more on open education

Seb Schmoller has written a post discussing a call to action for creating the university of the future. It came out of a meeting held last month on the topic and it has five key points including:

We must enable a culture of sharing. Recognizing that the sharing and reuse of scholarly work is a key component of the university of the future, we advocate building a culture of sharing in which concerns about intellectual property, copyright, and student-to-student collaboration are alleviated and the model of proprietary work dissolves in favor of a more open one. To this end, we must establish reward structures that support the sharing of work in progress, ongoing research, highly collaborative projects, and scholarly publications of all kinds, including reputation systems, peer review processes, and new models for citation of such content. We must empower students to share knowledge with one another in ways that are viewed as collaboration rather than cheating. Assessment models must change to support these practices. Ultimately, we see a culture of sharing as a crucial piece of the infrastructure of a scalable educational system that can support the millions of learners who will participate in it.

It’s part of a larger document (pdf version) which identifies the five points out of the more than 50 action points that were identified at the conference. In light of my talk last week on open education, I thought it was interesting to see more on the topic.

The issue of openness in higher education is an interesting one. I definitely think that if educators view their primary job as shifting information into the heads of students then they are effectively already out of a job. There are plenty of other ways to transfer information that are cheaper and probably more effective than lectures. To me, open access to information is a central part of developing a higher education strategy. And the actions that we have to focus on are aggregating, filtering and connecting. Randy Bass includes some suggestions of how this might work in his keynote talk at UQ’s Teaching and Learning Week.

Finally, here’s Larry Lessig’s keynote address at last week’s Educause conference, which addresses many of the same issues:

Lessig is always worth listening to, and this is a good talk. Essential for anyone interested in the future of education.

Student and teacher of innovation - University of Queensland Business School - links to academic papers, twitter, and so on can be found here.