Awareness of aaRRRRRgh’s

In the recent #OpenEdMOOC we reviewed the “5 R’s” to consider licensing curriculum. And here’s where it gets tricky… its not that educators don’t want to use OERs in their courses, it’s that creators aren’t sure they want to be contributors to OER. There’s serious concern with incentivizing and prioritizing OER adoption at a large, research institutions. Who “owns” the content? The creator or the institution?

For example, in a course development process, the course author (faculty member) will vet and select the course readings required for the course. This is typically a very time-consuming process. Typically, course authors are aware and interested in providing course materials that can be distributed at lower or no additional cost to the student. Anyway, once the author chooses the course materials,  I determine:

  • How much of the text will be used, is it under the 10-15% rule?
  • If course materials can be accessed electronically through the library?
  • If we need to request copyright permission to embed the content in our course?

After working through the above processes to incorporate materials and all the other steps to finalize the course, we move course content from a MASTER development space to a LIVE course space. The course author does not “own” the course. Neither do I. The university does.

The current model of education does not actively support ($$$$$) an open community of faculty (and specialized staff) to develop a course space  to distribute their expertise for free while working in an iterative development cycle to improve quality. How can we support a community of faculty and specialists to volunteer their resources, time, expertise and knowledge to create a body of work to share openly, without concerns of recourse?  Some may suggest MOOCs as a possible solution. Education systems value MOOCs as marketing-tools and therefore, offer incentives to have courses produced. The MOOC model can support the disconnect, but has many flaws, including costly production.

The OER cultural shift has begun and the biggest challenge is the current business model of education.

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