Implementing Recognition of Virtual Mobility and OER Learning through a Learning Passport
The project Virtual Mobility Passport (VM-Pass) was conceived with the aim of increasing inter-institutional recognition of virtual-mobility and Open Education based (OER/OCW) courses.In this context, VM-Pass proposes the launching of an unbundling educational model where students are able to follow their studies, be assessed and certified by different institutions according their preferences, rather than have these all integrated within a single rigid study-programme.
VM-Pass is part of the Lifelong Learning Programme, funded by the European Commission. The project is executed as part of the Erasmus Multilateral Projects Action, within the Strengthening quality through mobility and cross-border cooperation Sub-Action.
The VM-Pass project brings together a number of european educational organizations and institutions: the University of Leicester (UK), the European Foundation for Quality in eLearning (Belgium), the International University of La Rioja (Spain), the Vytautas Magnus University (Lithuania), the Baden-Wurttemberg Cooperative State University (Germany), the European Distance and eLearning Network (UK), the Katholieke Universiteit of Leuven (Belgium) and the MENON Network (Belgium).
Project rationale and relevance
Nowadays learner can use a number of free, online resources and tools for supporting their learning. Open courseware-based opportunities, MOOCs and other VM experiences are more and more increasing. Against this background, the recognition of these educational modules remains uneven, and serves as a major barrier to uptake of these flexible forms of learning. The main reasons for these barriers include:
- Lack of knowledge about VM/OCW providers and courses
- Lack of transparency regarding institutional procedures, pedagogy and assessment
- Lack of trust in institutional quality systems
In the meantime, UNESCO and the EC address this problem through a number of communications (UNESCO Paris OER Declaration of 2012,or the EC’s ‘Rethinking Education’ communication).
In this context, the VM-Pass project aims to increase inter-institutional recognition of Virtual Mobility and Open Education based learning.
Methodology and associated work plan
In order to achieve this goal, the VM-Pass project foresees:
- The creation of new flexible learning pathways for students inside Higher Education
- Improvement of academic offer, by integrating teaching and learning done at other institutions in universities’ curricula
- Improvement of resource-efficiency within HEIs
- An increase in the use and impact of OER
Sources of funding
Lifelong Learning Programme–Erasmus-EAC/S07/12
A number of activities will be carried out in the frame of the project, aiming at reducing bureaucracy involved in recognition processes, allowing universities to share experiences and compare recognition decisions with other institutions. The main tools and resources to be implemented by the project are:
- The Unbundling Educational Module: a new educational system which allows students to follow their studies, be assessed and certified by different institutions, rather than have all the learning modules integrated in a single rigid study-programme.
- A student-held learning passport will be piloted by HEIs: a transparency and portability tool, compatible with EQF. VM-Pass attempts to deploy it in a live setting.
- The so called recognition clearinghouse will be tested by universities. It is a web-based tool containing a database of institutions and structured learning resources. It provides information on HEIs and Open Education based courses.