An OER manifesto in twenty minutes

A brief rapid response to @Tore ‘s request for a ten point manifesto on OER (& ok it was 25 minutes)

Andy Powell makes the key point: “@tore open, open, open, open, open, open, open, open, open, open – no need to mention ‘e’ or ‘r’ #nordlet” RE http://bit.ly/nwgIYE

But if I was writing a manifesto on OER it would start with/ cover some of this:

  1. openness is a way of working / state of mind not a legal distinction
  2. openness needs to be integrated into your way of working retrofitting is too expensive
  3. value of open is potentially greater than the value of closed
  4. open content affords new forms of scholarship and enterprise
  5. stop having to ask permission: remove barriers with open licensing
  6. use a common open license or don’t bother (lawyers read licences, users and machines don’t)
  7. you need a good reason to keep publicly funded work closed
  8. open content should allow you to build commercial services if you want
  9. open content shifts the $ focus onto what is really valuable: expertise, support, and ‘accreditation’ [for various dftns]
  10. open content has the potential to improve access to education (and consequently benefit society)

I’d also want to say something about

  1. openness does have costs – budget for them [edit (for clarity): costs here are not just £$ costs]
  2. you don’t have to be open all the time with everything – mixed economies may be practical
  3. the transition to openness is unsettling
  4. the (re)development of new business models, organisations, and practices challenges existing business models, organisations, and practices

The above is written without appropriate sources and without consulting existing manifestos but as an exercise in trying to quickly capture what I’ve absorbed and thought working in the OER community. If I’ve reproduced your work without realising it please comment 😉  Doubtless a more considered version would look a bit different but as a discussion point in this amount of time that’s what I’d throw into the ring.

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6 Comments

  1. Hi John

    I love this post, you’re so good at articulating things that are bubbling about in people’s heads!

    some comments

    1. openness is a way of working / state of mind not a legal distinction
    backed up by Greg deKoenigsberg’s claim at the open nottingham seminar which I would paraphrase as “licenses are just vehicles to allow people to trust each other”. implications: our digital infrastructure needs to accommodate license expression as part of people’s filtering (and for point 5), but not as a straitjacket that silos content according to license.

    3. value of open is potentially greater than the value of closed
    The JISC Houghton Report http://www.jisc.ac.uk/media/documents/publications/rpteconomicoapublishing.pdf looked at the total economics of OA, and supported that. But as you say in your very last bullet: the (re)development of new business models, organisations, and practices challenges existing business models, organisations, and practices. Do we think we’re at a mature enough stage to do a modelling of open content along the lines of the Houghton Report? What do people think?

    10. open content has the potential to improve access to education (and consequently benefit society)
    and perhaps in JISC’s work we need to be louder about the ways open content works internationally, and across education sectors and between education and training? Or is that three very different issues?

    1. openness does have costs – budget for them
    I am definitely in agreement on that, in an institutional context. Universities tend to count technical and librarian help as free, but it’s not, so if academic activities draw more heavily on the use of human and technical infrastructure, that should be counted in as part of the cost overall activity. Cost/benefit analysis is not about ruling out activities that cost money, but about keeping an eye on the balance.

    2. you don’t have to be open all the time with everything – mixed economies may be practical
    Amen to that. I have a blog post brewing about that too 🙂

    No doubt, some people that agreed with your post will find things to disagree with in my comment – so, as they say, lets have the debate!

    Great post, thanks

    Amber

    Reply

  2. […] John Robertson: Hmm, I have to admit that some of the posts from last year which I like the best are ones that never quite got properly started or finished. Perhaps partially because of that and partially because it was a “throw away” response to a tweet which ended up drawing together and developing some of my thinking about open ed.  There’s lots about it that I think is imperfect (e.g. using the word “manifesto”) but it got some things right and there was a certain serendipity to its creation which makes me smile: An OER manifesto in twenty minutes. […]

    Reply

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