Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Openness in Higher Education-- Thoughtful Report

The Committee on Economic Development made up of business executives and college administrators released a recent report (Sept. 9, 2009) on the ways in which "openness" as the result of the Internet has change or failed to education.

The committee's basic conclusion can be summed up in this way--
"Information is more open when there are fewer restrictions on access, use, accessibility, and responsiveness. The Internet... has vastly expanded openness.... Like many other service industries such as finance or entertainment, higher education is rooted in information....But finance and entertainment have been transformed by greater openness while higher education appears, at least in terms of openness, to have changed much less" (p. 1).
The report goes on to explore ways in which higher education activities in teaching and learning, research, outreach and administration would benefit from openness and makes a series of policy recommendations for government and colleges. The recommendations for colleges include:
  • Foster faculty dissemination of research via open access publications and open education resources.
  • Establish open-source digital repositories for scholarly work.
  • Examine technology transfer policies that include exclusive licensing agreements.
  • Establish e-portfolios for students.
  • Be a voice for greater openness in access to information and for a re-examination of intellectual property rules for a digital era.

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