A nice piece in InformationWeek by David Carr on OER in the age of the MOOC:

David F. Carr

Freely downloadable textbooks and other open educational resources (OERs) are starting to have a practical impact, saving college students millions of dollars even as advocates struggle to distinguish the OER movement from the rise of the massive open online courses (MOOCs).

By the standards of OER, the MOOCs distributed by the commercial operations Coursera and Udacity as well as the non-profit edX are only partly open. I’ll come back to this distinction later. When I moderated a panel discussion on OER last week at the Distance Teaching and Learning Conference held at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, MOOCs were a side issue, but an important one.

OER materials include textbooks, but also shorter content modules and quizzes, software, videos of lectures and anything else made freely available for educational use, typically under a Creative Commons license requiring attribution only. Read more.