OER Beyond Voluntarism

Brian Jacobs, Ignatia Webs, Aug 29, 2014
Commentary by Stephen Downes

I don't think panOpen.com's Brian Jacobs gets the concept of OERs. here's what he writes in Inside Higher Ed: "A better way forward is to compensate the stakeholders -- faculty, copyright holders, and technologists, principally -- for their contributions to the OER ecosystem. This can be done by charging students nominally for the OER courses they take or as a modest institutional materials fee." The point of OERs is that you don't charge the students. Yes, the way forward is to compensate OER developers. But the way backward is to start charging end-users again (since they are typically the ones who can least afford it).

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