An interview to the founder of OERU about the sustainability of a future Open Education across the world
The initiative has already 10 years but it seems that has only produced one graduation course. The expectations have fallen short, from my point of view, though the values and principles that ground it are to be praised.
In spite of the «close» aspect of elearning platforms and big consortia (Coursera, edX, etc), we can’t minimize the opportunity that has been given to many people around the world to join multiple learning experiences, in multiple knowledge areas, with a good quality standard. These MOOCs don’t aim to grant degrees as OERU wishes to do in a free and open way, to many students in developing countries who have no opportunity to enrol in universities, nontheless they have reached many people, across the world and are open to anyone.
As for the «logins», any space you create in any tool requires it, so what used to be an obstacle became mainstream and I don’t think it is a big issue any longer. As citizens we have to login to pay taxes and to many other institutional services. As professionals we have to login to our job platforms.
It’s true that once the courses of these big Consortia close you don’t have access to them, but you can always organize yourself, i.e. maintaining an e-portfolio, downloading resources or collecting them in other online tools that you can manage, writing reflections on the activities and discussions in your own blog. So, I suppose it’s not a big issue.
I agree that to leave the courses open has its advantage for the participants, but after a few months I suppose that only few participants will access them. There are new challenges and courses to engage and people move forward.
So, I think that the most important is to help people organize themselves to become autonomous and defend themselves of any sort of centralization or dependence (if that is possible).
The more MOOCs and learning initiatives you have at your disposal, the better. It’s up to oneself to choose.