Fear of the light

April 23, 2015

Cable Green, director of global learning at Creative Commons, says that spending public money on higher education resources that cannot be shared openly borders on being “immoral and unethical” (“Failing to share publicly funded HE resources ‘immoral’”, 15 April).

However, now that students are picking up most of the tab for their degree courses, how does this affect the argument? Do students want to pay for a course only to find that the materials later become freely available to all? I suppose they would have to balance that against the suggestion that the quality of their own course would be enhanced if these materials were generally available.

I suspect the reason that most academics don’t want to share their course materials is because they are worried that what they have produced won’t match up to what else is out there, and they don’t particularly want to open themselves up to unnecessary scrutiny or put in the often huge amount of work necessary to polish something for public consumption. Most lecturers simply can’t compare to those you can watch on edX.

Michael Hughes
Via timeshighereducation.co.uk

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