Landing : Athabascau University


  • The Anti- IPA Position Paper: A reply from an Educator {In this revision I have reversed references to OER and commercial publishers. ALL their arguments and then some can be better argued in support of OER. Wherever "OER" appeared in the original...
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  • Rory McGreal published a blog post Commercial Etextbooks April 26, 2013 - 4:01am
    AU needs to be very cautious about using commercial ebooks. Many if not all are purposely “crippled” by the publishers using Technological Protection Measures (TPM) or Digital Rights Management (DRM). [A more approptiate term would be...
  • Rory McGreal published a blog post David Wiley's Trucker Tale January 8, 2013 - 9:04am
    David Wiley gives us an analogy for academic publishing. It is available below and at Trucker TaleOnce upon a time there was an inventor. She was brilliant. All...
  • Rory McGreal replied on the discussion topic Google launches eBookstore in Canada: in the group Open Educational Resources (OERs) December 12, 2012 - 9:55am
    From the Research Centre.... You are invited to an open session entitled,"Open Education: Team Building and the Business Case for OER" by Dr. Cable Green, Director of Global Learning at Creative Commons. This session is a collaboration between the...
  • Rory McGreal published a blog post NON-COMMERCIAL RESTRICTION ON CREATIVE COMMONS (CC-NC) November 27, 2012 - 9:57am
    DISCUSSION ONoer-community oer-community@athabascau.caRE: NON-COMMERCIAL RESTRICTION ON CREATIVE COMMONSOn 2012-11-26 6:18 PM, rory wrote:Stephen See my comments below in response. (All disagreements are respectful!) All the best. RoryOn...
    • an unauthenticated user of the Landing March 26, 2013 - 4:58am

      I would have thought that the Open Source Software model already provides many examples of where material is both free and costs to purchase.  The end user/consumer of the product/article can choose which source or channel to purchase or acquire their material from.  The free tends to be the industry standard that most probably is the most current material whereas the behind a paywall material has proprietary material added that may advance or notadvance the consumers/users experience.  


      The real task is to ensure that the material is not swallowed up and restricted by a commercial entity.  That can be tackled via non exclusive rights which can be attached to the material.  The real concern is the business model OER wishes to adopt in ensuring continuity of funding and achievement of their objectives.

      - Aechidna

  • This is a response to this article by Leo Charbonneau in University Affairs Nov. 21, 2012 This article turns the  report on its head....
  • Rory McGreal published a blog post Reply from a list: Open access and the gravy train November 11, 2012 - 10:48am
    Roger, One can often not see the forest for the trees. Your argument below could just as easily be applied to the for-profit academic publishing industry as to the OER economy. The for-profit industry gets nearly ALL of its funding from government...
  • Rory McGreal published a blog post Response to Coursera is not a Panacera by Theresa Barnes November 9, 2012 - 7:07pm       Although Coursera course registration may be free, access to the internet in most of the world is not. So people who spend time doing their coursework in the...
  • My respone below to the article at Congratulations to the U of Alberta and other universities for waking up...
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  • Prof Todd Pettigrew of Cape Breton U. has written a critique of OER. It is available here: Campus wrote a response available...
    • an unauthenticated user of the Landing November 2, 2012 - 8:31am

      Hi Rory, do I have it right that as long under our current model since AU students pay one flat fee for the course and materials, no savings from open texts could be passed along to our students anyhow?  Also to your last point, I'm told there might be substantial institutional savings if we migrated to proprietary etexts. Students would indeed be able to mark up their materials and extensions to the 180 days would be available. They would also have the option of odering hard copies at a discounted rate. What are your thoughts on this?

      - Kelly O'Neill

    • an unauthenticated user of the Landing November 28, 2012 - 2:47pm

      Thank you for your reasoned response to this current debate. Particularly, I think you summarized Prof. Pettigrew's position quite fairly. I see that many student groups in the US are really behind this movement. The student union at my own institution has been critical of the BC announcement, calling it a "boutique program" which ignores the larger issue of post-secondary funding. Your insights are very informative, and I hope that they will help me clarify the purpose of Open Educational Textbooks with our faculty and students.

      - tamara

  • Rory McGreal published a blog post Copyright is NOT intellectual property October 29, 2012 - 11:10am
    I do NOT make a case against copyright. On the contrary, I support copyright "An Act for the Encouragement of Learning, by Vesting the Copies of Printed Books in the Author's or Purchasers of Such Copies"The original statue gives rights to both...
  • Rory McGreal published a blog post Are publishers "Openwashing" content? October 22, 2012 - 9:57am
    "Openwashing" is a term being used to describe when copyright owners "open" or release their content for use but do not use an open license. This is considered disingeneous by some.This is an interesting point. Prior to 1963 in Common Law...
  • Rory McGreal published a blog post B.C. to lead Canada in offering students free, open textbooks October 17, 2012 - 9:19am
    So, BC takes the OER lead in Canada: VANCOUVER – British Columbia is set to become the first province in Canada to offer students free online, open textbooks for...
  • Rory McGreal published a blog post 2012 Paris Declaration on OER October 10, 2012 - 10:18am
    The 2012 Paris OER Declaration was formally adopted at the 2012 World Open Educational Resources (OER) Congress held at the UNESCO Headquarters in Paris from 20 – 22 June 2012.Déclaration de Paris des REL...
  • The US Supreme Court this week will be judging whether or not the First Sale Doctrine applies to products produced and purchased outside the US. Can you buy an iPhone, a book, or video in China and sell it in the USA? "The first-sale doctrine...
  • Rory McGreal commented on the blog Permissions for research surveys?? September 27, 2012 - 4:32am
    Sarah, I was concerned that the university was requesting my formal permission to speak with my students. I would appreciate an informal request or simple notification. The problem with formal permission is in a scenario where  a professor...
  • If interested in Adult Education - please consider participating in this UNESCO consultation. See belowObjet : {1976 Recommendation 1} Invitation to online consultation / invitation à une consultation en ligne / invitación a la...
  • Rory McGreal published a blog post Permissions for research surveys?? September 25, 2012 - 12:15am
    The last I heard, Canada was a free country and anyone has the right to ask anyone anything without permission.  I have been asked to give my permissions for researchers to survey my students.  As far as I know, it is up to each student...
    • Rory McGreal September 27, 2012 - 4:32am


      I was concerned that the university was requesting my formal permission to speak with my students. I would appreciate an informal request or simple notification. The problem with formal permission is in a scenario where  a professor does not want anyone to know what is happening in his/her course and researchers are doing an investigation. A prof has every right to not co-operate but he/she has no right to prevent anyone asking questions.

      All the best.


    • sarah beth September 27, 2012 - 1:08pm

      Oh, for sure. I could scrape up a couple of plausible reasons, but I don't find either especially compelling. 

      I was just curious about your claim that asking permission goes against the spirit of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Whether it does or not, that doesn't mean asking permission is a good idea -- I'm just interested in the ways we leverage "rights" and their enforcement in academic and research contexts. The libertarian-style argument that I can say anything I want to anyone I want because I have freedom of speech isn't quite what the Charter provides. Whether or not Canadian courts will hear an issue as a Charter issue (and give the person complaining standing to make the case) is a big deal. 

      I did a search to learn more about whether access to research subjects might be covered by freedom of expression, and I didn't find anything about that, but I found a good summary of some related issues in an opinion on Charter protection of privacy and the confidentiality of academic research, and a couple of bulletins from CAUT about academic freedom and freedom of expression and freedom of assembly and the Quebec student strikes. It was a neat way to get sidetracked from what I should be doing! I'm glad you provided an excuse to look it up, and I would be very curious to hear more about how academic research and the Charter have interacted. 

    • an unauthenticated user of the Landing January 30, 2013 - 7:53pm

      I do not know what the context of the question is and I would welcome an explanation.

      My understanding of what I think the issue is, is that survey's conducted for research at Canadian universities are governed by the Tri-Council Policy Statement (TCPS) Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans.  Anyone affiliated with a Canadian university who conducts research (including surveys) with humans that does not comply with that policy can lose their tri-council (NSERC, SSHRC, CIHR) funding.

      - Jamie B.

  • Rory McGreal published a blog post OER: A business case? September 20, 2012 - 8:53am
    The following resources sent by Cable Green of Creative Commons might be useful:
  • Rory McGreal published a blog post MOOCs: How new are they? September 17, 2012 - 10:47am
    The research on MOOCs may be scarce, but that is because they are relatively recent. Or are they? According to the Wiki definition (and others) of a MOOC, Athabasca University and other open universities have been delivering MOOCs for nearly 20...
    • Jon Dron September 17, 2012 - 11:10am

      It's worth distinguishing between cMOOCs and xMOOCs, as George Siemens has done at

      cMOOCs are the original and (IMHO) best, using connectivist methods and, most importantly, actually relying on the massiveness to add value: it is vital to the way they work that there is a crowd of learners helping one another to learn and there would be no learning to speak of without that crowd. I think these really are very different in most important ways from the traditional models.

      xMOOCs, the upstarts that largely follow the old, industrial patterns of instructivist delivery, are indeed very similar from a teaching perspective to the older variants with the important distinction that, unlike old variants, they are free as in beer - well, at least until serious accreditation comes into the picture. However, from a learning perspective they are potentially very different, at least for those that seek the difference, because the affordances of the read/write web surround them with networks and communities that form a more complex ecosystem, with richer ways of supporting learning than older variants. 

      As always, new technologies assemble the old in different ways and that means there are lots of familiar things and similarities that are worth mentioning. But they are not quite the same.

    • an unauthenticated user of the Landing September 17, 2012 - 12:48pm

      I came across this "dynamic online visualisation of historical research into dialogue & dialectical games" (see "Chronos") by Dr Simon Wells ‏(@simonwells). I thought of treating my selection of readings that way, to show the flow/continuity/branching. Perhaps that technique could be applied to this?

      - Ben Tremblay