Open Education

What is Open Education

Open Education is a collective term that encompasses educational resources, tools and practices that can be freely used in the digital environment without legal, financial or technical barriers. Open Education can also include Open Pedagogy which also focuses on the process of collaboratively developing educational practices and structures. In open educational practices there is more space for participation of learners in the knowledge creation and sharing, empowering learners and stimulating peer-learning and colllaboration.

Why Open Education?

Open Education is important as it:

Learn more about why Open Education matters:

Open Educational Resources (OERs)

Open educational resources (OERs) [def] are teaching and learning materials that can be freely used and reused for learning or teaching at no cost, and without needing to ask permission. Examples are courses, including Massive Online Open Courses (MOOCs), lectures, teaching materials, assignments, and various other resources. OERs are available in many different formats compatible with online usage, most obviously text, images, audio, and video. Anyone with internet access can access and use OERs; access is not dependent on location or membership of a particular institution.

Unlike copyrighted resources, OERs have been authored or created by an individual or organization that chooses to retain few, if any, ownership rights. In some cases, that means anyone can download a resource and share it with colleagues and students. In other cases, this may go further and enable people to edit resources and then re-post them as a remixed work. How do you know your options? OERs often have a Creative Commons licence or other permission to let you know how the material may be used, reused, adapted, and shared.

Fully open OERs comply with the 5 Rs:

  • Retain: the right to make, own, and control copies of the content.

  • Reuse: the right to use the content in a wide range of ways (for example, in a class, in a study group, on a website, in a video).

  • Revise: the right to adapt, adjust, modify, or alter the content itself (for example, translate the content into another language).

  • Remix: the right to combine the original or revised content with other open content to create something new (for example, incorporate the content into a mashup).

  • Redistribute: the right to share copies of the original content, your revisions, or your remixes with others (for example, give a copy of the content to a friend).

How to set up OERs?

  1. Choose a platform.

  2. Collect resources under an open license (see Attribution & Fair Use: Copyright in Open Education and Licensing data section for more information).

  3. Ask for feedback.

  4. Share and promote your resources.

See also a short video on ‘Creating Open Educational Resources: Tips for New Creators’ and ‘A Guide to Making Open Textbooks with Students

Examples of OERs