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You think "open" has won, Martin? Open is just a fashionable marketing term. A Coursera MOOC is just free at the point of use, there's nothing "open" about it at all.

Gold OA is just another way for publishers to get money from universities for doing bugger all.

Gartner was right, we've got a lot more work to do. The really big stuff (http://followersoftheapocalyp.se/cor-baby-thats-really-free/)


That's my point David - this is what winning looks like. It never turns out how you envisaged it. It's always messier and a bit unsatisfactory. But it's still won. Coursera feels open to many people who study courses they enjoy for free. That's more open than it was. And of course now we're in the refinement stage. It wasn't the openness we thought it might be, but it's still the victor across so many aspects.


It's hard to declare a victory at the moment. Maybe a few key battles have been won. But the rate at which schools are announcing they've bought iPads (or worse, declaring parents must buy them for their children) suggests a new and more expensive era of closed, not increased openness.


I very much agree that things rarely turn out as you imagined it will. I agree with what david and "putt1ck" say that openness hasn't won everywhere but I'd also say that 10 or even 5 years ago it would have looked like most content would end up behind £ paywalls. I still think it's a victory that it isn't: it wasn't obvious that attention paywalls would take the place of £ paywalls.

I made an unsuccesful attempt to say something similar in these slides in sep 2012 http://www.slideshare.net/JISC/altc-openness-idealsmeetreality

key messages i stand by:
Polarisation often masks the real questions. There is often a dialectic around open and free. Often it’s not just one model that comes to dominate.
Sometimes when mainstreaming happenswe don’t recognise it.

but perhaps I missed a point here:
I said "Change can take a lot longer than we hope" but sometimes the ground shifts very VERY quickly.

Whether MOOCs do what the hype says is a different question, I think Martin's point here is about how our discourse changes.

The notion of openness that is becoming mainstream is not the pure version that triggered the disruption: it is diluted and morphed. Today's mainstream concept of openness as it relates to MOOCs is the "£free" concept. And I personally still think £ matters, so I choose to call that progress.


I agree that the debate will become more nuanced but not by more either/or arguments - the nuance will be in the how not the whether. For example, to use the example from @dkernohan 's comment above. (BTW Gold OA doesn't have to be as he describes - see our excellent work at RiLT http://www.researchinlearningtechnology.net/index.php/rlt/article/view/17163/html). But where it is, it could damage the 'openness' not at the point of consumption but at the point of creation where those not funded can't be published for reasons of finance not quality. It could also damage the power relations of author attribution

I also agree with what @ambrouk says about MOOCs and hype. The argument seems to be about the name and not how the practice of doing MOOC-like things - which let's face it happened long before MOOCs were around.


This is just a wonderful example of the "Wars on story", see: http://winningthestorywars.com

We have all the necessary ingredients: Good (OER, Open Access, "true" MOOC), villain (publishing industry, Coursera, Udacity), morals: education is a fundamental right and must thus be free for everybody, and the story.


In many HE Institutions the discussion has not even started yet.

In schools, things are still peaceful in middle earth, the war or even mild debate is still a long way off .

Still very much in the thrall of commercial interests but they don't know it.

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