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TimestampIn the context of education and research, what do you think Open means?
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3/19/2013 10:22:01Make content, developments, ideas, available, accessible, re-usable, and therefore a collaborative exercise.
My (dull) view at this point.
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3/19/2013 10:46:53I used to think of "open" only in terms of access, as in open access publications--available for anyone to read, download, and distribute as they wish. I only thought of openness in terms of publications for a long time, probably because of my academic background and the emphasis on publishing one's work.

I have of late come to see that as a very limited view of openness--a start, perhaps, but only a small step. To be more "open" is to go beyond accessibility towards allowing work to be reworked, remixed, changed, added to, subtracted from, put into new contexts, etc. I think putting work into a format that allows it to be easily found and reworked too would help. I don't know exactly what that means yet, but just putting it on one's website isn't enough--few are going to find it there. Also, if it's in a format that makes it difficult for others to change, remix, etc. (due to the way some software works, e.g.), then that's not as open as it could be.

Also, restricting the sorts of contexts in which one can reuse/remix the work (say, CC-BY-NC) may be "less open" than, e.g., a CC-BY license or putting a work into the public domain. However, I am also sympathetic to the arguments about "copyleft" that restrict derivatives of a work to also being open in the sense of access, distribution, and creation of derivatives (e.g., http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/). It's possible to say that "copyleft" licenses are more open than, e.g., CC-BY because they preserve openness in future generations. I'm still undecided about all this, and need to think further about the ramifications of public domain vs. CC-BY vs. GNU vs. other options I don't even know about yet.

Regarding openness in terms of education: this is new territory for me, so here's some provisional ideas. Similar to openness in publication or posting of OER, it's not just about education in the sense of courses or degrees being accessible to all, without cost barriers. So, many MOOCs aren't really very "open," because they are so only in the sense of giving people access to courses. Rather, the above considerations come into play here too: ability to distribute, create derivatives, the degree to which derivatives & distribution are made easy/difficult due to technological or other issues, and allowing anyone and everyone to do with the materials what they will (with the above caveat about copyleft), would be relevant.

Finally, I think education might be more "open" if we stopped thinking about it mostly in terms of institutions and certifications and recognized the more informal learning that takes place constantly. Education is closed insofar as it's considered to be something one has to get in a certain way, from certain people in a certain institution or organization. And insofar as it's considered to require completion of a certain pre-planned set of exercises that is called a "course" (or sometimes a "subject"). It's not that that model has no place or value, but to think of education as mainly comprising such activities closes it off, in a sense, to the work that most people do every day.

Most of this, though, is just a rehash of the common discourse on these issues. I'm more interested in investigating the limitations of such discourse and considering what else "openness" might mean. Or possibly dumping it as a term because it's too vague, broad, complex, etc. I've got a lot of work to do on that.

P.S. I know pretty much nothing about open science or open data, and my knowledge of open source is so naive it's not worth writing about.
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3/19/2013 15:49:24Visible and public.
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3/19/2013 15:55:45The ability to use and share the work freely and without constraint provided you credit the author/source
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3/19/2013 16:40:34It's a buzz word to associate education with equal opportunity. It's a business angle.
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3/19/2013 16:44:56transparent
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3/19/2013 16:45:27"Open" means readily available to other researchers and students, without pay or undue hassle. "Open" can, however, imply an obligation that others who use your research do so under like conditions.
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3/19/2013 16:46:26Free, as in freedom of speech. With Open stuff, you can do pretty much what you like with it... the presumption is "YES! you can (with a small number of exceptions)" rather than traditional licensing saying "NO! you can't (with a small number of exceptions)"

I'd expect exceptions to include the need to redistribute under a compatible open licence, and a requirement to attribute. Everything else should be up for grabs.
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3/19/2013 16:50:29Open to access by the greater majority, as in not strictly limited by specific finance, resource, circumstance, or entry criteria .
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3/19/2013 16:53:40To me, open is as open as it can be. Open licensing, open source, open data, open research, open practice. It's about transparency. It's about sharing. It's about giving and receiving feedback. it's about collaboration and teamwork. It's about breaking down barriers to participation. From an idea's inception through its development to implementation and evaluation. It's about open doors, moving out of the shadows into the light. Open is a way of sharing, being, thinking and doing.
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3/19/2013 17:31:26Material/support accessible to everyone
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3/19/2013 17:56:29Open should mean free and universally accessible without the fear of plagiarism and the scourge of copyright.

It means collaboration, facilitation and discussion.

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3/19/2013 18:04:42That you should phrase the question this way is somewhat telling, because I think it hints at the way in which the word "Open" has become rather more of a word-as-signifier than a meaningful word. It's probably because everyone likes thing to be "open," which means that it's a useful rallying cry--but in the process it tends to obscure thinking about the actual systematic impact of what it identifies. (It's rather like "democratize," which is used by people on both the Left and Right to convince themselves that what they're proposing is a good idea without having to really think much about it.) I've certainly benefited from a variety of open-source entities, but the rhetorical branding of the word is troubling.
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3/19/2013 21:59:18As an educator, redefining what I do for a living. I'm no longer the gatekeeper of knowledge in my subject area...it's all out there in Open Resources which I now need to develop the skills to source, filter, mash up and deliver.
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3/19/2013 23:47:44Accessible and non-cost, without pre-requisites.
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3/20/2013 12:37:34An attitude where the naturally reflexive response is to share w.o friction not only materials created, but ideas and communications,a dedication to making use of and promoting the use of like things.
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3/20/2013 12:51:20freely and easily available, with clear information as to what and where it is
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3/20/2013 14:37:43If it is open it should be freely available to anyone to access and read at minimum, and ideally as soon as created. Applies to digitally held data - articles, data, databases, tools to searching and retrieval etc. Preferably no barriers such as log-ins, and certainly no barriers based on elite memberships. Should have rights of re-use where possible. Not everything can be open - or cannot be open immediately. Means of access and discoverability should be open and uncomplicated. Openness should be cumulative, a culture of using open information and contributing open information, whether a substantial piece of research, or comments and discussions about it.
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3/21/2013 1:00:17free, available to anyone with an internet connection. also, unrealistic.
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3/21/2013 13:48:44Not necessarily a quick answer though!
To me as an information professional its about freedom - results of research not being resricted/ kept secret/ hidden away behind barriers requiring payment or even membership of a subscription based group - (eg Facebook/ Twitter can seem to be closed to a great many people who do not wish to belong for reasons of the baggage/ information overload such membership can bring).
Its about information being accessible and transparency of decision processes.
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