You’ve Got to Speak Their Language…

Steve Carson has a terrific proposal on his blog this week:

What would happen in the US, I wonder, if US News & WR suddenly began considering transparency and knowledge dissemination as embodied in OCW/OER projects as a part of its formula? I’m sure they are lobbied all the time for changes to the formula, but I think there is a pretty good case to be made here… Any thoughts on how to start the campaign?

People and institutions respond to the incentives they understand. We’ve often said that if creating, sharing, and reusing OER were considered in the tenure and promotion process, more faculty would engage in the process. Steve’s idea takes the same idea up a level – if US News and World Report changed its ranking formula, many institutions would respond in order to protect or advance their national ranking.

I would supplement Steve’s proposal to say that if a new ranking formula were to be enacted in 2012 (say), that process should begin with a public consultation period to understand the most recent thinking on best practices for institutions in creating, sharing, and reusing OER. This consultation should include international institutions as well, both because (1) we want to benefit from all the models and lessons learned regardless of where they come from, and (2) this new formula will undoubtedly serve as a model for other ranking systems across the globe.

If you have any ideas about how to get this going, drop them over on Steve’s blog.