Monday, 2 June 2008

ICT4D the Peoples Uni, an OER initiative - they are looking for students and teachers - Join!

A new initiative in Open EDucational Resources that I came across today, thanks to my ever informed colleague Verena Renggli.

The Peoples Uni is looking for both students and teachers at this stage and more importantly collaborators to help develop and deliver the courses. The courses are delivered through the Moodle LMS. Professor Dick Heller (who is leading) is more than happy to get your views, ideas and suggestions. You are welcome to contact him through the website above or through his email Dick.Heller(at)

Interested? Let me paste a little bit of what they post:
Most low to middle income countries (LMIC) currently have to cope with a wide range of health problems that interfere with their future economic development. Public health is a major priority, especially the spread of AIDS, tuberculosis and common infectious diseases, as well as the emergence of chronic disease epidemics. A trained workforce of health professionals is essential, but local universities being vastly oversubscribed for face to face courses and fees for overseas universities, including e-learning distance programmes, are higher than can be afforded by most potential students in these countries. Internet-based eLearning has the exciting potential to deliver high quality learning resources anytime and anywhere, and although access is by no means universal it is improving quickly.

The open source software movement provides an inspiration for an affordable and credible solution - Free and Open-Source Software (FOSS), ( . Many hundreds of individuals have contributed to the development of high quality software which is freely available on the Internet.

In the education field, there are now parallel developments of Open Educational Resources (OER), with an ever expanding range of high quality on line resources that are freely available through the Internet.

The Peoples Uni are calling on individuals and organisations to undertake various of the required tasks. They are calling this ‘Volunteersourcing’ – a variant of ‘Crowdsourcing’. While many of these tasks might be performed by volunteers, others will require funding (such as accreditation).