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Open Knowledge: Changing the Global Course of Learning

Wednesday, September 3, 2014 to Friday, December 12, 2014
Course topic: 

Open source, open science, open data, open access, open education, open learning -- this course provides an introduction to the important concept of openness from a variety of perspectives, including education, publishing, librarianship, economics, politics, and more, and asks you to discover what it means to you. Open Knowledge is international and multi-institutional, bringing together instructors and students from Canada, Ghana, Mexico, the United States, and the rest of the world. It will challenge you take control of your own education, to determine your own personal learning objectives, to contribute to the development of the curriculum, to reflect on your progress, to learn new digital skills, and to take a leadership role in the virtual classroom. It will also provide you with the opportunity to connect with colleagues from different countries and professions, and to better understand areas where your interests overlap and where unexpected distincts exist. We hope you’ll consider taking this journey with us.


Week 1: Introduction to Open Knowledge
Week 2: Technological Change, Digital Identity, and Connected Learning
Week 3: Participatory Culture, Citizen Journalism, Citizen Science
Week 4: Intellectual Property, Copyright, and the Economics of Open
Week 5: Historical Perspectives: Learned Publishing from Medieval to Modern Times
Week 6: Open Science, Data, Access, Source, Review
Week 7: Open Educational Resources: From Lesson Plans to Instructional Videos
Week 8: Archives, Databases, Encyclopedia: Evaluating Open Collections and Reference Sources
Week 9: Scholarly Publishing and Communications: Journals, Books, and Publication of Research
Week 10: Information Literacy: Overload, Filters, and Developing a Critical Lens
Week 11: Global Perspectives on Equity, Development, and Open Knowledge
Week 12: Student Publishing: Lessons in Publishing, Peer Review, and Knowledge Sharing
Week 13: The Future of Open Knowledge


There are no prerequisites for this course.


Why should I take this course?

The course will be a global conversation on openness that cuts across borders, cultures, disciplines, and professions. It will help prepare you in becoming an informed, critical, and connected digital citizen, actively participating in the consumption and production of the world's knowledge.

How much of a time commitment will this course be?

You will be able to choose from a sliding scale of participation that best meets your learning needs, ranging from about 1 hour per week up to 8 hours per week.

Do I need to buy a textbook?

There is no textbook for this course. All readings will be freely available, either on the course website or through open, online resources. An important student responsibility will be to discover and share additional materials to collaboratively build the full resource list for the course.

Will the weekly module content be available after the course formally ends?

Yes, the instructors are committed to keeping the weekly modules openly available, although the forums will not be monitered.

Will I get a Statement of Accomplishment?

Yes, students will be eligible for a statement of accomplishment.


John Willinsky

John Willinsky is Khosla Family Professor of Education at Stanford University and Professor (Limited Term) of Publishing Studies at Simon Fraser University, where he directs the Public Knowledge Project, which conducts research and develops scholarly publishing software intended to extend the reach and effectiveness of scholarly communication. His books include the Empire of Words: The Reign of the OED (Princeton, 1994); Learning to Divide the World: Education at Empire’s End (Minnesota, 1998); Technologies of Knowing (Beacon 2000); and The Access Principle: The Case for Open Access to Research and Scholarship (MIT Press, 2006).