I count myself among those interested in OpenCourseWare, the free and open sharing of course materials via the Internet. I post syllabi and related materials to Posterous and Scribd without explicit institutional support. I know I’m not the only one who does this at my institution or at other places of learning across the Great Lakes State. For example, Michigan State University and the University of Michigan are both current members of the OCW Consortium, “a collaboration of more than 200 higher education institutions and associated organizations from around the world creating a broad and deep body of open educational content using a shared model.” However, they are the only members in the entire state.
With all of this in mind, I’d like to discuss the possibility of developing an OpenCourseWare initiative at the statewide level. Doing so could benefit not only the state but also every institution involved in the process. Assuming this is even an idea worth pursuing (and I hope it is), I do have some questions:
- How/where to begin?
- How to advertise/manage?
- What obstacles and resistance from institutions, professors and students might we encounter?
- Should the initiative function as an official list of links to other OpenCourseWare programs or as a repository for OCW samples? Perhaps both?
- Should the initiative be housed within a college or university? Or should it be a wiki?
- With only MSU and UM Does the pursuit of a statewide OpenCourseWare initiative invert the regular order? If so, what all needs to happen before it can happen?