Nice interview at Redstone Strategy Group’s blog with Cathy Casserly, who helped start the Hewlett Foundation’s Open Educational Resources (OER) work, and later served as CEO of Creative Commons, on the past, present and future of OER:
What has the OER movement learned over the last 10 years?
When we first released an openly-licensed textbook in the marketplace, if it didn’t look as polished as a publisher’s textbook, it was perceived to be of lower quality. While there may be 350 pages of great content, it wasn’t in the format that teachers and students could use easily. It didn’t have nice photos and pretty layouts. We realized we couldn’t jump too far ahead of where the system is today. So we focused on supporting ecosystems that could produce high-quality, open materials that are aligned with standards, and look like the materials that teachers are used to buying from publishers.
We wanted to leap-frog to our longer-term vision in which teachers and students actively produce materials, and not just consume them. In many ways, OER is not just about providing content; it’s about the process of developing them in an open ecosystem. And that process is also about participatory learning and collaboration. This is the longer-term vision we wanted to jump to, but we learned that we had to build a bridge for teachers from the materials they are familiar with to OER.