Previously I have come across to the concept of openness in relation to open science and open access. It was nice to see, how similar kind of thoughts were evoked. In relation to open access publishing, I had previously come across also the creative commons licenses that I at the time found quite difficult. Therefore, I very much enjoyed the video material provided to us about cc-licenses (Creative Commons Aotearoa New Zealand). I wish I had had this when I was first submitting my open access article. I still haven’t produced that much teaching material apart from a few sets of lecture slides, but I think that CC-licensing would be a great option for sharing the materials more broadly if needed.
When it comes to openness itself, I do think it is valuable. However, put into the educational context, our PBL group had a great discussion on how out institutions may limit our possibilities to produce open material. And I do understand the institutional point of view as well, institution may not want to pay and give resources for work that does not benefit them (i.e. produce graduates). However, on an individual level, teachers may not have enough time to produce well thought online materials as the pedagogical underpinnings do vary quite a bit between traditional face-to-face course, “small group” online course and a MOOC for instance (see also Tieteentekijät, 2020). So a change towards a more open education requires multi-level actions already because of resources. In Finland a large amount of University funding comes from the state and the amount of funding receives depends on a set of criteria, for instance how many degrees the university produces, how many publications and in which journals, you get extra funding also from open access publications. However, I am not sure but my gut feeling is that at the moment the universities do not get funding from MOOCS so that it would be profitable. I do think that making profit is not the core mission of a university but as there have been cuts in university funding, it leaves less resources to be used for actions that do not bring profit. This is naturally unfortunate.
Creative Commons Aotearoa New Zealand (2011). Creative Commons licences explained. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ZvJGV6YF6Y
Tieteentekijät. (2020). Avoimia oppimateriaaleja järkevästi resursoiden ja tekijänoikeuksia kunnioittaen [Open learning materials, reasonable resources and respecting copyright]. Available at : https://tieteentekijat.fi/avoimia-oppimateriaalia-jarkevasti-resursoiden-ja-tekijanoikeuksia-kunnioittaen/
3 responses to “Topic 2”
Very interesting to read your reflections on the financing of open education! It made me google around a bit to see if there’s information on this topic at universities that are familiar to me, and I came across a very interesting example: https://www.wur.nl/en/education-programmes/moocs/join-the-mooc-challenge.htm.
They stimulate their students to compete to get to create a MOOC! Very pedagogical in a way, especially since it seems highly supervised by teachers. But also an interesting way to increase the number of MOOCs produced in the name of this university. Wish I had seen this before finishing the topic, it would have been interesting to discuss whether universities should open up the educator role, too!
Thank you for the google inspiration and looking forward to read more of your reflections!
I totally agree with you. As funding works now, even in Sweden, universities unfortunately don’t get paid for creating open content per se. Here departments get paid depending on how many students are completing the course and take their degree. This system is a big disadvantage both for smaller, maybe more “exotic” subjects some people start studying because they seem interesting and then they realize that maybe in order to learn Polish you need to put in a lot of work, so they drop out again. But also for any teaching activity not directly connected with registered students in actual courses. Many universities did create MOOC:s when they became fashionable, but I guess that there maybe was some special project funding back there. In Sweden there is also something previously called the third task – the first two being education and research. The third is collaboration with society and sharing of research results with a broader public. Maybe open educational resources could be part of both education and collaboration?
Legislation always seem to lag with technology, and it hinders this development. Trying to visualize how the funding should work, as the impact of a University spreading its knowledge for free comes back to the society in a better trained and more productive workforce, but there is quiet a delay and it gets unclear as to how much each MOOC has contributed to that specific person, and how to guarantee the quality control, which happens now via exams and certifications. Funding per credit delivered, as in per person enrolled in the course, and per person who finished a course? What else?