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Uibk-logo-miniOn February 1st I joined the Department of Organization and Learning at University of Innsbruck as a professor of business administration with a focus on organization. One of the most challenging and, at the same time, tempting tasks as a newly appointed professor is the opportunity to design at least some new courses from scratch. In particular, I was so lucky to being offered to teach the module on “Current Issues in Organization Studies”, which allowed me to design a course I have been wanting to give for a long time: “Open Organizations and Organizing Openness“.

The overall rationale for the structure of the course follows the imperative formulated by Tkacz (2012: 404, PDF) in his “critique of open politics”:

To describe the political organisation of all things open requires leaving the rhetoric of open behind.

As a consequence, the lecture part of the course is organized around different aspects or dimensions of organizational openness such as boundaries, transparency, participation or emergence. The respective readings only peripherally address the issue of openness but rather shall provide the building blocks for arriving at a more precise and theoretically grounded understanding of openness. Read the rest of this entry »

A few days ago, the MIT faculty unanimously adopted a university-wide OA mandate, which establishes as a default rule the obligation for MIT researchers to hand over a pre-print version of their scientific works for publishing it in an open access repository (see Open Access News). In a note on this decision, the chairman of the drafting committee Hal Abelson explains the context of this decision:

“Our resolution was closely modeled on similar ones passed last February by Harvard’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences and by the Harvard Law School, also passed by unanimous vote. Stanford’s School of Education did the same, as did Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government just last Monday.”

So, MIT’s step towards open access is an illustration of  both an example of elite universities’ regulatory power and of the power of their example. When MIT announced its Open Courseware program it was soon followed by hundreds of unversities all over the world, many of which joined the Open Courseware Consortium. But most of these universities followed the MIT example not only generally in making course materials openly availble but they also adopted MIT’s relatively restrictive Creative Commons license policy, namely an Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike license.

Today, people at Creative Commons’ subdivision “CCLearn” struggle with MIT’s historical license decision and try to convince educational institutions to adopt more open licenses such as Attribution-Share alike or mere Attribution to foster exchange and remix of open course materials. As I see it, there is a good deal of regulatory path dependence emerging in the domain of Open Access as well…


The Book

Governance across borders: transnational fields and transversal themes. Leonhard Dobusch, Philip Mader and Sigrid Quack (eds.), 2013, epubli publishers.
June 2023

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All texts on governance across borders are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Germany License.