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Summary of Christine Geith's post who wrote about how OER may be shaping the future of a new type of university.

“Can OER Really Impact Higher Education and Human Development?,” the nineteenth installment of the Impact of Open Source Software Series, was posted on February 1, 2008, by Christine Geith. Christine currently serves as an assistant provost and executive director of Michigan State University’s MSUglobal , which is the university’s entrepreneurial business unit that works with academic partners across the campus and worldwide to develop online institutes, programs, and services. She is currently leading discussion around OER at her home institution. Thanks Christine for a great posting!

In her posting Christine posed a number of questions about the purpose and potential impact of OER. She sets-up her posting by posing some questions, which she later follows with some additional questions and links to resources. The lead for the posting is:

Open Educational Resources (OER) are rapidly growing and taking shape. What might it mean for higher education? The movement holds promise for opening up access and improving the quality of higher education around the world. It could even create new types of universities.

Christine then points to the promises of online learning in the 1990’s, asking if we haven’t heard this before (hype)? That something on the horizon – online learning in the 90s – OER currently - provide the promise of access and quality. She then asks if OER can live up to its promise – citing examples of models intended to leverage the existence and creation of quality OERs to enhance access. Finally, Christine asks, “What is the problem we’re trying to solve?” and follows the question with examples of blending formal and informal learning experiences. She concludes with a call for creative solutions and models to leverage the potential for online learning and OER to reduce the education access gap, while also pointing to the potential of formal as well as informal learning


There were a number of comments that range across a fairly wide range of topics, which included:

  • Educational models that separate materials development and instructional capacity leveraging OER.
  • The roles of technology in open education.
  • Prior learning, OER, and vocational competency standards.
  • Can OER impact Higher Education?
  • Can OER change the nature or structure of higher ed institutions in general?
  • Can OER impact Human Development?
  • Impact of localization, reuse, and re-release.
  • General disappointment and confusion over the real impact and role of OER in educational programming and human development.
  • Confusion of the nature and substance of a “community” of OER practitioners and users.
  • Notions about general direction, descried as establishing base-line commitments that serve as a “magnetic north.”

Thanks again to Christine for her interesting and insightful post and responses. I also want to extend a big thank you to Steve Foerster, “sehrmann,” Leigh Blackall, “prawstho,” “jsener,” and “Femina” for making this a great exchange, and other folks who have been reading along. The schedule of guest authors for the next 5 moths is great. On March 1st, Amee Godwin of OER Commons will be posting, which will be fantastic. The schedule for the series can be found on WikiEducator .

Please feel free to continue this dialog!!

Comments on Summary

1. christine geith - february 28th, 2008 at 7:09 am

Ken, thanks for the opportunity to explore these issues on Terra Incognita. Everyone’s comments have been thought-provoking and useful for evolving the issues even further. Thank you for facilitating an open, and active, community.

  • Chris

2. ken udas - february 29th, 2008 at 1:19 pm

Chris, thank you for a great post!!

Questions & Answers

where we get a research paper on Nano chemistry....?
Maira Reply
what are the products of Nano chemistry?
Maira Reply
There are lots of products of nano chemistry... Like nano coatings.....carbon fiber.. And lots of others..
Even nanotechnology is pretty much all about chemistry... Its the chemistry on quantum or atomic level
no nanotechnology is also a part of physics and maths it requires angle formulas and some pressure regarding concepts
Preparation and Applications of Nanomaterial for Drug Delivery
Hafiz Reply
Application of nanotechnology in medicine
what is variations in raman spectra for nanomaterials
Jyoti Reply
I only see partial conversation and what's the question here!
Crow Reply
what about nanotechnology for water purification
RAW Reply
please someone correct me if I'm wrong but I think one can use nanoparticles, specially silver nanoparticles for water treatment.
yes that's correct
I think
Nasa has use it in the 60's, copper as water purification in the moon travel.
nanocopper obvius
what is the stm
Brian Reply
is there industrial application of fullrenes. What is the method to prepare fullrene on large scale.?
industrial application...? mmm I think on the medical side as drug carrier, but you should go deeper on your research, I may be wrong
How we are making nano material?
what is a peer
What is meant by 'nano scale'?
What is STMs full form?
scanning tunneling microscope
how nano science is used for hydrophobicity
Do u think that Graphene and Fullrene fiber can be used to make Air Plane body structure the lightest and strongest. Rafiq
what is differents between GO and RGO?
what is simplest way to understand the applications of nano robots used to detect the cancer affected cell of human body.? How this robot is carried to required site of body cell.? what will be the carrier material and how can be detected that correct delivery of drug is done Rafiq
analytical skills graphene is prepared to kill any type viruses .
Any one who tell me about Preparation and application of Nanomaterial for drug Delivery
what is Nano technology ?
Bob Reply
write examples of Nano molecule?
The nanotechnology is as new science, to scale nanometric
nanotechnology is the study, desing, synthesis, manipulation and application of materials and functional systems through control of matter at nanoscale
Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
What fields keep nano created devices from performing or assimulating ? Magnetic fields ? Are do they assimilate ?
Stoney Reply
why we need to study biomolecules, molecular biology in nanotechnology?
Adin Reply
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
what school?
biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit Reply
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Source:  OpenStax, The impact of open source software on education. OpenStax CNX. Mar 30, 2009 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col10431/1.7
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