I work at the Open University in the UK, and it’s mission is to be open to people, places, methods and ideas. When it was founded in 1969 this meant reaching out to people who were excluded from traditional higher ed, using methods such as TV and print, and local tutorials.
We really got lucky with our name! We could have gone for something like ‘the university of the airwaves’ (I think there is a chinese distance ed university with that name) and that would have dated. In contrast the term open seems to have become more significant in education as time has gone on. If I were starting a new unversity now, and I wanted to be radical and cutting edge, then I could think of no better name than the Open University
While those original aims are still appropriate ‘open’ has a whole host of other meanings in education now. The OU is trying to embrace many of these changing definitions, but here are some.
I’ll talk a bit about openlearn – this was funded by the Hewlett Foundation and our aim was to give away course material. Whereas with MIT a lot of the content they give away doesn’t make much sense outside of the lectures, oru course material is designed to be studied by an individual at a distance, so it was a riskier proposition.
21% is rest of the wolrd – so it’s not just UK and US
But even then we realised open education isn’t just about content, it’s about a whole different approach to education
Can show all these
Painting the dinosaur – you don’t really change what you do, and it’s just a side project, and you carry on as before
Openness at the OU
By mag3737 http://www.flickr.com/photos/mag3737/1914076277/
Professor of Educational Technology
Who am I?
The Open University is open to people, places,
methods and ideas.
We got lucky!
By psd http://www.flickr.com/photos/psd/3717444865/
If you were starting an OU now…
• Open source
• Open educational resources
• Open teaching/courses
• Open research
• Open technology
What OERs used to look like