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  1. Mark Brown
    August 10, 2012 - 12:48 am

    Nice review Tony and I share many of your critical insights of the unsubstantiated hype around OERs. As it happens this issue of DE is open access which at least is a small concession.

    • Ebba Ossiannilsson
      August 10, 2012 - 12:50 pm

      Good points adn critical review Tony, and I was just going to say the same, that this issue was open access
      Maybe unfortunatly not so much new stoff either in the articles
      The issue maybe raise more expectations than insights, although I also learned a lot of course

  2. Ros Foskey
    August 10, 2012 - 6:51 pm

    Tony they may have reflected on your comments for the edition is now available as open access:

    • Tony Bates
      August 12, 2012 - 2:19 pm

      Thank, Ros, and my apologies to ‘Distance Education’ – I’m glad it’s now available as an open publication. That was my mistake. I’ve corrected the original post.

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  4. Grainne Conole
    August 11, 2012 - 1:51 am

    Hi Tony

    Yes a nice review and I also agree it is interesting that there isn’t substantial evidence yet of the success of OER despite the significant investment so far…. But at least the special issue gives a flavour of what is currently going on. I wanted to focus on social inclusion because this clearly is a key aspiration behind the OER movement. I don’t think the impact has been anywhere near as significant as was hoped. MOOCs are interesting, clearly the current buzz word. Again I am not sure the reality lives up to the hype. I am involved in a learning design MOOC in the Autumn so it will be interesting to see how it goes. I am particularly interested in the extent to which people stay engaged with it, drop out rates are a big issue with MOOCs as far as I can see.

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  6. Laura Czerniewicz
    August 14, 2012 - 1:18 am

    Thanks for this review, Tony. I welcome a sober review of the situation, a nice contrast to the glib claims we too often see. As you note, it is a complex issue. I don’t think we are yet in a position to assert whether and how open content plays a role in social inclusion, nor to conclude that it does not. I think we need some research investigations which set out to answer this question specifically. This will involve articulating exactly what social inclusion means. Is it widening participation? To what? That is one way of looking at it. I think that an important indicator for inclusion is increased contribution from groupings who are under-represented. What are the constraints and enablers for addressing inequalities in participation in the open education terrain?

    These are critical issues. ( I have just written about this very danger in a piece on educational technology and equity at I hope that this Special Issue is only the beginning of an ongoing conversation about openness in order to ensure explicit commitment to social inclusion

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