The main messages seem to be:
- Universities need to offer OER. Some already do it but most don't. It's a question of not wanting to give things away for free. This is the biggest barrier.
- Universities need to be flexible in how they offer their courses. Tapping into the 'informal' learning seen on such sites as School of Everything. Shorter courses spring to mind. The paper suggested links between established 'informal' learning sites and higher education institutions. That's good news for the established sites. How would this work in practice? Maybe it's just a case of paying for validation once you've done the learning.
- The importance of universities will be maintained with the validity that they give to any learning. It's a shame that we have to rely on stamps of approval. It's right that employers still need these stamps, they need the evidence. Hopefully, the 'informal' learning offering out there now and Web 2.0 in general will chip away at these perceptions.
- An important point is that the normal university experience is still valued and popular. But there is a market for a more flexible approach. They evidenced the Open University of Catalonia which is entirely online. Most of their students worked as well as studied so, for them, the flexible approach was ideal.