The challenge of open education
Digital culture and the remix culture it has generated have changed the way in which knowledge and learning are constructed. The last decade since the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) launched the Open Courseware initiative (OCW) in 2002 has seen a significant increase in the number of initiatives related to Open Educational Resources (OER) and open education in general. New institutions, with different objectives and business models, are emerging rapidly outside traditional universities: start-ups that offer free Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC), consortia of universities from four continents that share teaching materials and infrastructure, and universities where classes are taught by the students themselves.
This paper seeks to provide a historical overview of developments in the world of open education and a look at the key challenges that it faces. It considers how technology has altered the way in which information is obtained and shared and the consequences this has for the organization of education, from online learning to the flipped classroom. It also shows how roles and the balance of power between producers and consumers of content have become blurred leading to new possibilities for learning in different ways such as MOOCs, from peers and networks, etc. The new learning opportunities on offer can reach new groups of learners, a challenge that universities cannot ignore.