Dave, I’m with Nils – the post above as I read it is on the value of “openness” generally, not particularly about “open _courses_”. And at the risk of sounding like a broken record, I still want to seriously question why you and others keep on insisting on adopting the language, with all of its baggage, of “courses” when this baggage is particularly what runs counter to the benefits and effects of openness? The notion that it is a bridging strategy or an event doesn’t carry water for me, but I guess if it is working for you that’s great. So while I can see one advising an individual *institution*, organization or professor of the benefits of this approach, the benefits seem to me to accrue asymmetrically to them; because if I was going to advise any *learner* about pursuing their interest (and by definition, in an “open” situation the set of learners is not prescribed), I’d urge them to find an *existing* robust community of people already talking about that subject, and then focus on helping them develop skills to engage, as a newcomer, with existing coversations and communities.
Having met a few times I truly don’t feel like we are “opposed” on this, but I just don’t get the insistence on artificial timelines and curriculum (which seem to me to define a “course”) when we are talking about open, network-based learning.