Martin WellerProfessor Martin Weller

Martin Weller is Professor of Educational Technology at the Open University in the UK.  He chaired the OU’s first major eLearning course in 1999 with 15,000 students.  He has been the project director for the LMS project, and currently leads the Hewlett funded OER Research Hub, looking at the impact of open educational resources.  His last book, The Digital Scholar, was published by Bloomsbury Academic, and his upcoming book, The Battle for Open, will be released under an open access license.  He holds the ICDE Chair in OER and blogs at


On October 27, from Noon until 1 pm, in the Rady Room (601 Nedderman Hall)
Professor Weller delivered the following public presentation:

Title: The Battle for Open

Openness is everywhere in education at the moment: MOOCs are offering free courses to thousands of learner; many national agencies have announced policies mandating open access publishing; open educational resources are offered by global providers to millions of learners; free, open textbooks are replacing conventional, costly textbooks; the G8 leaders signed a treaty on open data in June 2013, stating that all government data will be released openly by default.  This looks like victory for the open education movement.  And yet you would be hard pressed to find any signs of celebration amongst those original advocates.  At this very moment of victory it seems that the narrative around openness is being usurped by others and the consequences of this may not be very open at all.

This talk will explore these tensions, setting out why the open approach has been successful, and what the future debates and struggles will be around the direction of open education.