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Preview: Comments on: Making the case for “Fully Open” Content

Comments on: Making the case for “Fully Open” Content

Technologies for Learning, Thinking and Collaborating

Last Build Date: Fri, 25 Mar 2016 20:05:45 +0000


By: Blackboard + Angel = reason for open learning « Community-based learning

Thu, 07 May 2009 04:05:09 +0000

[...] Blackboard + Angel = reason for open learning Posted on May 6, 2009 by Nils Peterson In response to the Wired Campus article about Blackboard’s acquisition of Angel Learning,  Scott Leslie commented about moving beyond the LMS to networked learning options. His comment led me to this 2005 post where he saw the social software light and a later post looking for help making the case for “fully open” content. [...]

By: LMS Usage Transparency at EdTechPost

Tue, 10 Feb 2009 19:27:01 +0000

[...] be) then maybe this will jog some ideas loose. While I will continue to suggest that simply being fully open is ultimately a better way to address many of these issues, until that ideal situation pertains, [...]

By: Scott

Mon, 16 Jun 2008 16:42:46 +0000

Brian, thanks for these, I am giving them a closer read now. Cheers, Scott

By: Brian Kelly

Mon, 09 Jun 2008 17:04:30 +0000

Hi I've been involved recently in promoting the benefits of openness within the museums sector. A paper on "What Does Openness Mean To The Museum Community" is available from I think there are many parallels with openness of teaching materials. But the approach I've been taking is not to arcgue for 'total openness' (which sounds too ideological) but (as you touch on in your post) openness which in many (but not necessarily all) cases can benefit the institution and the community. Note wrt UK Government policy, the Power of Information report is worth reading - and thre's recently been an interim report published: Brian Kelly, UKOLN

By: Jon K.

Thu, 05 Jun 2008 16:20:00 +0000

While this doesn't help you right now, or even in the near future - there's a call for papers about open educational resources over here: Again, while this doesn't help you right now, when those papers are published you may start to have a body of "stuff" to back up your arguments. Clearly, this is an area that could be researched by someone who's institution is forward thinking - maybe even something that might garner some funding from the government.

By: Scott

Tue, 03 Jun 2008 17:02:27 +0000

For propriety's sake, here are some of the resources I have found to date to try and buttress the argument for making resources fully open - As you can see, very little by way of hard numbers, but a start. Feel free to add more if you have them - username edtechpost_guest (same password) will give you edit privilieges.

By: Martin

Wed, 28 May 2008 08:17:46 +0000

Scott, I think the problem is we can make lots of arguments on the following but little evidence. The OU's openlearn project does have lots of data though - send me an email and I'll put you in touch with the person who has it. Not sure if it shows what you want, but there must be something in it somewhere. Martin

By: Scott

Tue, 27 May 2008 22:16:30 +0000

I must admit that the overall lackof responses to this thread has me disheartened. But in the interests of sharing back whatever I am finding in the hopes that it helps others make similar arguments in their jurisdictions, I will keep posting URLs in the comment area here. Here's the latest that seemed a bit of a gold mine, though no "hard numbers" found in here yet: - Creative Commons case studies

By: Scott

Tue, 27 May 2008 21:14:43 +0000

Jim, thanks for this reply. I think the UMW case study actually represents probably the best way this can happen, as you describe, sort of an organic outcropping of the open experimentation your were enabling that then becomes self-reinforcing. We, unfortunately, are still in the "take content out of the locked silos, THEN share it" model (as is so much of higher ed) and so fight against the inertia of the silos and the closed anti-web model they promote. I really appreciate that over the years of conversation with yourself, Brian and others I've been able to see how it is wrongheaded to separate out the issues of openness, reusability and simplicity of use/authoring even though intellectually they might seem distinct phenomena. Or as I like to put it "learning object repositories are an answer begged by the question of course management systems."

By: Jim

Mon, 26 May 2008 19:37:47 +0000

Scott, At ong last I return to this post in order to comment. The question of fully open is a good one, and the source you reference above in regards to David Wiley would be my first instinct. I wonder if Martin Weller and Tony Hirst might not also have many stories and resources to share given their work at the Open University. As far as fully open, I think UMW came at this in an interesting manner that you are familiar with. We went open almost by default. In oother words, Gardner Campbell made the push for external hosting (Bluehost in our case) and we were able to get departments, and sometimes individuals, their own shared web-hosting space to experiment with a series of easy to install (Fantastico style) open source applications like Drupal, Typo3, WordPress, PHPbb, tikie wiki (they never did get MediaWiki which is one of the apps we had to install manually) and a longer list, but these were the ones we used predominantly. The experiment was a way to suggest two things: a) teaching and learning technologies need to be playing with a series of alternative, open source apps that allow an individual to explore and experiment if they want, but also get an eassy, powerful tool with little technical overhead. This allowed for the web-based tool kit wherein we could test out a whole range of applications and come up with a best of breed from diligent practice and testing rather than some second hand knowledge, or a shiny sales pitch. And while none of this was necessarily "open" in regards to licenses and agreements, the fact is that about 90% of the work that was (and is still) being done is out there on the open web, free for anyone to fin, consider, and re-imagine. So,being fully open was very much a result of our willingness to have professors experiment with various web apps with the help and guidance (which means we were one step a head of them) from the Instructional Technologists. This was Gardner Campbell and Martha Burtis's brainchild , and the result was pretty remarkable. Jon Udell was pretty impressed at UMW Faclty Academy 2006, and wrote it up and the benefits of such an approach here: I think if you an get folks to imagine the possibilities of experimenting with these web apps, and invest a bit of time and energy into answering some of the start-up questions you'll find the conversations about openess and the benefots and pitfalls become a natural part of the landscape. I think these tools allow people to make these decisions individually, but an act which is often influenced by how others are dealing with the issue of openness and why. For me, personally, the issue of openess has real been the most important part of all these experiments because the university of Mary Washington has in many ways become more relevant to intself (we can trace the work of other students and faculty from numerous disciplines -that is cool!) but we can also provide a bridge to the larger public sphere. We are creating resources for our community, and we are making good on the public dollar. In many ways, I think the experiment has been about stepping up your work a notch to prepare it for the public which provides a very specific audience, and a sense of purpose and possibility for everyone involved. The web is the platform, and remaining open is the only real lomg term option for grwth, innovation, and new ways of imagining Teaching and learning vis-a-viz technology.