— Daniel Williamson (@new_edu) October 10, 2017
With some well-warranted shaming from the Open Community, corporate textbook publishers are making a dramatic pivot away from openwashing messaging and practices toward a position of embracing and leveraging openly licensed content. Cengage just formally announced such a move — one that’s been in the making for some time. This is a clear example of the focus shifting from charging for proprietary content in the form of traditional textbooks to charging for the services and support provided around the content. These “value-added” services may come in the form of learning platforms, content management systems, ancillary teaching materials, adaptive/personalized learning tools, data analytics, customer support, etc.
It struck me that perhaps the most apt descriptor for this new tactic is openwrapping. For better or worse, I think it is important we recognize openwrapping and maintain a critical eye as it evolves. What are the problems associated with “automatically” charging every student in a course for their “textbook?” What constitutes “value-added?” Value-added for whom? The instructor, student or institution? How open is Cengage’s OpenNow platform? How will data collected by companies be used, and who will have access to that data? I realize I’m barely scratching the surface of the issue here and look forward to continuing the conversation with my Open colleagues.
What questions and concerns do you have about openwrapping?