(Open Education Week, www.openeducationweek.org, 5-10 March 2012)
...That is also the goal of Whyopenedmatters.org, a competition begun this month by the U.S. Department of Education, Creative Commons and the Open Society Institute, which will award a prize of $25,000 for the best short video explaining the benefits of free, high-quality Open Educational Resources, or O.E.R., for students, teachers and schools.
The IE University, in Madrid, employs 14 people who work full time on producing O.E.R.
“We have programmers, designers and writers working with our professors,” said Martín Rodríguez, director of multimedia content development. “If a professor comes to us with a specific need — for example on how to calculate the cost of capital — then we go to work.”
Some of what they produce can be relatively basic — a tutorial on “positioning” for a marketing course, for example. But IE’s multimedia case study of the drug company Novartis, which includes videos, simulations, interactive graphs and survey data, puts students in charge of developing a commercial strategy for the company.
The school’s Masters Series Madrid is a game — with soundtrack, 3-D graphics and interviews with executives — that allows students to manage an international tennis tournament.
“It’s a great way for people to see our school,” said Matthew Constantine, a member of the IE staff. Although all of the material on IE’s Web site is free for individual use, he said, the school “avoided developing material for self-learning” because “we think class discussion is essential.” Mr. Rodríguez said IE also hoped to recover some of the cost of producing material by licensing it to other universities...