[Open-education] In education, does it matter "how open"?

Werner Westermann wernerwestermannj at gmail.com
Mon Feb 22 22:01:07 UTC 2016

Dear Open collegues, regards from Santiago, Chile.

As we wrap up one of the research studies from the ROER4D project (
http://roer4d.org/sp-9-oer-use-in-first-year-mathematics), we compared two
different OER with different "levels" or "degrees" of Openness mandated by
different open licenses (CC-BY-NC-SA vs CC-BY).  Results brought up that
the less-open resource had more effectiveness (we compared grades in
control group) than the more open resource.  Surely, there's many factors
of context that can explain these results.

But there is growing agreement that "more-open" licensing maximizes the
flexibility and the potential of openness, many claim that CC-BY should be
a default, not only for just public funded resources.  There's also
evidence that today there's much "more-openly" licensed OER than in the

   - Should we take a stand for more open licenses in education?
   - Should we expect that a more open resource could/should have a further
   effect/impact on learning outcomes? if some, which?
   - What is the potential of openness expected in education?

Inside ROER4D it has been a topic of discussion, as we try to identify
those aspects of openness that can lead to contribute to education as a
pivotal condition for development (
The only previous research that has uptaken this "level" of openness
dimension comes from Kimmons (
http://www.irrodl.org/index.php/irrodl/article/view/2341/3405) that
compared the quality of open textbooks as is and open/adapted textbooks,
and the "more-open" did have better evaluation from K-12 teachers.

As OER break through in maintstream and the pedagogical/didactic aspects
(practices) come to be tangled up with resources, as well as
policy-decission makers/stakeholders consider openness, we feel this will
be a topic of concern, not only from the academic mindset, but for
policy/advocacy as well. A recent post can give excelent elements for

Your thoughts, wanderings, gut-feelings on this?  Appreciate your time,

Werner Westermann
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