Of OER and Free Riders

David Wiley, iterating toward openness, Jun 23, 2016
Commentary by Stephen Downes

David Annand writes, "Incentives need to discourage ‘free-riders’. Otherwise, a valid competitive strategy for institutions... would be to wait and merely use without cost the OER resources produced by others." Heather Ross asks, "Is the idea of 'free-riders' really a concern in OER?" David Wiley replies with an emphatic "no" and then, more usefully, takes Annand to task for his presumed model of OER production. "If our only model for creating the OER necessary to replace traditional textbooks is to spend $250k of government or philanthropic funding for each and every course offered at each and every university, there is literally no path from here to there. We need to enable and facilitate alternative development models if our vision of universal OER adoption is to become a reality. (It’s no secret that I believe that these future models must be significantly more distributed and stigmergic than current models.)" Quite so.

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