10 years & 10 seconds, extended

How long does it take to make content open? How long to brand a resource as free to use for everyone? How long to share creations? Nothing at all. In less than 10 seconds any file can be stamped as knowledge to share. Either if we use a Creative Commons or we send our creation to the proper registration office or we use any other means to give up that creation, all in all, no longer than 10 seconds.

With the support of the project OpenMed, At Birzeit University, the responsible for the Open Repository FADA, Birzeit University Open Access Repository, Dr. Diana Sayej, presented their current status, after 10 years of design and negotiations with the Board and the faculty. Ten years to make things happened. Now, they provide faculty with a fine repository based on DSpace that collects research outputs and shares with the community.

Open Education must be proactive, no matter how long it takes

They have a specific plan to encourage that very faculty to create and share, so that open resources become available on a regular basis. At UNIR, we provide a repository (Re-Unir) where outstanding Master theses are uploaded, along with scientific papers and other resources.

Also, we count TV UNIR that stores every single video post, open class, live conference, canned lessons or any other video-based resource, so that the users, any user, can find and retrieve them. 20% is set for free and open, 20% is set for free under registration and 60% is set for enrolled students and faculty.

We find in this formula a reasonable balance between private resources and shared resources that provide and additional value to the enrolled student and hired faculty along with almost half of the resources in the open, for everyone. This is one key: the sustainability or the exploitation model of OER.

Proactivity as a key

Furthermore, there is a more difficult key, meaning the self-awareness of how good and possible open resources, open publications, open data, open research data and open policies can do for education and the society, at large. And to get there, there is a personal process that transforms the 100% proprietary authoring style into a more balanced formula, like the one presented before.

The Openmed project team at the Strategy Forum about Open Education at Ramallah, Palestine
The Openmed project team at the Strategy Forum about Open Education in Ramallah, Palestine

This process can take as long as 10 years or as short as 10 seconds, but it has to be perfectly sensible and aware of the pros, cons and consequences of such approach. There is no unique view, there is no right or wrong formula, there is no failure on the way but the inactivity. Because Open Education must be proactive, no matter how long it takes.

Daniel Burgos

Ramallah, Palestine. April, 20th, 2017