A defence of the OER movement: Any Which Way You Can

Tony Bates, e-learning & distance education resources, Mar 14, 2011
Commentary by Stephen Downes

Responding to a recent column by Tony Bates (my summary is here), Rory McGreal launches a defense of open educational resources against the 'ugly' allegations with what I think is the most important argument: "I would argue that this Third rate education is a thousand times better than no education." Perhaps most people need excellent instructional design in order to learn, but a minority doesn't. "Now, with OER, this minority of learners can learn – try to stop them. This hopefully will build a small cadre of knowledgeable people in developing world communities that can help others who are less able." Thus, "So, OER do not NEED to be properly designed as Tony contends. It would be great if they were, but I doubt if we could get instructional designers to all agree on what that would be." I'm on McGreal's side here.
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