What is Open Content?

The movement toward open content reflects a growing shift in the way scholars in many parts of the world are conceptualizing education to a view that is more about the process of learning than the information conveyed. Information is everywhere; the challenge is to make effective use of it. Open content uses open licensing schemes, like those of Creative Commons, to encourage not only the sharing of information, but the sharing of pedagogies and experiences as well. Part of the appeal of open content is that it is a response to both the rising costs of traditionally published resources and the lack of educational resources in some regions. As this open, customizable content — and insights about how to teach and learn with it — is increasingly made available for free over the Internet, people are learning not only the material, but also the skills related to finding, evaluating, interpreting, and repurposing the resources.

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(1) How might this technology be relevant to the educational sector you know best?

  • The open access movement will significantly impact online learning in higher education in the next 5 years. There is growth in open access journals and I anticipate continued growth in this area. - Jolie Jolie Oct 23, 2014
  • Somehow wondering if I am on the right platform to be one of the first to comment on open content... Of course, OER are a very important concept. But maybe it is already to common for the experts of the HR? People are talking about MOOCs - but the core concept behind it is that of open content. We need open content policies at the universities - like they were made for open access in the last years. - rudolf.mumenthaler rudolf.mumenthaler Oct 27, 2014
  • The creation and sharing of OERs is a philosophically wonderful idea, but will meet resistance from many academics who will not want to share their work with the world for fear that it may make them redundant. MOOCs, for the most part, do not allow for the repurposing of their content, just open access. OERs can be reused as people see fit, and as such, many academics will not want to share their knowledge and expertise in this way. - damian.mcdonald damian.mcdonald Oct 27, 2014

(2) What themes are missing from the above description that you think are important?

  • Government and institutional support and programmatic development of open textbooks, as a means of containing the high cost of education for students by reducing some of the textbook costs.- vforssman vforssman Oct 25, 2014
  • David Wiley has just broadened the discussion - from open content to an open education infrastructure including Open Competencies, Open Assessments and Open Credentials http://opencontent.org/blog/archives/3557
  • Asking students to use open content and even to license their own scholarly production points to the much larger issue of intellectual property. If we do not make intellectual property a serious part of the curriculum and continue to treat it as an obstacle or a side issue, we will miss the Big Issue: which is the serious contestation of intellectual property rights upon which major digital players (from publishers to movie studios to hardware and software producers) depend upon but which the very technologies they purvey tend ever to erode. - edward.oneill edward.oneill Oct 28, 2014
  • Until scholars share their content and license it for sharing and reuse, it is difficult to see how students, adept in the ways of sharing digital media outside legal guidelines, will come to engage more powerfully with the legal and cultural issues at stake. - edward.oneill edward.oneill Oct 28, 2014
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(3) What do you see as the potential impact of this technology on higher education?

  • I have the impression that teachers are often not ready to share their content with others. Some institutions are pushing it forward with MOOCs, but we need also not massive courses that can be accessed and shared. One issue with open learning content is that it is usually updated every year (or semester). So if the content is floating in the web, users are not sure to use the latest edition. We need platforms that manage these versions and make available only the latest one.- rudolf.mumenthaler rudolf.mumenthaler Oct 27, 2014
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(4) Do you have or know of a project working in this area?

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