Educational Development

So much open courseware

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There's no doubt about it, MIT's initiative in 2004 to make its learning resources freely available and call it open courseware has taken off. Now we have several other universities in the United States doing the same, several in Japan, China, Canada, South Africa, and this is just the few I know about. Check out what everyone else has been noticing. Open courseware makes a lot of sense on many fronts.

1. It meets the educational and research institutions social responsibility more readily and more globally.
2. It preserves the social role of the library, where password protected courses and their content is threatening the traditions of open access, open courseware is preserving the fact that anyone can walk in and at least look at books.
3. Its good marketing
4. It could integrate into the Institutions Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) when outside learners, having used the open courseware, make an approach for recognition of learning and eventual certification.
5. It helps the Institutions and their departments stay current, or high quality and relevant.

I have been watching the materials that become available open courseware and have been saving them into a resource list for each Department. If you're using and are interested in open courseware, we could combine our findings by using the same tag words...

I'm yet to find any open courseware iniatives coming out of Australia or New Zealand.

Wouldn't it be great, given Otago Polytechnic's current drive towards flexible learning (especially being a rather content and techno centric drive at the moment) if we could integrate that iniative with an Otago Polytechnic Open Courseware iniative.

Not only would we be internationally noticed and perhaps benchmarked for it, but we could quite possibly tap into developing study markets both locally and internationally. Australia, South East Asia, New Zealand and Pacific regions are showing signs of higher numbers of people willing to study overseas. Get these people started using easily accessable and reusable learning resources - stamped Otago Polytechnic and with assessment activities streamlined with our RPL processes, and we could see an increase in student enrolement or RPL processing without having to do too much more than we are doing already. Just do what we are doing anyway (getting courses online) and make their content open.

If this idea interests you, then come along to the workshop on finding and reusing digital resources on the 2nd Monday of every month - 12 - 1pm, H523. That's this Monday by the way.

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