Novell announced the opening of Novell OpenCourseWare this week at their their annual BrainShare conference. This is the first time open
education is being used by a for-profit training services group. What Novell is doing shows that corporations can take the idea of “openness” beyond
open source software and into open educational resources. Novell currently has 10 courses available, from Getting Started with the Novell Linux Desktop to Geeko Animation Videos. It will be interesting to see if other companies follow suit.
OpenCourseWares (OCWs) are open access collections of educational materials. There is growing momentum among higher education institutions to participate in this “open” movement.
In fact, over 50 universities worldwide are now offering OpenCourseWare. There are OpenCourseWare projects at Johns Hopkins University, Utah State University, and schools in Japan, China, and the Netherlands (see ocwconsortium.org).
But Novell’s move into the OpenCourseWare space is not without controversy. Other Novell training course developers are not happy about the change. If their paid training courses can’t offer additional value over the free training that are now offered, their businesses could be in trouble.