ENCORE+. Interview with Don Olcott Jr.

The ENCORE+ project supports the uptake and innovation of Open Educational Resources (OER) for education and business. An improved understanding and strategy for enabling people to receive credentials for their learning with OERs has been identified as a key enabler for uptake. With this in mind, UNIR iTED team has conducted a series of in-depth interviews to explore innovative approaches to credentialising learning in the European OER ecosystem, the opportunities which they offer, and the barriers to their application. The interviews also contributed to an ENCORE+ report discussing the same topic.

Every two weeks up to January 2023 a new interview will be published.

Interview #4: Don Olcott Jr.

Don Olcott Jr. is President of HJ Associates, specialising in global open and distance learning; and Professor Extraordinarius of Educational Leadership and ODL at the University of South Africa and Senior Fellow with EDEN Digital Learning Europe. He has long experience in OER, often working with institutions to create repositories, and working with management and staff to establish policies and facilitate adoption. He was 2021-2022 Chair of the EDEN Council of Fellows, Past President & Chairman of the Board of the United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA).

In his interview, Don Olcott Jr. shares the insights he has gained from his long experience of OER from an institutional and strategic perspective. He stresses the central importance of embedding the idea of open content into the culture of institutions, and offers six key actions to keep in mind. Among his many reflections on strategy for OER and for linking this to credentials, he questions the central importance of specifications for curricula and credentials, arguing that progress may be best achieved by getting key people around a table to arrive at institutional level agreements.

The interview is published here.