More on MOOCs and Being Awesome Instead

David Wiley, BC Campus, May 24, 2013
Commentary by Stephen Downes

David Wiley clarifies, and his points are worth lingering on.

  • "Some readers may have gotten the impression that I was saying it was ok to 'Be Awesome Instead' of being open. That was absolutely not the point I was making. Being open – truly open – is absolutely critical..." Quite so.
  • And I am really really of the same mind as Wiley when he writes this: "For a number of years I have felt that the overwhelming majority of educational researchers are focused on the 'high quality' problem, to the virtual exclusion of the 'universal' and 'free' problem from the discourse." From my perspective, talk of 'quality' has become a useful red herring for those really wanting resources to be not open and not free. That's not to say I oppose quality (and neither does Wiley). But if it must be perfect before it is free, then it will never be free.
  • "The only way to accomplish the amount of personalization necessary to achieve high quality at scale is to enable decentralized personalization to be performed locally by peers, teachers, parents, and others." Once again, I'm completely agreed. This is what I was trying to urge at OECD (not that they listened).

My only quibble is with his insistence on "free 4Rs permissions" - which includes allowing commercialization of free resources. Given what he has just said about opoen access, and about there being "no rights and royalties regime under which this personalization could possibly happen" I just can't see requiring allowing commercial use. Somewhere someone is going to have to say, "if you throw up a paywall, it's not open access, and you've broken the agreement."

Do you doubt me? If I blocked access to this website and started charging a subscription fee for OLDaily, would you consider it consisten with my long-time committment to free and open access? No? Then why would it be consistent with free and open access if someone else did it to my stuff?

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