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The Open Course: Through the Open Door--Open Courses as Research, Learning, and Engagement


EDUCAUSE Review Volume 45, Number 4, ISSN 1527-6619


Over the last decade, as educators have increasingly experimented with social technologies and interactive pedagogies, the concept of a "course" has been significantly challenged. In particular, questions have arisen as to the key value of the course in the educational system. The numerous high-profile open courseware initiatives from elite universities suggest that content itself is not a sufficient value point on which to build the future of higher education. Indeed, the creators of the OpenCourseWare (OCW) initiative at MIT began with the realization that they were "not going to try to make money" from their content. The actions of institutions like MIT suggest that the true benefit of the academy is the interaction, the access to the debate, to the negotiation of knowledge--not to the stale cataloging of content. Although the open course builds on a long tradition of opening up the academy through lectures, learning via television, and public forums, it is relatively new in the online form. Online open courses challenge a number of assumptions about the idea of the course and can give educators--be they faculty members, trainers, or teachers--new insights into their fields as well as make the teaching process more rewarding. Online open courses can leverage communications technologies and open the door to learners to fully engage with the academic process. (Contains 9 notes.)


Cormier, D. & Siemens, G. (2010). The Open Course: Through the Open Door--Open Courses as Research, Learning, and Engagement. EDUCAUSE Review, 45(4), 30-32. Retrieved June 24, 2019 from .

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