OERs and MOOCs: untangling "open"



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University of Cape Town. OpenUCT

University of Cape Town

During Open Education Week, we at UCT were not the only ones taking the opportunity to discuss the differences and overlaps between MOOCs and OERs. Using a matrix I have previously showed the open content, online learning and MOOCs in terms of a range of dimensions including access, licensing etc. In our talk on OERs and MOOCs my colleague Cheryl Hodgkinson-Williams and I focused on bringing together the idea of degrees of openness as well as the continuum of formal-informal along which MOOCs lie as a type of online learning. The discussion hinges on what is understood by openness. In the MOOC world, open means free access to join a course without any required educational or competence requirements. In a paper under review, we (colleagues Andrew Deacon, Janet Small, Sukaina Walji) have described the course provision landscape in terms of curriculum integration, and have suggested that MOOCs are in the online semi-formal to non-formal space, as illustrated here.