Sleeping with the Elephant – Leveraging AU’s Position through Open Courseware
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There has been an explosion of content in open (and not-so-open) forms in recent years, much of it highly relevant to Distance Education. It can be asserted that AU’s claim to fame is less the creation of content than the implementation expertise that we have. It is also possible that we are on a slippery slope as others obtain this expertise. We must not forget that we are uniquely disadvantaged in Canada by the (constitutionally unchangeable) lack of a federal role in education. Open content allows us to sidestep our difference from most providers (that they merely need to record lectures to create viable online course content). We can optimize such content for use in Distance Education. How this is done will be described with examples. From a strategic point of view, this may be our niche. However, as in any arrangement of sleeping with elephants, their decision to roll over could affect us very much. Tendencies of big players to fill the currently empty US public Distance Education space will be examined.