« Earning the right to preach | Main | Stop me if you think you've heard this one before »




Hi Martin.

Interesting stuff. I wonder if there is another which is increased flexibility or increased utility. This is implicit in a number of the others but seems most fitting to some of the stuff I've been involved with.

For example on data.open.ac.uk we publish stuff from around the OU as linked open data. All of the stuff we share in this way is made publicly available by the OU in other places but is in a format according to the databases/systems which serve specific applications/purposes (and the data is often therefore difficult to work with).

Anyway, course data such as http://data.open.ac.uk/page/course/t171 or http://data.open.ac.uk/page/course/mst121 presents info about the course as well as stuff form other datasets that is related to this course. This doesn't directly lead to increased reuse (since developers here and externally will muddle through with what they are given to some extent), but it does enable them to be more flexible in what they do.

Maybe it's just that our use case falls into Increased Reuse and Increased Experimentation.

Nice new theme on the blog btw ;-)


Thanks for the post - it allows the open argument to be more nuanced - you don't (have to) make any judgements on whether one type of open is 'better' or 'more valid' than another.

So true on the MOOCs example: 'what sort of MOOC do you want' (have you been hacking my emails :-))


Hello Martin,

Fred Mulder and I have also been thinking about openess in education. See our article in http://www.surf.nl/en/publicaties/Pages/TrendReportOER2013.aspx
I agree with you that the question is no longer 'do you want to be open?' but rather 'what sort of open do you want?> An d i would like to add: 'and to what extent?'.


Hi Stuart - I think I get what you're saying. And yes, that does apply, certainly to open standards, and so a lot of the educational standards that the IMS tried to implement. I'm trying to think how what you suggest applies in a less techy way, ie for the educator what does it mean? What would be the impact say in my MOOC example?

@Sukaina - yes, absolutely, I don't like the idea that there is one 'right' way to be open. And yes, didn't you know, having been an H817 student I now have access NSA-like to all your emails?

@Ben - hi, thanks for the link to that report, I've been reading it today, it's really good, well done. I think you're right also - there are degrees of openness in each of these motivations too, and to reiterate Sukaina's point, it's not that one of these is right.


Hi Martin. WRT to what does it mean to your MOOC - it means tools such that described in this post http://www.open.ac.uk/blogs/stellar/?p=158 (can't find the link to the tool ATM) can be built. The idea is that you paste in a bit of content which is representative of what your MOOC is about and you can get results from past OU course material that is about the same or similar things. You can then reuse or adapt these (rights permitting).

For an idea of how the STELLAR tool works you can try discou.info/alfa with any text (of more than a few words). It will return OU content under an open license that is about the same/similar stuff to the text you pasted in.


Hi Martin

A really useful set of classifications, thanks for that. In my new institutional role I'm finding that open is still a very unknown category. There are elements of understanding and use but not a common understanding, but equally there are elements of very strong resistance. Explaining different types of open and of course context of use, is going to be increasingly important for me over the coming months. I think I'll be pointing lots of people to this post.


The comments to this entry are closed.


  • www.flickr.com
    This is a Flickr badge showing public photos and videos from edtechie99. Make your own badge here.

Twitter Updates

    follow me on Twitter