Last week, OCW initiative held the „Week of Open Education“ to discuss and showcase projects and ideas around Open Education. This topic has recently grew enormously, thanks to the MOOC hype – last week the prestigious „nature“ had devoted an article to MOOCs – which seems to blur the perception and thus the understanding of what MOOCs can do and how society might benefit from it.
Since then, I have been skeptical about the claims that have been attributed to MOOCs, in particular when it comes to their pedagogical value. A down-to-earth analysis is hindered by the tremendous expectations which are mostly triggered by the big M, i.e. the masses that can be reached with a MOOC. This is to the detriment of the O(penness) as discussed here:
„perhaps what we really need to think about is less of the „m“ and more of the „o“. In other words concentrate on developing and sharing open practice and resources and in turn open courses/content which meet specific institutional aims. As we all know there are many variations of open.“
Against this background, I have hosted a webinar to provide a broader frame of Open Education. Thus, I start not with MOOCs but with a historical account of the earlier movement in the 1960 and 1970ies. Then I shift to the „birth“ of OER in 2001 and related developments such as Open Educational Practices. Having introduced this, MOOCs are better comprehensible because one can see that there was a history with certain beliefs and philosophical ideals behind. How those values have been changed during the course and what this means for the future of Open Education is also discussed in the session.
I greatly appreciate the feedback and comments during the session and the blog posting from the The Finnish Institute in London.
I hope you will enjoy my explorations of Open Education (record from my live presentation).