OpenFiction [Blog]

Gates praises MIT OpenCourseWare

Posted in Uncategorized by scarsonmsm on April 21, 2010

At his talk today on MIT’s campus, Bill Gates discussed the impact OCW is having on both global education and his own personal education. He says he’s watched the lectures from 11 of our 33 courses with full video lecture recordings, and has his sights set on two more. He does a great job in just a few minutes of capturing both the promise and the challenges of open education at this point in the game. Full video of the event is available from MIT AMPS.


A great piece of documentation

Posted in Uncategorized by scarsonmsm on August 10, 2009

I’m really looking forward to reading this one.  This pulls together many of the early discussions around OER on the UNESCO forum, and is going to be a key reference for those wanting to understand how the field has developed.

As a side note, I ordered the print version, demonstrating how the economics of open publication can work (and also that I am still running Brain 1.0).

Cost per Course?

Posted in Uncategorized by scarsonmsm on February 13, 2009

Jared Stein has an interesting post rating the remixibility of various OER resources, a good read and a reminder of the barriers faced by someone wanting to create derivatives.  An important element not captured–no fault of his because it’s hard to get–is cost per course.  In other words, what does it take to produce a course that rates 3.0 on his scale as opposed to 5.0?  What is the difference in cost when starting from scratch as opposed to publishing existing content that is produced in multiple original formats?  What is the cost of updating a course once produced in a particular format?

Costs are important because they lead to trade-offs in the overall volume of materials published.  If you subscribe to the view that only one or two really killer versions of each course are needed then total volume is not as important, but if you are trying to publish materials from a broad spectrum of institutions and cultures, the cost of production is an immense barrier.