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Making a MOOC: Why open licensing?

Making a MOOC: Why open licensing?

Written by Karen Fasimpaur
December 19, 2013

Openness is an important piece of thinking about Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). However, there are many aspects of what “open” means to consider, and all MOOCs are not as open as others.

For the Making Learning Connected MOOC (CLMOOC), openness was very important. We wanted to be open in many respects:

  • Open to anyone to enroll
  • Content open and viewable to anyone on the web
  • Open in terms of connected and collaborative processes
  • Openly licensed so that anyone can reuse, remix, and redistribute the content

To us, a true MOOC is open in all of these ways.

We decided on a CC BY license for our MOOC because that is the most open of the Creative Commons licenses, and the course authors were all wiilling to share in this way.

We posted our license on the CLMOOC site using the code provided by the Creative Commons license chooser page so that our open content would be easily findable by search engines.

Unfortunately, not all MOOCs are really so open. We think that openness — in all the ways that term can be construed — contributed to the success of CLMOOC.

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