I’ve been sitting here reading all of the definitions and reflections on the notion of open education and have been waiting for someone to take on the issues related to the openness of our class. I’m of the mind that any one of the posts that are made here is an open educational resource (OER) that can be taken, re-mixed, reused, and generally consumed by anyone to gain a better insight into a topic. Looking at the last three weeks of analytics indicates that people from the outside are showing up … some are even leaving comments.
The thing that is striking to me is that much of what we consider open courseware consists of top-down, University mandates — look at MIT’s Open Courseware Initiative or Yale’s Open Courses as two examples of top down approaches. These are costly, albeit impactful, examples that may or may not have long-term sustainability issues. My interest lies in the notions of what I’ll call Incidental Openness … when faculty and students don’t need a mandate to open things up. I find the most interesting things happen when we just openly invite people because we feel it enriches the experience.
It leads me to ask what does a course like this mean in the open? Do our collective posts and comments add up to something of value to those on the Internet? I know we get access to classroom discussions and ultimately a grade, but what do the people out there get from this?
Given the video above, perhaps the more interesting question for us comes when we simply ignore the, “what does this course add up to for someone” questions I have read so much here?