Comments by Commenter

  • ac39

  • Alek Tarkowski

    • Have you considered moving beyond the UNESCO standard into one with a stronger commitment to openness? In this paragraph, the most troubling part is the “any restrictions deemed necessary” provision – it would be good to have a clear open standard to which Scottish institutions can commit. If CC BY / CC BY SA cannot be committed to, then maybe at least it can be recommended as best practice?


  • Bill Steele

  • Celeste McLaughlin

  • Doug Belshaw

  • Fionnuala Carmichael

  • Gordon McLeod

    • It is to be hoped that we can learn from initiatives such as Glow and address constraining local barriers to using technology effectively as a nation, and to share good practice and resources sensibly without a ‘monetisation of knowledge’ agenda.

    • I wonder if it would be useful to say something regarding rethinking copyright in the digital age? What educators are permitted to do under fair use within a classroom environment is considerably less restrictive than via online or recorded media, yet we move increasingly towards digital delivery of many resources. While I’m not suggesting that original authors shouldn’t be credited (or paid), content not already licenced for re-use is a huge can of worms for many institutions. Copyright legislation can be dated and doesn’t reflect changing cultural attitudes towards openness.

  • Ian Stuart

  • James Henderson

    • Whilst this point is very valid and important, I think it is significant that technology should not be the driver in open education. Although acknowledging it plays a key role in facilitating education, investment, I feel, has to be based on sound pedagogical principles in conjunction with the benefits that open education offers and the clear need for culture change emphasised in this declaration.

      By example, I would regard ploughing money into institutions to cater for learners to be provided with their own mobile devices as a ‘solution’ that puts forethought into the technology as opposed to deriving the need for it from whatever the underpinning pedagogical requirements may be.

  • James Suttie

  • Jan Neumann

    • Comment on General Comments on September 19, 2014

      Dear Colleagues, congratulations to your great initiative, which I hope will become a huge success! I would like to make two general comments:First I personally would love to see a library participating as well! Libraries can contribute to the OER movement by providing high quality metadata for OER and hosting OER repositories. They therefore should be considered as an important stakeholder and an essential component of every OER-ecosystem.Secondly, my dear hbz-colleague Adrian Pohl wrote a „Library empowerment manifesto“ which I like very much. It might be interesting for you to have a look at it, since it takes a quite different approach than the Open Scotland Declaration, so it might be worth comparing both of them. All the bestJan 

  • Joe Wilson

  • Lee Ballantyne

    • Lee Ballantyne

      Senior Learning Technologist

      City of Glasgow College

    • I agree with Martyn. It’s not about technology per se. Sometimes the explicit reference almost drives a wedge between learning and ‘e’-learning. Perhaps we could leave out  ‘technology supported’ and say:

      Scotland has long been at the forefront of education innovation and there are many examples of pioneering open education developments across all sectors of Scottish education. 

    • Technology itself isn’t a driver but those learners without access are disadvantaged. This point is addressing access not delivery. The pedagogy is irrelevant without the option, without access.

    • That was meant to be in paragraph 5.

  • Linda Creanor

    • I think these principles usefully underline the fact that a major culture shift is needed. The ‘capacity building’ highlighted in point e) in terms of engaging and supporting educators to do this is vital.

    • It certainly wouldn’t do any harm to highlight it. It’s important across Scottish education as a whole, as well as within institutions.

  • Linda Creanor

  • Lorna M. Campbell

  • Lorraine

  • Martyn Ware

    • Agree with Joe’s point and suggest it’s fair to reflect the historical position of education in Scotland as a public good and not something to which access depends on ability to pay

    • Agree this is a key para. Woud it carry more weight through reversing the order of the sentences, so expanding access comes earlier and through adding a point about the economic case for open education i.e. it’s not just a ‘good thing’ to do – there is also a sound economic case in tne return on public money spent

    • Perhaps worth making the point at the start of this para that open education is mainly about changing culture rather than technology although progress in educational technology is a key enabler and reason for highlighting the poential for and benefits of action now.

    • Would be good to include some refs in these principles to the importance of actvity being cross-sectoral wherever possible e.g. for tools and technologies, so that everything is designed to facilitate and enable sharing within and across sectors rather than just within.


    • The advent of MOOCs has definitely shown us that open online resources do work but I’m not clear on the business models of such and what the long-term future of MOOCs (and SPOCs) are. I guess what MOOCs have shown us is the principle of “safety in numbers” holds true – because major players in the States got involved the rest of us followed. If the Europeans were all in it together then it would work, i.e. make it so wide-spread that NOT to be involved would be viewed as  bad thing. Most universities have philanthropic ventures in action so to play under this label would be easy, but the Commission is not really looking at developing countries or ability to afford.


  • Peter Suber

  • Ronald Macintyre

    • I made this point in a paper recently about education in Scotland being seen as a shared common good where the benefits are seen to accrue to society, the reviewer asked for the evidence of this distinct political difference between the private good private benefit model that is implied by tuition fees etc, perhaps these statements add to the evidence base

    • Agree, emphasising the social justice WP aspects are key

    • I would like to see this pulled back from the technology aspects,  technology as in technique and/or approaches in its broadest sense, yes. I suppose I am suggesting a broader reading of tech(ology/nique) probably more in line with Martyn’s comment

    • Lorna,  I think those changes in customs and practices are key. The comments and the tone of the document seems to me about building on and reinforcing our culture of understanding education as a common good, so a focus on customs and practice would be useful. I am not sure whether this the document wants to emphasise the paradigm shift (Linda “major cultural shift”), or the evolution, building on a culture (common good), it is an interesting question

    • This for me is very important, it is not just about HE providers opening up content, it is about opening up practices.

    • I have in the past myself argued that the digital is the medium of exchange the message is about openness. At the same time acknowledging that access to the means of exchange is still constrained, and not just by available infrastructure, it is a tricky one

    • I think these alliances are not just about using technology.  Alliances and sharing are about common goals, going back to the “common good”.


      On a purely practical level what I have found is that Scotland is a wee place, people know each other and those networks, we can do things in Scotland because of our scale that people might struggle to elsewhere.  It seems to be about communities.

      Rather than specify in the last part might be it better to have across all sectors and at all levels.

    • Just encourage?

    • Ronald Macintyre

      Learning and Teaching Coordinator

      The Open University in Scotland

  • Scott Wilson

    • Equal consideration of open source software in procurement decisions would have been a nice one to add, though I guess the focus is on educational content.

    • Not sure on the development of tools aspect, but definitely supporting open formats is good.

      (Some other issues related to tools…if I stick a CC license on a file that can only be opened using some very expensive proprietary software is it an OER? If I distribute a file under a CC-BY (not ND) license that is flagged to the software (e.g. Acrobat) to make it locked and non-editable, is it still OER?)

    • How about:

      x. Promote the adoption of procurement policies that give equal consideration to open source software and openly licensed materials, and support the development in education and related sectors of  processes and practices to provide a level playing field for open source software and open education resources in procurement

    • Just one thing… replace “Open Source Software” with “Free and Open Source Software” or I’ll be in trouble 🙂

  • Serge Ravet

  • Sheila MacNeill (@sheilmcn)

  • Tavis Reddick

    • Perhaps some additional functions are worth mentioning (probably not as many as listed below)?

      “…tools and technologies to

      [insert] create, edit, repurpose, combine, extract, describe, rate, track, monitor, style, abstract, recode, package, test, index, optimize,

      find, retrieve and share…”

    • Indeed re: proprietary and non-editable. And although a format may technically be open (like a PNG image), if it is used inappropriately (like a scan of text), the lack of accessibility and editability may render it closed. Or HTML files emitted by some proprietary tool may be effectively uneditable in other tools.

      So, in addition to open standards, would a mention of “best practices” be helpful in this paragraph?

    • In the sense that technology means systematic know-how (rather than simply hardware and software), I suggest that technology will be the primary enabler of open education. A recent post on open source software <http://www.techrepublic.com/article/open-souce-developers-must-examine-the-past-to-invent-the-future/#ftag=RSS56d97e7&gt; presents the view that open is not enough; your overall system architecture needs portability, interoperability, decentralization, modularity, layers, separation of concerns, a crucial reduction in effort.

      In the past, the technology that allowed printing of paperback books contributed hugely to an expansion of educational opportunities. Today, the enabling technology is largely digital.

      So I think that the first sentence-and-a-half of this paragraph makes these points well. And in the rest, you are going to need broadband for video and mobile for low-point-entry access. I would hope, however, that we will still be providing OERs and educational services that can be used by parts of the world without broadband and smartphones, like <http://www.etekkatho.mimas.ac.uk/about-us/&gt;.

      I agree with James’ point about buying mobile devices for students as being a questionable investment, but the trend may be for bringing your own device (BYOD), in which case the best practice approach is to make the content as device-independent as possible. And this takes technical know-how. I suggest that publishing technologists will be providing a layer of software and services (“facilitate enabling environments”) that content authors will create on top of.

      Maybe, as it takes a village to raise a child, it takes a community of different specialists (speaking the same language of digital literacy) to create successful OERs.

    • An example of a tool that might be developed: BUFVC Audiovisual Citation Generator, an unofficial, unfinished effort based on unstable HTML5 specifications and unclear browser support. The citation rules are, however, reasonably stable (“will be reviewed periodically”). BUFVC said that they did not have the capacity to undertake such a development themselves.

  • Terry McAndrew

    • Practitioners should be able to validate OERs against available advice and guidance to ensure that the resources they release/share are as accessible as reasonably possible beyond their own typical cohorts. Some level of accessibility audit (e.g. self-check questionnaire against common issues)should be supported by the repository network before a resource is accepted.


  • Wayne Mackintosh

    • Comment on General Comments on March 18, 2014

      Greetings from New Zealand

      As UNESCO,  COL & ICDE Chair in OER working in the Edinburgh of the South (Dunedin) – I wish to compliment our Scottish colleagues on an outstanding open declaration. Great to see that you haven’t forgotten to apply an open license as in the case of other initiatives in this space 😉

      I was particularly pleased to see the use of “open education” as an umbrella concept incorporating aspects like OER, OEP and Open Access.

      Well done team Scotland !

      Where do I sign the declaration? … can’t wait to see the final product. 

    • OER Foundation & UNESCO/COL/ICDE Chair in OER endorses these principles.

  • Wilbert Kraan

Source: https://declaration.openscot.net/comments-by-commenter/