2004: OOPS

Background

Initiated by MIT and its faculty in their efforts to provide free and open educational materials to learners around the world, the Opencourseware (OCW) movement represents the new movement to help advance education at the global level. In the case of MIT, the OCW provides visitors with course syllabi, lecture notes, and course calendars for over 1,000 courses.

Opensource’s Opencourseware Prototype System (OOPS) project was initially designed to translate open source materials from MIT Opencourseware site into Chinese. It was formed in 2004.

The unique aspect of OOPS is that it supports a volunteer effort in widening access to world-class knowledge for the Chinese-speaking population around the globe. It has over 2,000 volunteers worldwide. In the conception of the project, the participants’ collective identity as a “grassroots movement” and the technology enabling the formation of an online network amongst diverse groups of “Chinese” speakers played a key role in its success.

OOPS received the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation grant from 2007 to 2008, and it is also MIT OCW’s official translation affiliate. “The Hewlett Foundation awards grants to support educational and cultural institutions and to advance certain social and environmental issues. It is one of the largest grant-giving institutions in the United States, with assets of over $8 billion.”

What Swordi Studio Contributed

Oliver Ding, the founder of Swordi Studio, designed the logo for OOPS in August 2004. After changing its name to OOPS, it started the logo voting event on August 1, 2004. Oliver was one of the six logo designers. Ultimately, his design was chosen as its official logo.

In his design, the logo uses the initials of the project (OOPS) and arranged the four letters into the image of the Great Wall, implying this is a cooperative project. The first two letters are “closed,” representing the traditional “schools” as the source of knowledge. The latter two letters are “open,” representing the new open spirit and the spirit of OOPS. The four letters are arranged to symbolize the trend of education from being closed to open. He chose the colors of blue, black, and white, representing scholarly rigor and enormity of thoughts.

Oliver also created the slogan in Chinese “Chuangzuo Gongxiang, Tianxia Weigong,” which means “Creative Commons: All Things for All People.” Tianxia Weigong is a phrase from Confucian philosophy. People like this slogan very much. Meng-Fen Grace Lin, Assistant Professor of Educational Technology at the University of Hawaii, wrote, “This was the first time the slogan was presented. Not only does the phrase rhyme in Chinese, but I was also impressed that the new Western terminology (Creative Commons) seemed to go hand in hand with the old Eastern philosophy proposed by Confucius 2,500 years ago.” In October 2004, when Lawrence Lessig, Professor of Law at Stanford Law School, founder of its Center for Internet and Society, and one of the initiators of the Creative Commons project, had an interview with Common Wealth Magazine in Taiwan, he wore the T-shirt with the OOPS logo and slogan Oliver created.

Oliver also led a voluntary brand team for OOPS in July 2005. In February 2006, he developed the visual identity system for OOPS.

Oliver’s suggestion that OOPS use the domain name www.myoops.org was adopted.


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