“OpenupEd is the first, and, thus far, the only pan-European MOOC initiative. It was launched in April 2013 by EADTU, and communicated in collaboration with the European Commission (European Commission, 2013b). The 11 launch partners are based in eight EU countries (France, Italy, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain, and the UK), as well as in three countries outside the EU (Russia, Turkey, and Israel).

While OpenupEd emerged in Europe, its mission has a global relevance and scope, thereby widening the spectrum of diversity. We promote the creation of similar initiatives (‘OpenupEd alikes’) in other regions around the world. Together with UNESCO we are collaborating with our sister organisations in Africa and in Asia (see associate partner section)….”

Survey of the Academic Library Role in the Use of Open Access Textbooks and Other Open Access Educational Materials

“This seminal study presents data from 50 colleges and universities about their academic library policies in providing open access textbooks and other open access educational materials and in cultivating their use.  The study gives detailed data and commentary on current and planned efforts in areas such as textbooks, journals, periodicals other than journals, MOOCs, course packs, interactive tutorials and other areas of intellectual property.  The study also gives highly precise information on the compilation and presentation of links to educational resources on YouTube and Google Scholar, among other sources, and overall college and university and specific academic library efforts to develop open access educational materials.  It looks at efforts to provide support services and stipends to faculty, and to publicize the availability of open access educational materials to faculty.

 The survey respondents also report on the exact number of courses currently using open access textbooks and their plans and expectations for the future. In addition, the participants name colleges and universities that they view as open access role models, and give advice to their peers on how to approach the provision of open access educational materials, from textbooks to journals and other forms of intellectual property.

In addition, the study presents data on the role of academic libraries in providing commercial textbooks and the impact of open access on these efforts.  Data in the report is broken out by size, type and tuition level of the college or university and by other useful criteria….”

MOOCs as accelerators of social mobility? A systematic review

“Due to their perceived scope and openness to socially underprivileged groups, Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) have been presented as tools to enhance social mobility. However, there has also been evidence to suggest that MOOCs are mainly beneficial for privileged groups and could even contribute to an increasing gap in educational opportunities between privileged and underprivileged populations. This systematic review has evaluated 31 empirical studies to examine how MOOCs benefit the socially privileged in comparison to underprivileged groups. The literature has pointed out specific formal barriers that might make MOOCs less accessible for underprivileged learners. In addition, enrollment demographics displayed that the majority of MOOC learners is well educated, employed and from developed countries. Finally, the literature suggested that privileged learners could be more likely to complete a MOOC. Nevertheless, the literature indicated a notable share of underprivileged learners that would otherwise not enjoy higher education. Moreover, it is suggested that certain MOOCs might serve underprivileged learners more than other MOOCs. The implications of these findings and recommendations for future research will be discussed.”

U of California, Berkeley, to delete publicly available educational content

“The University of California, Berkeley, will cut off public access to tens of thousands of video lectures and podcasts in response to a U.S. Justice Department order that it make the educational content accessible to people with disabilities….”

GO-GN Global OER Graduate Network

“The Global OER Graduate network is a global network of PhD students involved in projects, policy development and implementation strategies on open educational resources (OER).  At the core of the network are doctoral students whose research projects include a focus on openness in education through, for example, OER, MOOC, open data, open licensing and open access publishing. Around these students is a network of experts, supervisors, mentors and interested parties. The aim of the GO-GN is to both raise the profile of OER research, and offer support for those conducting PhD research in this area.

In addition to publishing details of events, funding opportunities, publications and webinars, the site provides a space for members of the network to discuss research activities with peers and experts….”

This Mongolian Teenager Aced a MOOC. Now He Wants to Widen Their Impact. – The Chronicle of Higher Education

“Free online courses changed the life of one super-smart Mongolian teenager. His name is Battushig Myanganbayar, and four years ago, while he was still a high-school student in Ulan Bator, he took a massive open online course from MIT. It was one of the first they had ever offered, about circuits and electronics, and he was one of about a hundred and forty thousand people to take it. He not only passed, he was one of about three hundred who got a perfect score. He was only 15 years old.

He was hailed in The New York Times and other media outlets as a boy wonder, and soon he got accepted to the real MIT campus. It was a feel-good story that matched the hopeful narrative about MOOCs at the time. These free courses were touted as way to bring top education to underserved communities around the world. The New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman soon wrote that “Nothing has more potential to unlock a billion more brains to solve the world’s biggest problems.” This was the peak of the MOOC hype.

Today, Mr. Myanganbayar remains a fan of MOOCs, but he also has a critique of this knowledge giveaway, and he questions how much good it’s really doing for people in the developing world….”

Everywhere and Anytime, Here and Now: Digital and Residential Education at Harvard

“Since the founding of edX and HarvardX in 2012, Harvard has made substantial investments in online learning in order to advance three goals: [1] Expanding access to knowledge, [2] Improving teaching and learning on campus, [3] Advancing our understanding of how people learn. These goals reflect our mission as a research university: to create and disseminate knowledge and to educate talented students from around the world….”

Media Day at HarvardX | Higher Ed Beta | InsideHigherEd

“Held on July 21st, Media Day at HarvardX brought together local reporters, internal media, colleagues from edX and MITx, and others interested in, well, what was new….Kyle Courtney ended the short chats by talking about copyright, a subject I said at the start did seem the most sexy or compelling. And yet, Courtney explained that MOOCs and other forms of open online learning all owe their existence to “the deeply important principle of transformative use,” or the ability to use various copyrighted materials in the service of education. Moreover, MOOCs are pushing this principle to the extreme, as how else can an open online course on modern art or popular music be taught without the ability to use works by Picasso or The Beatles. Broadly, the trend of opening up classrooms to the world parallels the way scholarship is moving; Courtney talked about his other role as a key player in DASH, or Digital Access to Scholarship at Harvard, an effort that rivals the massive numbers associated with MOOCs, “with over 5.6 million free downloads of scholarly research articles authored by our faculty.”…”