as metadata ties between the project and the course. The cumulative value of the course can then manifest simply by keeping track of the outcomes its delivers via its participants. Student accreditation then becomes the basis for a two way ‘admittance’. By accepting the metadata the course is saying ‘this is the standard we encourage’ by submitting their metadata the student is saying ‘this is a valuable course’. This allows for really interesting ‘economies’ of accreditation and value to emerge that can be very specific even to the point of being exclusive without ever restricting access to the content of the course itself. The joy of this approach is that it is non-arbitrary and anti-abstraction– it allows for a completely qualitative ‘admittance’ that then defines the value of the course.

  2. admin Says:

    more on open accreditation here …

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