By Stephen Downes - Stephen's Web. An alternative perspective on the meaning of ‘open’ in Higher Education
Jenny Mackness, April 17, 2013
Jenny Mackness proposes, "maybe a 'step' towards an understanding of the meaning of openness is through collaboration across institutions and countries. Whilst this does not address 'open' as in 'free' nor 'open access', it does begin to address 'open sharing' and what it means to 'be' open." I don't know. I've observed collaborations across institutions for decades, without a corresponding increase in openness. More...
By Stephen Downes - Stephen's Web. Can OER Really Impact Higher Education and Human Development?
This article basically equates 'getting an education' with 'getting a degree' and then argues, based on the failure of past forms of online learning to improve degree production, that "unless a new solution to the world's higher education gap is created out of the strengths of OER, and online learning, these promising innovations will have limited impact in terms of increasing access." This is probably true. More...
By Stephen Downes - Stephen's Web. Open Opportunties, Open Threats?
"It's highly unlikely that those who have invested considerable finance, effort, and reputations in the construction of a hard and soft proprietary infrastructure are willingly going to change horses," writes Derek Morrison. It's a bit like switching from fossil fuels. Even if the alternatievs are better, or even cheaper, there's just too much invested in the existing infrastreucture. More...
By Stephen Downes - Stephen's Web. What do you mean… open?
Dave Cormier, Dave's Educational Blog, April 12, 2013
This is generally a pretty good discussion of the concept - and complexities - around the term 'open'. I have some issues with it - see my comment at the end of the article. But I like the account quoted near the end: "Perhaps the most commonly used sense of ‘open’ has been the idea of creating opportunities for study for those debarred from it for whatever reasons, be it lack of formal educational attainments or shortage of vacancies, poverty, remoteness, employment or domestic necessities," from Mackenzie, Postgate and Scupham, 1975. More...
By Stephen Downes - Stephen's Web. Reclaim Open Learning
Jim Groom, bavatuesdays, April 12, 2013
If I had a simple way of reclaiming open learning I would do it. Though I'm not sure I'd be seeking out the MIT Media Lab as the place to do it (strictly my own bias, but I don't really associate MIT with 'non-commercial'). But anyhow, Jim Groom (who I still have faith in after all these years) descended into Babylon to chat with Audrey Watters and Philipp Schmidt on Jöran und Konsorten on Vimeo. More...
By Stephen Downes - Stephen's Web. A taxonomy for measuring the success of open source software projects
Amir Hossein Ghapanchi, Aybuke Aurum, and Graham Low, First Monday, July 31, 2011.
Open source software is a lot like education: everybody wants it to be successful, but there's no definition of what counts as success, and traditional definitions ('sales', 'grades') are wholly inadequate. More...
Talk given en français on the subject of open learning, MOOCs and the lessons for small and medium businesses. Full text of the talk is available here. Sadly, the video shows only the remote audience, not the speaker and slides.
The Anti- IPA Position Paper: A reply from an Educator to the International Publishers' Association Position Paper
By Stephen Downes - Stephen's Web. The Anti- IPA Position Paper: A reply from an Educator to the International Publishers' Association Position Paper
Rory McGreal, Athabasca Landing, May 29, 2013
The International Publishers' Association has released a short position paper on open educational resources (OERs) that makes the arguments you might expect, "sceptical however about the capacity of OERs to provide high quality content in core curriculum subjects in the longer term." Rory McGreal has responded, saying "publishers and Open Educational Resources both have value and are not mutually exclusive." He points out that the same challenges facing OERs - sustainability, quality, and efficacy - are also challenges for commercial content. More...
By Stephen Downes - Stephen's Web. Four observations on how OER initiatives are modelled
Allison Littlejohn, Little by Littlejohn, April 5, 2013
Here, first, are the observations, as stated by Allison Littlejohn:
- European OER initiatives are based (largely) on the traditional view of instructor using OER as content for teaching
- Most European OER initiatives rely on government or institutional funding
- OER is often viewed as content curated by ‘experts’
- Significant groups of people are not being considered as key users of OER
From what I've seen of MOOCs in North America, exactly the same four comments could be made. So what's wrong with that picture. More...