Green, Gold, White

So in the great dictionary battle over what open means, many see MOOCs as being disruptive innovation or some such not only to lecture theatre bricks and mortar but then also to OERs and the general concept of openness. Openess measured as some fraction of ajar and not instead as in permissive or flexible. MOOCs as a what the butler saw peephole show as to the ankles of Harvard wealth and stature do not make for openness, just enough to tempt you whilst simultaneously reminding you of how far away it is. Somewhat paradoxical.

What if it isn’t OER that are being squished my the MOOC steamroller, what if it’s Open Access. Consider this as a comparison – is there a Uni which has hosted it’s own xMOOC? Several cMOOCs are University-affiliated, but the big numbers seem to gravitate towards the larger externally hosted platforms. So the “green” option of self-hosting is being ignored – it would appear completely – instead for centralised hosting systems – something slightly more “gold”. So people aren’t paying for this “gold” option, but I would assume that material and budgets are made available for this process – so while it is isn’t pay to be publised, it is definitely pay to play. Without a significant budget (Duke offers 10,000 per course), most of the xMOOC courses would only be a repurposing of existing materials. If this did happen however, then might it be possible to instead allow access to existing courses using LMS / VLE settings. You could also, in theory, repurpose all your teaching content into an “open” form anyways in several different approaches. Multiplatform repurposing would seem more “green” – in contrast to the fact few xMOOCs have as of yet gone cross platform.

This “gold” approach also ties into the people creating MOOCs. Future Learn and Coursera both have Universities drawn from “the world’s best” – much like the Universities the gold standard seems to prefer. The gold standard also uses a non-academic corporate provider as the platform for distribution, whereas “green” is more of a University Press idea.

Which leads on to “white” – the brandless, rare MOOC tied to no institution at all – a space anyone can use. Taking say – the “openness” element of the MOOC definition – would this not be more apt?