Wednesday, December 8, 2010

An Open Future for Higher Education

An Open future from Educause

In this article we look at what happens when a more open approach to learning is adopted at an institutional level. There has been a gradual increase in universities opening up the content that they provide to their learners. Drawing on the model of open-source software, where explicit permission to freely use and modify code has developed a software industry that rivals commercial approaches, a proposed "open content" license7 was matched by parallel decisions that releasing content for the good of others better matched educational aims than extracting commercial gain.8 The establishment of a funded program by The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation encouraged sharing educational content and helped establish a firm foundation for more open approaches. In 2002 the term open educational resources (OER) was proposed to mean:

The open provision of educational resources, enabled by information and communication technologies, for consultation, use and adaptation by a community of users for non commercial purposes.9

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