[Update – see James' comment below, and to clarify this is a course produced as a result of a research project in a collaboration with many others: the Hellenic Management Association, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, the University of Applied Sciences of Western Switzerland, SPI in Portugal, ELIG, and UNU Merit. As such it's not an OU course that has been through the normal course production process, nor does it carry OU credit]
Like Tony I think the OU has been a bit slow to start creating truly open courses – I'm partly to blame since I suggested doing one a couple of years back and then didn't do anything. Before that Ray Corrigan simply released his course as openly, but that was withdrawn to make way for OpenLearn. We've had some good study skills courses from the library and Tony has dabbled with it, but I think those have largely been the release of course material. This is the first time we are running the course in the open I think (please correct me if I'm wrong, I don't want to undermine someone's else's claim).
So James Aczel and team have put together a course on Business and Management competencies in a web 2.0 world, which is taking registrations now for a 1st Nov start. It says:
"openEd 2.0 is a FREE/OPEN course targeting business students and practitioners alike. The course consists of two strands: an academic and a professional practice based strand, though both strands can be taken together. Furthermore, the openEd 2.0 course is MODULAR, thus learners can also “pick” the individual modules they are interested in."
I think this follows in a long tradition of the groundbreaking courses being about the subject itself – a medium is the message principle. When we ran the first elearning course its subject matter was computers and the internet. This is a good way to start since the technology and delivery are part of the experience. But it shouldn't be confused with it meaning that you can only teach about those subjects this way. Just as we can now use elearning to teach about philosophy or engineering, so open courses can be about any subject, this is just a good way of finding your feet with a sympathetic audience.
Be interesting to see how it goes.