We will spend time with each group of readings according to your interests, moving more quickly through some sections and lingering in others. This list of readings will likely change – in some cases substantively – based on your interests. Consequently, specific reading assignments for the next class will be made at the end of each class. If you miss class you are responsible for connecting with me or a peer regarding upcoming readings so that you will be prepared for class.

Section I. Foundations

1. Education is Sharing – an Introduction to Intro to Open Education

2. Foundations of Intellectual Property and How Sharing Became Illegal

3. Creative Commons – Hacking the System to Make Sharing Legal (and Easy)

4. Open Educational Resources

5. OER and Social Justice

6. Sampling the Empirical Research on OER Adoption

7. Getting to Know Our Open Siblings


Section II. What OER Uniquely Enables

1. OER-Enabled Pedagogy, Open Pedagogy, and Open Educational Practices

2. Continuous Improvement and Empirical Instructional Design with OER


Section III. Additional Topics

1. Sustainability

2. Issues Relating to Cost Savings

  • People conflate free resources with OER because of the way many focus on issues of cost savings in their advocacy.
  • There are diminishing differences between OER and traditionally copyrighted materials in terms of price. It turns out publisher materials can be imminently affordable when they have to be.
  • “Savings” normally means “what you would have spent” (baseline spend) minus “what you did spend” (OER spend). Both of these figures are incredibly difficult to calculate.
  • The conversation regarding baseline spending is complicated by the differences between “what you would have spent” (understanding that this number is coming down as students skip acquiring required materials, download illegal copies, borrow from the library or roommates, etc.) and “what you would have needed to spend to acquire all your required materials” (including purchase new, purchasing used, rentals, etc.) in the discourse about savings. Which number should be the baseline?
  • The conversation about spending associated with OER is complicated by the way many advocates ignore the amount of money that students who are assigned OER spend on printed copies of OER and required homework systems assigned in conjunction with OER.
  • What Difference Does It Make?
  • Hill, P. (2018). Welcome Change: OpenStax using more accurate data on student textbook expenditures.
  • Thoughts on OER and Cost Savings

3. Definition Expansion

  • There are attempts to expand the definition of OER beyond copyright permissions to include concepts like “access” and “free.” (Access and free are consequences of the current definition rather than part of the definition.) (This conversation will include a detailed discussion of David’s previous bad behavior in this area.)
  • There are attempts to expand the definition of OER beyond creative artifacts to include everything in the universe (e.g., “I’m an OER”).
  • When is an OER an OER?
  • Schrodinger’s OER

4. OER and Courseware (and Learning Technology More Broadly)

  • As courseware incorporates OER, how do we talk about that courseware? Is it ever appropriate to use the word “open” in this context? If so, how?
  • As courseware incorporates OER, how do we talk about the openly licensed materials inside the courseware? (Some definition expansionists would say that, while it is still openly licensed, it is no longer OER.)
  • What will the long-term impact on the OER movement be if advocates continue to put scare quotes around the phrase “value-added services”? What will the long-term impact on the OER movement be if advocates continue to lobby for no-cost solutions (e.g., a PDF) over solutions that have a cost but might more effectively support learning (e.g., one that provides infinite practice with immediate feedback)?

5. Critical Approaches to Open Education

6. Open Policy