Well said – on the three reasons on open courses – strategic planning, training and research.
I think it is worthwhile to reflect on the value of open courses also from different perspective – including institutions.
How would institutions perceive open courses (for free)? In Australia, there are still severe competition amongst RTO (Registered Training Organisations) and many private RTO are operating on a profit basis. So, open courses may not be appealing for RTO operating on such a basis, as there would be significant “loss” of competitiveness when course content or process are all open to others (including the competitors) and learners around the world. Critical questions also include: What are the institutional policies and strategies in open courses in institutions (RTO)? What are the responses of educators, technologists and consultants involved in open courses? Are open courses sustainable when operating (free)? These are all very sensitive questions that are seldom asksed, as many people (educators, consultants, administrators) may be affected or influenced by the decisions towards openness. Besides, a quick survey of students could reveal their concern of their “paid course learning” could be impacted when the course is open to the outsiders who don’t have to pay, and could be registered in the open course. I am not sure if I have brought up any significant added value to open course, but surely I think there are many values that are still not yet fully institutionalised, conceived and exploited as yet.
Finally, I agree with your three reasons, and I think there are much values that could be added to open course. There are implications with the introduction of open courses into instituions though.
Greatly appreciate your insights into open course.
I will post this to my blog too.