Friday, September 14, 2012

OpenEd Evangelist - The Reaction


With the course almost over, I decided to undertake the OpenEd Evangelism badge.

The requirements for the OpenEd Evangelist badge are:


OpenEd Evangelist (Journeyman level, complete for 1 topic to earn the badge)

  • Construct an argument by which you could persuade someone to adopt the topic as an ongoing practice. Your argument should include at least five elements (kinds of evidence), with references.Write a blog post describing your argument in detail. 
  • Have a conversation with a faculty member in which you use your argument to try to persuade them to adopt the topic as an ongoing practice. 
  • Without revealing his or her identity, write a blog post describing your conversation and the reactions, responses, counterarguments, and concerns of the faculty member and announcing your intent to have completed the badge.

Here are the reactions I got from a fellow colleague (on the previous Formulation post):

I must admit that my formulation wasn't completely new to #ioe12 - I have been thinking about Open for a while now (and advocating on and off for openness in education). What #ioe12 gave me was a few more tools to argue my point ;-)

So, a while back (3 or so months ago), I was having a conversation with one of my colleagues (let's call this person Mike; Mike sounds like a generic enough name, right?).  For the past year now, I've been telling Mike that we ought to be more open as a department. At the very least we should have our syllabi be Open so that our students (and our potential students) can see exactly what our courses entail (from the 10,000 foot view that the syllabus gives you anyway).  This way students would have more information when meeting with their advisors about courses that they would like to take, and it puts them even more into the driver's seat.  Then, depending on how comfortable the faculty felt, we could work with our University's OCW team to put our materials up, or heck even offer our own MOOCs! I would be up for that! I find it very exciting to apply instructional design and educational theory in the design of a MOOC!  Think of the possibilities.

All the while, I saw Mike bob his head, listening attentively and not really putting out any arguments against open.  Then it came... "what about copyright?" Mike asked?  "Aren't you exposing yourself? Can't someone take your hard work and pass it off as their own and benefit from it?"  Good points, Mike!  All this time, I had completely forgotten to mention that I license my work under a Creative Commons NC-SA-BY license.  I explained to Mike, that sure, som unscrupulous person could indeed take my work and pass it off as theirs and try to get some benefit from it; however being open means two things (well, at least two).

First, by posting to the internet, I am establishing prior art, meaning that even if someone were to try to claim copyright on my work, I could dispute such claims under prior art. The second thing, because I give people the right to have my work for free, and the ability to remix it, I have the right to ask for them to share-alike, meaning that the discipline (and I being part of the discipline) benefits from such creative remixing and re-sharing.  So my course and my students could benefit from people that modify and potentially improve upon my work.

Also, even if I had restrictive copyright on my work, if someone wanted to "steal" my work they could do so anyway. Copyright isn't a magic bullet, and even though I have my work open, I still retain copyright.  I saw Mike's head nodding pensively again. No rebuttals. I guess  I gave Mike something to think about :-)


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