I’m not a fan of measurement – largely because it forces technique and structure onto systems often better served by acknowledgment interdependence between entities. But, we need a way to measure openness in universities. Why? Largely to raise awareness of the multi-faceted nature of openness. Being open involves more than posting a few courses online. A metric has a way of drawing attention to concepts that can be analyzed and understood in policy meetings. Plus, seeing your university rated below your competitors can be very motivating for administrators.
So, to this end, I recommend the formation of something like Measurement of Openness in Education Systems (MOES). This should include:
- Strategic statement of openness and commitment to funding open projects
- Systemic integration of openness – i.e. openness is part of the curriculum development process, not as an after market add on
- Open course content
- Open publication (journals)
- Data collection transparency (learners know what the university collects)
- Data control – the learner is able to change her profile information
- Data ownership – the learner owns and is able to export his work to open formats
- Academic press publications (for download and in open formats such as epub)
What else should be considered for a metric of openness?