« Build it and they might come | Main | Pity the austerity natives »




Hi Martin

Another great post -really looking forward to the book now! I'm struggling a bit with the whole "open" thang just now. I sometimes feel a bit like I'm a character from Back to the Future or Dr Who or anyone who can time travel. I've come from the "the battle for open has been won" utopia of futurologists and the who's who of learning technology into an institutional context, where apart from a few solitary voices, no-one really gives stuff about open. It's just not on people's radar. They are in the classic way just to busy doing their day job to even think about it. So I think in my context I do need some (internal) politics to kick in. We are starting to do some "stuff" like develop an institutional policy on OER which is great and all that, but for anything to really get traction we are going to have play a political game. Anyway you have got me thinking so I will try and articulate this more on my own blog at somepoint too.


I am very much looking forward to this book, too - and the above excerpt is a valuable and fascinating contribution. I have commented on your 'conversation' with Stephen Downes and won't rehearse my argument here, but I would like to add a small 'codicil' to your testament of openness.
When I joined the OU in 1978, I knew very little about it. At the time, it was visible mainly on BBC TV and radio, and in the film Educating Rita, which probably gave misleading impressions of the OU. When I left the University, 33 years later, I felt that we had determined a kind of model of open that had never existed before, and it is just as you have described, Martin.
But I would add that the element of openness that I found exciting, and still do, is the collaborative transparency of the OU and its professional staff. Working in teams to create courses, openly sharing drafts, bringing in eminent external consultants to assess and evaluate the material before course presentation, sharing of learning objectives and assignment feedback with students, and so on... All this contributed to the outstanding quality of OU materials and the remarkable support provide for students who are mostly time-poor, remote learners.
This collaborative transparency has helped to raise the bar for university teaching, such that other universities are often heard to be remarkably defensive about the supposed advantages of traditional, face-to-face education.


I'm not sure why my comment above hasn't revealed my name but, in case you didn't guess, this is me, Dominic Newbould!

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