Amusing because who can really say what a University “feels”? Nah. It really shows how thin the understanding is of an open course, in the assumption that the experience of the open participants is the same as the one that students are paying tuition for — a “course is a course of course of course” to misquote Mr Ed.
Yeah, why should some people get for FREE what others are paying for?
Opening your stuff pays back in the long run. That was my lesson first learned in 1994, when I realized a set of tutorials on web page creation I was putting online as a workshop for my local participants, could be useful to other people elsewhere– at no extra effort on my part. An dover the years, people who came across this stuff would contribute back, via suggestions for improvements, translations into other languages– all that pay it forward stuff worked its way back.
In many of the established MOOCs (is it really so? traditional MOOCs?) they seem to try and create a similar experience for all students, with the exception that registered students go through a process of assessment or credit granting.
In ds106, on the other hand, the open part really is not the same, and those who take the open/free route really do not get the full experience of the on the ground students. Outside of a few rabid partcipants (prsent company counted) most of the “free riders” do selective bits of the experience. They dip in and out. They do not absorb anything from the home base beyond a few bits of web page data transmitted.
The on the ground registered students get a lot of extra attention, guidance, mentoring from people like Jim Groom, Martha Burtis, Michael Branson-Smith, Scott Lockman — plus a close community of peers doing the same. The additions of the open participants add even more to the experience, and in fact, the question should be turned around to look at the value of getting free tutoring, advice, suggestions from people not even being paid to help with the class. How about that?
If the “University” were to look closely, they would find the open course a net gain in a richer experience rather then some penny pinching loss of tuition dollars.
It’s not the model for every course, but it’s time to open minds that the students we are ushering through our institutions ought to be prepared for living, working, co-creating in an openly networked world, not a closed box. We ought to be giving them more of these connective experiences.
It is however, difficult point for those who have not had a taste of the experience. But it seems time to be thinking a lot more opening about when we mean by a “course”.
I am curious to hear how Mikhail and Michael answered the question….
The Open Courses / Open Minds by CogDogBlog, unless otherwise expressly stated, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.