Came here from Leigh Blackall’s blog discussing OER and colonialism.

I think you make some good points, but I thought I’d chime in with some of my own thoughts about non-Western OER, which I have thought a lot about. First of all – although MIT material is being translated to Chinese, both by CORE and MyOOPS, I have found no evidence that it is actually used in classes (I was going to write my MA thesis about this – thinking, like you, it was problematic, but had to change focus, because I couldn’t find any examples).

What has happened, is that universities (which are, like you said, obsessed with becoming “world class” and thinking MITHARVARD is the gold standard – which is deeply problematic!) have used the open curricula for comparative research, even publishing studies comparing Chinese and US curricula. And I’ve talked to individual professors who have consulted these curricula to update their own courses. (Cross-national comparison and learning is not bad, but I wish it learnt from many more countries/institutions than just US/MITHARVARD).

What’s happening in China is that the Chinese government is funding the development of open courses, including hundreds of universities and thousands of courses. And for me, studying comparative education, it’s been incredible to be able to “virtually visit” courses from India, China, Mexico, Japan, Saudi Arabia etc. (And I wish these would get much more attention, like the amazing release of 16,000 teaching documents by the Indira Gandhi National Open University! Who is talking about that? (

About the curvy stuff, I think this is one of the main drivers behind our P2PU experiment – we use the OER out there, but in a very critical manner.