How “Open” are MOOCs? Academics have expressed concerns about some of the access deterrents they include. Paywalls and copyright protection may stand at odds with ideas about open learning. Open content by universities often gets caught in the property of commercial MOOC hosts.
To fend off potential threats, participants of the open learning movement are starting to promote the idea of Open Educational Resources (OER). Databases of content that teachers can use for their courses for free, some of which we have reviewed in MoodleNews.
UNESCO released A “policy perspectives” anthology. It is titled “Open Educational Resources: Policy, Costs and Transformation“. Through a series of international cases they discuss positions on open content and licenses. An example case involves the use of Moodle to develop a Knowledge Based Economy in Bahrain. As the document argues, Moodle facilitates quality assurance and licensing management.
MOOCs are not only a gift to students around the world. They are also opportunities to raise institutional awareness. This means their objectives include both academic and promotional considerations. Some find this objectionable. Others find these strategies necessary for the survival of a new global learning paradigm.
UNESCO has also provided a discussion document on the MOOC issues. MOOCs and other blended learnings will shape a “new vision for education”. The volume, “Making Sense of MOOCs: A Guide for Policy Makers in Developing Countries” is available here.
And if you want to know more about licensing your Moodle courses, visit this page.
Do you license your Moodle courses? Do you take advantage of OER?