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I have noticed that when I talk about Open Educational Resources (OER),  some people respond by saying they know about MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses).

I am not sure why this confusion persists. It seems to me that they are completely different things.

OER are to do with learning material, the content. MOOCs, on the other hand, are courses and a new model of teaching on-line to a wider audience. So, the question is where the confusion arises from? Probably the answer is in the word “OPEN”, which is there in both the terms.

In OER, the word ‘Open’ refers to the ‘content’ of the course or ‘learning material’. The author allows you to reuse, revise, remix and redistribute the content. Further, the OER content is open to the extent that you are free to do some ot more of these without paying any fee or any royalties.

On the other hand, the word “Open” in MOOC means that the Course is open to any one i.e. any one can take the course online. It does not say anything about the content of the course that may or may not be have an open license.


What do you think?


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Both terms are new to most

Both terms are new to most who are in positions to teach, and they have many demands. The important answer for you to share with them should be part of a larger picture that orients them to the pros/cons and best practices of each. Neither by label alone means much in terms of value

Yes Alan Gojdics absolutely i

Yes Alan Gojdics, I absolutely agree with you that educators need to be made aware of both the terms from the prospective of pros/cons. In my conversations with many educators around the globe, I found that the confusion is due to the term 'Open' which I am trying to highlight here.

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