Going open education

Going open (education):
What, why, how?
Doors can be open, closed, or partly open/closed. So can education.
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  1. WHAT: Open education involves educational practices which use open educational resources and which reduce barriers to participation.
  2. WHY: Advantages of open education include including greater accessibility, flexibility, quality improvement, and lower long-term costs.
  3. HOW: Transform to open education by using OERs, well-known open education web platforms, minimising barriers, encouraging students to contribute, and engaging in communities of open practice.

What is open education?

  1. Open education is a loose term which is generally used to refer to educational practices which involve using and sharing open educational resources (OERs).
  2. OERs are teaching and learning materials and resources which are licensed to allow their re-use (e.g,. Creative Commons).
  3. Open education is an important part of open academia (which also involves open research and open service).
  4. Open education is not just about using OERs, but also about creating and sharing OERs, and more broadly, minimising barriers to accessing and engaging in education.

Why open education?

  1. The range and quality of OERs and search tools are improving rapidly; many very good resources are already available, ranging from a single image, audio, or video ) or whole courses of study e.g.,
    1. Creative Commons Search
    2. MERLOT
  2. OERs generally offer lower cost in the long run than educational resources which are commercially distributed with copyright restriction. There can be a short-term increase in cost/time initially when switching over to, or developing OERs
  3. Quality improvement and community review: Openly shared materials attract more comment and scrutiny, helping to fuel ongoing development of the materials.
  4. OERs are more accessible and more flexible as they allow different people to access the material in different ways and for longer periods of time.
  5. Open education helps to serve the broader community - one of the key functions of a university.

How to go open?


Restricted practices can be gradually transformed into open practices for the benefit of society, learning organisations, teachers and students:

  1. Can be done gradually, as part of course improvement.
  2. Audit the copyright licenses on all teaching materials -> gradually switch it over to OER material
  3. Identify the barriers to engagement -> gradually reduce or eliminate as many of these as possible
  4. Use a well-known open education platform for hosting materials (e.g., Wikiversity, WikiEducator)
  5. Work and share in a community of practice - going open will benefit from, and enhance, support and mentoring

See also

  1. Open education (Wikiversity)
  2. Open education (Wikipedia)
  3. Open educational resources (Wikiversity)
  4. Open educational resources (Wikipedia)
  5. Open academia
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Learn more
  1. Introduction to Open Educational Resources
  2. Composing educational resources
  3. Creating Accessible Courses
  4. Open Learning: The Journal of Open, Distance and e-Learning
  1. Survey research and design in psychology
  2. Motivation and emotion
  1. Going open: What, why, and how? (Slideshare)