I’ve been thinking lately about the intersections and interdependency between OER and open learning.
Just after my last post, some unrelated conversations bubbled up in the interwebs, including one in which David Wiley asserted that “‘Open pedagogy’ is the set of pedagogical practices only possible to engage in when course content is openly licensed.”
I don’t really agree with that. Yes, I think open licensing encourages open learning. Yes, I believe that OER is a gateway to open learning. But I don’t think it’s necessary.
I’ve seen perfectly lovely open learning taking place with traditionally copyrighted materials (like most of the Internet). And conversely, I’ve seen some pretty traditional, direct instruction, closed learning happening with open licensed content.
While ideally I’d love to see OER and open learning existing together in perfect harmony, if I had to pick one or other, I think open learning is more important.
After thinking about this throughout the week, at Hewlett’s OER grantee meeting last week, Hewlett’s Barbara Chow made a statement to the effect that OER is not a product; it’s a way of teaching and learning. (I’m still looking for this slide to get the exact quote. They don’t seem to have been posted. Does anyone have this?)
I then saw that the esteemed OpenCourseWare Consortium has been renamed the Open Education Consortium.
Maybe the OER movement is moving on to a new stage.