[Open-education] Is there still an OER movement?

Mick FM mick at flossmanuals.net
Fri Aug 22 12:50:30 UTC 2014

On 22/08/14 13:20, Pat Lockley wrote:
> > It feels that there's is a big disconnection between innovative /
> trendy areas of open education and the coal-face work of outreach and
> implementation. I guess that's the conclusion of the article above.
> I'd be interested to know more about projects working to address this. 
> I feel there is a real problem with statements like this though. 
> Are innovative / trendy areas not also implementation? Are they not
> "coalface" enough? Seems the use of coalface suggests a criticism that
> other work isn't proper work?
> If the argument is, a lot of academia tends to theory and not praxis,
> that's true in almost all parts of it. OER research will be no
> different. Inevitably as research tends to need to be new to be
> published or funded, academia will inherently move on to new areas,
> MOOCs being one. OER research, where funded is obvious to meet certain
> funding aims or goals, so the area in which that work is applied may
> not give time or scope for engaging and outreach.

I hear what you are saying. That sentence about the coalface does seem a
bit 'chippy' when I read it back. But, in fairness, I think the work you
are doing is in danger of giving MOOCs a good name. My understanding is
that you are making those links back to the advances made by OER.

I guess this chippyness serves to show that there are different
interests and strands at play here.

I tweeted Soenke at xm-labs to get his input as he really made me think
about this issue when we were doing the Open Video workbook sprint. 
He came back with a couple of tweets.

"tough one, as different (and contradictory) political strands exist
w/in oer, some of them linked to social movement agendas"

& "pol import of oer in rel to the agendas its serves - economic /
environmental justice (right to know etc), tax justice etc"

I guess a lot of us are familiar with tensions between activists and
academics in many circles.

But maybe this is getting to the heart of the issue here. Maybe
something becomes a movement when there ARE different strands and
agendas that end up pulling in the same direction. Differences are put
aside and things start to get a bit difficult, complex but also
interesting with lots of synergies.

I agree with you and Lorna, that this is still happening but that it
seems to be moving on. As you say that's in the nature of academia, but
I feel a frustration about it that I think goes beyond activist
chippyness but I'm struggling to explain why I think it's valid.

Thanks for your thoughts,


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