Hello Dave. Thank you for being so candid about your motivations for forwarding the open course agenda. I will corral my tone and attempt to achieve greater productivity in this discussion, as you wish. I apologize profusely to you and anyone else who found my previous remarks inelegant. I think you have done a nice job in isolating three main points that I was trying to make in my critique.
1. It is important (for me, at least) to know that educators/business-owners are one of, if not the primary beneficiaries of open courses as you have noted. You have identififed a number of ways in which you benefit: financial, social, professional etc. Why is it important for an open educator to be candid about their motivations?
2. I still am unsatisfied that you have dealt with the issue of drop-out rate sufficiently. At this point you have only offered a belief as fact. How is it that you have formed this belief?
3. You relied on a quote from MIT regarding their open courseware program:
“MIT began with the realization that they were “not going to try to make money” from their content.1″
The suggestion is that MIT is not selling the content, but the interaction, debate etc., hence no problem in making the course content open. They still charge for the interaction and debate, I assume. And are they not including accreditation in their price?
Interestingly, in the CCK08 course, 18 or so students received accreditation for the course, which was one of several courses required to attain a certficate in ed-learning technologies through an accredited university. Those students, as I noted in the blog post you referenced, continued their participation throughout the course. Is it possible they sought accreditation primarily? Is it possible that accreditation (although you place a low value on it) has a high value amongst students? Is it possible that education has become reified as accreditation? Is that so bad?