• Libre Courseware

last modified November 30, 2012 by strypey

Danyl Strype

Sunday 16 August 2009 7:19:43 pm

Libre Courseware

I am really excited by the potential for existing learning institutions to make their courses available online. Of course there will be some debates with neoliberal managements who see education as a product, rather than a service, and would see this as giving away their product gratis.

I would argue that people don't go to a university to download a certain package of information into their brain. What they are paying for is

- to be inspired and directed by knowledgeable teachers who can provide one-on-one support for their learning

- to take advantage of the learning support services provided by the campus and staff (access to the library, tutoring services etc)

- to be among a community of fellow learners (so there is peer-to-peer learning as well as teacher>student learning)

- to receive a qualification - an endorsement of their level of academic progress, which rests on the general credibility of that institution

If I'm right, then universities are not giving away what people pay for by sharing courses online. What they are doing is allowing prospective students to evaluate the quality of teaching, and course content, and serving the public good by increasing the general availability of education, which potentially increases goodwill and reputation. Most importantly they are making university-level education available to people who have access to the internet, but cannot enter into university for a myriad of reasons, from financial to geographical.

One example of a university delivering its courses in this way is MIT Opencoursware:

http://ocw.mit.edu/OcwWeb/web/home/home/index.htm (WebCitation archive of this site from the period)

One of the prerequisites for delivering online courses, whether publicly or only to enrolled students, is suitable Learning Management System (LMS) software. There are now a number of libre software packages available, here are a couple:


http://moodle.org/ (WebCitation archive of this site from the period)

Sakai Project


Kia ora


Martin Kean

Friday 28 August 2009 2:06:15 pm


There are some excellent online manuals at www.flossmanuals.net for open-source software. The manuals are collaborated on by likeminded experts and gurus. You can read the manual chapters on the screen, or download as whole PDFs, or even remix your own chapters! Some Flossmanuals are available as books through Lulu.com (WebCitation archive of this site).

Danyl Strype

Monday 23 August 2010 3:14:40 am

Libre educational materials

There is an increasing body of educational materials being shared under libre licenses, including CC. As you mention there is all the collected documentation of free code software projects, which is released under the GNU Free Documentation License, or a similar libre licence. There is the entire output of the various Wikimedia projects (Wikipedia, Wiktionary, Wikibook etc). There is the growing body of resources on the WikiEducator site (not a Wikimedia project).

There are also a number of resource sites and networks promoting and advocating for the creation, development, and re-use of libre education resources as well as the use of free code software in educational institution. These include:

Open Education Resource Foundation: http://wikieducator.org/OERF:Home

Open Source Education Foundation: http://www.osef.org/

Wikiversity (another WikiMedia project): http://en.wikiversity.org/ (WebCitation archive from around that time)

It's exciting to see the synergies emerging between institutions, free code software projects (eg Moodle), and aggregators of free cultural objects/ open education resources, as we move towards a vision that could be described as 'internet as the University of Earth', a vision also held by the permaculture educators behind Gaia University:


Nga mihi nui ki ngaa kaiako katoa

Danyl Strype

Danyl Strype

Thursday 23 September 2010 2:08:20 pm

Open High

Thanks to Daniel Reurich, on the NZOSS OpenChat list:

"It really exists - Open High is a College in Utah USA that is creating

and open sourcing it's curriculum. They are releasing their curriculum

under the creative commons license"