Landing : Athabascau University


  • Rory McGreal commented on the file Home banner in the group TEKRI November 18, 2016 - 7:38pm
    Looks goo to me.
  • Rory McGreal commented on a bookmark Sole and Despotic Dominion November 7, 2016 - 8:43am
    David Wiley put it this way: "Vendors can control how, when, where, and with what specific brands of technological assistance audiences are able to access content. You buy, but you don't get!" I was thinking in terms of DRM on digital textbooks and...
  •    Below is my response to the article published in TMNews on August 15, 2015. Here is the URL for the original...
  • Rory McGreal published a blog post Reply to Tony Bates' criticism of AU Call Centre Model January 29, 2014 - 4:26am
    Tony Bates' article is here: Tony,You have provoked me to a response: TB>> “Some might call this the Telus or Bell system of phone...
  • Rory McGreal published a blog post In support of OER in MOOCs or OOCs December 9, 2013 - 11:43am
    Whether there are elites or not, society wants people to be educated. Tthe Marxist approach has always been to educate the masses not confine accessibility to education to small elites. Socialist countries have always focused on training for...
  • Rory McGreal published a blog post MOOCs enable small group learning December 9, 2013 - 7:43am
    I believe that "large scale courses can be mobilized in SOME circumstances" for "SOME" aspects of learning. The classroom model can also be useful in SOME circumstances for SOME aspects of learning. The AU continuous study model is the same. I...
  • Rory McGreal published a blog post Quality and OER: A response to David Wiley October 11, 2013 - 5:39pm
    David Wiley wrote that quality of any learning resource whether it be commercial or OER must be measure based on the learning that occurs.See: I agree with David that the quality of learning...
  • Rory McGreal published a blog post Fair dealing trumps licences September 4, 2013 - 4:56pm
    The Supreme Court could not have made fair dealing more clear: The fair dealing exception, like other exceptions in the Copyright Act, is a user’s right.  In order to maintain the proper balance between the rights of a copyright owner...
  • Rory McGreal published a blog post On Learning objects and OER August 28, 2013 - 6:33pm
    In the introduction to our edited book: McGreal, R., Kinutha, W., & Marshall, S. (Eds.). (2013). Open Educational Resources: Innovation, Research and Practice. Vancouver: Commonswealth of Learning. Retrieved from...
  •  Comments on "MOOCs and The Change of Higher Education" by Stefan Popeneci!I believe this is a good article about the MOOC phenomenon, particularly his...
  •  I have thought about the best term for the opposite of "openly-licensed" resources. Remember that no one "owns" creative works. They belong to all of us. Society grants a monopoly to creators with a "copy right" for a limited time. Creators...
  • Rory McGreal published a blog post Incentive to change August 18, 2013 - 11:52am
    John van der Baaren recently posted: I do not think education lacks the ability to use ICT. Farmers, the washing machine repair man etc. all are using ICT for many years now to optimise their business. And teachers who all completed a HE would...
  • Rory McGreal commented on the blog Comment on Uof A "cheaper" online "dinosaur" MOOC August 16, 2013 - 5:59pm
    Sarah, Thanks for your post. MOOCs are NOT the answer to systemic problems in education. No one is claiming that. I would also point out that the traditional university is also NOT the answer to systemic problems in education NOR is the present...
  • Rory McGreal published a blog post Comment on Uof A "cheaper" online "dinosaur" MOOC August 2, 2013 - 12:28pm
    This is a commentary on an Edmonton Journal article on July 30th, 2013. See: At AU we have been arguing that online learning...
    • sarah beth August 3, 2013 - 2:29am

      This seems to leave me with more questions about the role of MOOCs in public education than confidence that the model is actually opening education.

      Is there evidence that this model will remain cheaper than traditional classes, or can we expect, once the novelty wears off, universities to charge more and more for credits while investing less and less in the infrastructure (labour and development) of education? This has been the trend with every other model and platform, has it not? Could the one-time purchase of course materials vs. the employment of academics in stable, sustainable, full-time jobs help to justify (and worsen) cuts to public education funding? Does lowering the cost of a few course-by-course "samples," as they put it in the article, actually address systemic issues like poverty and racism that make entire degree programs less accessible for some people?

      Sounds like a neat course about dinosaurs, and the model itself is interesting, but I'm still skeptical that MOOCs are the answer to systemic problems in education. 

    • Rory McGreal August 16, 2013 - 5:59pm

      Sarah, Thanks for your post.

      MOOCs are NOT the answer to systemic problems in education. No one is claiming that. I would also point out that the traditional university is also NOT the answer to systemic problems in education NOR is the present open university model, an anwer.  They have been around for years to little effect on the systemic issues. There is no evidence that MOOCs will remain cheaper, nor is there any evidence that they will become more expensive. They are too new and they are diverse. There are different models. But, there is evidence that traditional university courses will remain become more expensive. This we know.

      Investing less (proportionately) in infrastructure and labour is the reason for our ability to sustain our standard of living and raise it. Why would you think that education should be exempt from this trend? if one can clean the house yourself with a vacuum and wash clothes and dishes with machines rather than employing 3 maids, then why wouldn't you do that? Why would we hire 10 000 workers with shovels when we can use machinery to do the job, faster, better and more economically?

      But, let me repeat MOOCs are NOT the answer. Neither are our educational structures. However, MOOCs are experimenting in better ways of delivering education to masses of people. If one or another or many of them succeed in providing quality learning opportunities to large numbers of learners, that would be wonderful. Meanwhile traditional universities who are not experimenting, we know will not find any answers.

      All the best.


    • Anonymous June 10, 2018 - 7:48pm

      What's it take to become a sublime exodunper of prose like yourself?
      - Gabrielle

  • Gh. Oh, I agree with your approach, but it is important to me to consider MOOCs in relation to traditional classroom teaching. Critics of MOOCs all too often do not look at themselves. Also your view that scale and quality of teaching/learning...
    • an unauthenticated user of the Landing August 3, 2013 - 9:32am

      Rory, thanks for demolishing this self-serving defence of the traditional university model as the gold standard for learning. The deficiencies of the latter have become increasingly evident, as the Internet, the most powerful learning platform ever devised, offers better alternatives. Is there any doubt that traditional higher education is in crisis? I point to:-

      1. The unaffordability of the American campus model, based on tuition price increases year after year, with students incurring immense debts, leading to a student loans crisis and financial bubble that will sooner or later burst, just as the housing bubble did. See “A Generation Hobbled by the Soaring Cost of College”, ; “Universities on the Brink”, ; “College Bubble Set to Burst in 2011”, .
      2. Questioning whether learning happens at all in traditional university education, especially undergrad education. See “Does College Make You Smarter”, .
      3. The traditional university’s crisis of purpose, . 
      4. The university: still dead - Andrew Delbanco's insightful new book on the history and future of the American college exposes an institution that has no idea what it should be, by Angus Kennedy, .     
      5. The fading legitimacy of liberal arts colleges, . 
      6. The widespread perception that universities require “fixing”, 
      7. The fact that universities are ripe for disruption: . 
      8. The ineffectiveness of lectures, still the dominant teaching method in universities: “The College Lecture, Long Derided, May Be Fading”, .

      I could go on and on. Yes, higher education has problems, an abundance of problems. Are online education and MOOCs the answer to those problems? Not by themselves. However, they are steps forward by offering valid alternatives that are supported by a growing number of students who are voting through their enrollment choices. MOOCs and online education are continually evolving, whereas classroom practices are not to any significant extent.

      If defenders of the cherished traditional university model ignore their deficiencies and alternative online learning methods, they’re just whistling past the graveyard.……Alex Kuskis, PhD

      "Education must always concentrate its resources at the major point of information intake; we merely have to ask, From what sources do growing minds nowadays acquire most factual data? How much critical awareness is conferred at these points?” – McLuhan, M. (1955) “Communications and Communication Arts”, Teacher College Record. 57 (4), 104-110.

      “Universities are concerned with the communication of knowledge. So radical innovation in communications technologies inevitably suggest change in universities.”- Brown, J.S., & Duguid, P. (2000). The Social Life of Information (p. 230)


      - Alex Kuskis

    • an unauthenticated user of the Landing August 12, 2013 - 7:57am

      thanks for taking the time to reflect on this really badly written piece on MOOCs. Being critical about MOOCs is good - but this Slate article really does not make any sense. Why does Slate offer its platform to so much rubbish?

      - Thieme Hennis

    • Anonymous June 11, 2018 - 1:46am

      Such a deep ansrwe! GD&RVVF
      - Loradae

  • Rory McGreal published a blog post Scam open access journals July 22, 2013 - 2:23pm
    There are a growing number of scam open access journals that for the most part use "gold open access" in which the author pays. And, as noted in the discussion, it is difficult for new scholars to discern the difference (and for more...
  • Below is a link to a videolecture that I gave at a POERUP (Policies for OER UPtake) Euro project workshop in Sheffield, England on July 3rd, 2013. Be warned it is longer than an hour. My usual harangue supporting OER. Towards the end  at 53:05...
    • an unauthenticated user of the Landing July 24, 2013 - 3:34am

      I agree that education (especially higher education) need not be "culturally relevant" to students; indeed, being able to communicate, learn, and work across cultures and other types of borders should be a critical goal of education in today's world. But while on-site classes are not always effective in helping students overcome cultural barriers, they don't have thousands of students in them. In other words, scale and quality of teaching/learning don't seem to go together. Now, when pointing out the blind spot in MOOC's global visions, I was not trying to compare it to on-site version of higher education. I just think that the blind spot needs to be part of the conversation. I study international students' academic transition (sorry if it sounds like a plug: and I read one story at a time of how students cross cultures, overcome barriers, embrace difference, succeed in places that scared the hell out of them. I wouldn't want myself or any of these students to be pandered/catered to their local tastes. But when I find myself, as a teacher, start moving toward the attitude that says, "you need to make all the adaptatioins to understand however the heck I am going to teach," I come to my 21st-century sense of global citizenship and want to work one-on-one with my students--whether they are from Kansas or Kathmandu. 

      Thank you for the observation. I completely agree with you about the need/value of overcoming/learning from cultural differences. My intention was to alert us as teachers toward thinking harder about our end of education, but after listening to the discourse on MOOC's global visions for months, I saw an impasse with regard to how its providers and many educators who bought that side of the argument much more easily than they did anything else. I understand how anyone who is serious about teaching can even imaging "educating the world" from right here. 

      - G Sharma

    • Rory McGreal July 26, 2013 - 5:59pm


      Oh, I agree with your approach, but it is important to me to consider MOOCs in relation to traditional classroom teaching. Critics of MOOCs all too often do not look at themselves. Also your view that scale and quality of teaching/learning don't seem to go together can be overcome by many different methodologies and technologies. Quality can now be maintained in mass classes. However one-on-one will in nearly every case be better. But who can afford it?  There is a way through the morass of problems in international mass education. We haven't found it yet.

      All the best.


    • Anonymous June 10, 2018 - 8:18pm

      Fell out of bed feeling down. This has brntigehed my day!
      - Cactus

  • This is a new report "Theft of American Intellectual Property" Available: If anyone had doubts about the need for OER in learning environments, this report should help put discussion...
    • Eric von Stackelberg June 2, 2013 - 12:29pm

      I found it difficult to get beyond the "you have got to be kidding" stage in reading the "Theft of American Intellectual Property". I thought it was particularly interesting that otherwise illegal tactics (eg. obtain control of someone's network without their authorization) should be allowed by certain private parties (copyright owners).

      Was there a decision on what model AU will use for OER sustainability? It was my impression that if separating relationship from content was percieved as unacceptable in keeping with the OER philosophy.

    • Anonymous June 10, 2018 - 10:48pm

      It's wofdernul to have you on our side, haha!
      - Gerrie

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