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GoOPEN is a wiki which aims to share resources and approaches with anyone wishing to explore open education.

Content summary

This wiki was created by Vivien Rolfe and Catherine Cronin for their workshop at the UK Association of Learning Technology conference #altc in September 2015 (summary of the session). The rationale for the wiki is described by Viv and Catherine in a short introductory video. The aim was to create a place to share resources and ideas about how to get started in open education, particularly where there may not be a strong institutional culture or local support. This wiki is intended for anyone wishing to 'Go Open' or to move further in their open practice. Open education encompasses a wide range of approaches and practices and is relevant to different academic settings. In this wiki, we aim to cross all sectors and provide information relevant to schools, college and university, and adult and community education.

The wiki continues to grow and evolve. We welcome your feedback, comments and participation in the wiki. Please feel free to add/edit information and/or resources. If you make a contribution to the wiki, please add your name to the list of Group Members at the bottom of this page. Thank you!

Navigating this wiki

This wiki is designed to be used by a range of users, from those just starting to engage with open education to more experienced practitioners who wish to evolve their own individual and/or institutional practice.

If you are new to open education, OER and/or OEP ==> just keep reading/browsing from this point
If you have some experience with OER and/or OEP and wish to extend this ==> see Producing OER and/or Evolving open practice
If you consider yourself an open practitioner and wish to support further change in your institution ==> see Key open education reports and/or Evolving open practice

Going open

Brief introduction to open education, OER and OEP

Open education is a collective term to describe practices and initiatives that aim to "broaden access to the learning and training traditionally offered through formal education systems." The open education movement can be considered "part of a wider drive to democratize tertiary education, which, in turn, can be viewed as part of the movement to establish tertiary education and lifelong learning as a human right" (Blessinger & Bliss, 2016). Open education may include use of open educational resources (OER), open web tools (instead of or in addition to institutional tools), and wider open educational practices (OEP) as described below.

Open educational resources, known as OER, are "teaching, learning, and research resources that reside in the public domain or have been released under an intellectual property license that permits their free use and re-purposing by others. OER include full courses, course materials, modules, textbooks, streaming videos, tests, software, and any other tools, materials, or techniques used to support access to knowledge." (CC BY Hewlett Foundation).

Open educational practices, known as OEP, have a range of definitions. In the narrowest sense, OEP are "practices which support the production, use and reuse of high quality OER" (International Council for Open & Distance Education). A broader view is espoused in the Capetown Open Education Declaration: "Open education is not limited to just open educational resources. It also draws upon open technologies that facilitate collaborative, flexible learning and the open sharing of teaching practices that empower educators to benefit from the best ideas of their colleagues. It may also grow to include new approaches to assessment, accreditation and collaborative learning." An excellent overview of OEP can be found in the UKOER Synthesis & Evaluation wiki, including the OEP Briefing Paper.

Key reports

There are many reports and websites that introduce open education in all of its guises, including OER and OEP. Our intention here is simply to provide a summary. In the UK, HEFCE funded a national OER programme (UKOER) led by Jisc and the HEA from 2009-2012. There is a wealth of information and evaluations arising from that work, including continuing activity on Twitter (see @ukoer and #ukoer). Here are four foundational reports:

This is an ideal starting point for anyone wishing to engage in open education. The final synthesis and evaluation of the HEFCE-funded UKOER Programme is packed with so much relevant information, it is difficult to summarise here. It includes insight into OER production and release, working collaboratively, institutional impact, and legal and technical implications. It's a great starting point for those wishing to engage in open education or to influence their groups and organisations.
This excellent evaluation of the 2011 Jisc Digitisation for OER programme by Lou McGill explores institutional means of digitising assets and/or collections of materials and how to prepare content for open release. A must-read for anyone producing and sharing OER, the report includes numerous examples of the impact of OER on teaching practice and student experience.
This state-of-the-art review by CETIS describes current thinking on open education and MOOCs. A good read for those wishing to implement change at institutional level, exploring how open education can play a role in meeting the demands of changing student demographics, globalisation, and other economic and technological factors.
This report captures the great strides taken in the US and Canada toward reducing the financial burden of education through making available free or lower cost text books to teachers and students. The definition of OER very much represents 'textbooks' in this context, and the goal of developing open practices and approaches is replaced by the objective of achieving 'adoption'. There are many impressive open textbook initiatives but it is noted that other OER models exist outside of these geographical areas.
This UNESCO report is required reading for all who want to learn more about open practice in higher education, and how to make the case for open in higher education. The report covers open access, open source, OER, MOOCs, open research, and openness in higher education policy, concluding: "Openness fosters a more democratic and competitive higher education system, with the potential to improve access to education, develop and localize open educational services to suit local contexts, and enhance the integration of education into everyday lives as part of lifelong learning."

Finding OER and open content

The global OER community has produced a wealth of resources over the past fifteen years. The challenge for users, and a recognised barrier to OER/OEP adoption, is how to find them -- or more specifically: how to find relevant, appropriate resources when you need them. You may try your luck on search engines and simply search for your topic: “topic + open”. Jisc provides a comprehensive guide to sourcing digital media online; although not exclusively focused on openly licensed materials it provides a useful first port of call: finding images, audio and video online. Alternatively, there are many different services you can use to search specifically for open content/OER:

  • Finding video: set filter to "Creative Commons" when searching in YouTube or Vimeo

I'm a teacher, student, researcher... can I use OER?

Yes! Search for resources to supplement your teaching, or as a learner find resources to help with your studies or assignments. Look at the Creative Commons Licenses - this is the key to HOW you can reuse the materials. The most simple license is 'Attribute' - so essentially you are doing the equivalent of a journal citation. When you see the 'BY' symbol, this means you must attribute the author. OK it sometimes isn't clear by the OER author how they'd like you to do this. As a minimum provide the URL to the resource you are using. Many websites such as Flickr and Wikipedia have helpful attribution tools built in, or you can Google Search and find one that you like such as this one: Flickr CC Helper by Cogdog.

Producing OER

You may wish to share your own resources with others so that they can use and adapt them, e.g. images, slide presentations, learning/teaching/assessment materials, blog posts, etc. Users of OER often progress to producing OER. Once those who use OER realise that the open sharing of others has helped them to find, use and adapt great resources, many decide to reciprocate and add their own work to "the commons" through sharing their creations in the form of OER. Producing your own OER can be as simple as uploading a resource with a Creative Commons license. However, it is often useful to go through a more deliberate process, such as that illustrated below. This takes you through the steps of designing good quality learning resources if that is your aim, and also shows you what to consider if you are creating materials on sensitive topics or might relate to patient materials.

OER production pipeline from the SCOOTER project.

This OER Production Flow diagram (developed by the SCOOTER project and based on work by the RLO CETL and University of Leicester) provides a plan for turning existing materials into OER, or for creating new materials from scratch. Experience over time shows that turning existing materials into OER can be complex, and you need to determine the copyright ownership of every photograph or asset within the original resource. You'll need full permissions to share these openly. The pipeline walks you through how to gain copyright and other permissions, as well as to how to evaluate and track your OER released. The pipeline is available as an interactive HTML page with all the permission forms available to download: OER Production Pipeline. The 'specification guide' at [ RLO CETL is also an excellent resource (RLO CETL is a collaboration between the University of Nottingham, Cambridge and London Metropolitan).

I'm a teacher or student... can I share OER?

This really depends on the stance adopted by your institution. You can first check whether or not there is an Open Education Policy, and whether there are any details of this within learning and teaching and/or technology strategies. If there isn't a policy or any guidance, there is some work to be done! Leeds Metropolitan University led some good work on developing institutional policy and shared many documents under open licenses. The OER Policy Registry at Creative Commons provides links to policy projects and self-help materials. And finally, check out the Evolving open practice section of this wiki for tools which you can use to work with others in your institution to both assess and develop open educational practices.

Evolving open practice

Mapping methodologies

Reflecting on existing practice is an essential first step in evolving open practice. What are you (or your peers, students, organisation, etc.) doing now? What is working well? What could work better? What would you like to change? How much scope and power do you have to evolve open practice? Who might you collaborate with to achieve your goals re: open practice? Mapping methodologies can be useful in reflecting on these questions. Various mapping methodologies have been developed to explore openness and open practice. You may find these useful to engage with on your own but they can be particularly helpful when used with others in a workshop-type setting, providing the opportunity to share and discuss findings and ideas. Below are five different mapping methodologies which can be used to explore and evolve open practice:

Mapping #1. Considering Openness

Informal workshops for teaching staff with the aim of exploring openness typically include an overview of concepts such as OER, OEP, copyright, Creative Commons, etc. As a follow-on activity, participants can work in small groups to complete this simple mapping exercise "Considering Openness". Each participant maps their open practices on a scale from LOW to HIGH by placing coloured stickers on a large sheet of paper (using a colour code such as the one shown below). Each small group thus creates a map of their current practices in relation to openness and can see their individual practices in relation to one another. The maps can then serve as a quick and engaging discussion-starter regarding open practice. This activity has been used by Catherine Cronin in workshops with academic staff in Galway, Ireland: Considering Openness; and by Bea de los Arcos and Beck Pitt (of OER Research Hub) in Open Educational Practices Scotland (OEPS) workshops: Thinking About Open.

Mapping #2. Open Pedagogy Matrix

The Open Pedagogy Matrix was created by Mary Burgess, Tracy Kelly and Amanda Coolidge of BCCampus for a webinar during Open Education Week 2015. The matrix encourages educators to reflect on open practices by mapping openness (of resources or approach) against learning design (ranging from learner-centred to teacher-centred). Although the matrix presents Open/Closed and Learner-centred/Teacher-centred as discrete poles, the authors acknowledge that this is simply a tool to prompt reflection and discussion, with the goal of working towards more open, learner-centred pedagogies. The authors welcome additional contributions to the matrix (particularly examples in Quadrant 1) in this open Google Doc: Open Pedagogy examples. For further information on the Open Pedagogy Matrix please see: Open Pedagogy: Moving Forward by Tracy Kelly.

Open Pedagogy Matrix

Mapping #3. Degrees of Openness/Degrees of Ease

In 2009, Cheryl Hodgkinson-Williams and Eve Gray proposed a way of analysing the Degrees of Openness of both educational resources and pedagogy. The analysis was further developed by Hodgkinson-Williams in 2014 with a new title Degrees of Ease. By focusing on both content and process, rather than just one or the other, the objective of this tool is to help individuals and groups to analyse the degrees of openness of educational courses/programmes and thus to identify opportunities for change. Five attributes of openness are identified: Technical, Legal, Cultural, Pedagogic and Financial. The degrees of openness for each of these can be analysed and mapped separately (see table below left). The analysis of legal openness, for example, is based on identifying the legal rights provided by the creator to others to use, modify and/or share resources -- ranging from all rights reserved to some rights reserved (Creative Commons licenses) to no rights reserved/Public Domain (see table below right). This tool provides opportunities for multifaceted analysis of the openness of educational programmes or courses, with visual tools to identify, analyse and communicate both the current state and opportunities for change.

Mapping #4. Mapping and Supporting Open Educational Practices

In his paper Extending the Territory: From Open Educational Resources to Open Educational Practices, Ulf-Daniel Ehlers (2011) proposed a framework for analysing and facilitating OEP. These two matrices can be used by individuals or organisations, in any educational context. Matrix 1, Constitutive Elements of OEP, shows the link between resources and practices, mapping different degrees of openness in the usage/creation of OER against dimensions of pedagogical practice. Matrix 2, Diffusion of OEP, shows the link between individual practice and the wider organisational/institutional context. These two tools can be used by learners, education professionals and/or organisations to assess their own learning context and position themselves on a maturity scale of OEP.

Mapping #5. Visitor + Resident Mapping

While not specifically designed to address openness, the Digital Visitor and Resident framework provides a way for individuals to describe and map the range of ways they engage with the Web -- many of which relate to open practices. The Visitor & Resident framework encourages individuals to think about the social traces (rather than data traces) they leave online. In Visitor mode, we might access an online resource in a purely instrumental way, to get some information; in Resident mode, we view the web as a series of spaces or places, we engage with people. The two axes used in V+R mapping are a horizontal Visitor-Resident axis and a vertical Personal-Institutional axis. Individuals can add the various tools and spaces they use to the map, locating them according to how they use them. V+R mapping has been used by lecturers, librarians, students, researchers, managers, and others to map and reflect upon their online practices. Further information can be found on the Digital Visitor and Resident Wikipedia page and in the Jisc infoKit Evaluating digital services: a Visitors and Residents approach.

Visitor & Resident mapping

Mapping #6. Open Educators Factory framework

The Open Educators Factory project is exploring how to transform university teachers from “agents of resistance” into “agents of change” for openness in education, by a) reflecting on the change process that is needed to empower HE teachers to become agents of change towards the adoption of open practices in education; b) reaching a working definition of "Open Educator"; c) developing a multidimensional framework able to guide educators in embracing openness in their daily practice; and d) testing and validating the framework with a pool of teachers from a number of universities.  The framework shows the different transition phases that a teacher needs to go through in order to transform into an open educator, in the areas of Open Design, Open Content, Open teaching and Open Assessment. Based on this framework, a web tool has been developed, targeted to both teachers and university managers. Teachers are required to reply to a few questions on their daily teaching practices and are automatically "positioned" by the system in the framework, so to understand where do they stand in terms of openness with respect to existing possibilities. Further, the tool provides teachers with specific recommendations - depending on their actual competences - to advance in their path towards openness. University or departments managers, provided that a number of educators in their institution or department have positioned themselves in the framework, can appreciate the level of openness of their staff, understanding who are the leading faculty in terms for open approaches.

Open Educators Factory framework

Acknowledging complexity

Openness is not a simple construct. As highlighted in many of the reports and resources shared here in the wiki, openness is both complex and contextual. When assessing resources or practices, they may be said to be 'more open' or 'less open', but rarely simply 'open' or 'closed'. As Richard Edwards (2015) notes, different educational practices, both digital and face-to-face, often involve an interplay of openness and closedness. Technical, legal and financial forms of openness are important, but so too are pedagogic openness and cultural openness. Czerniewicz & Brown (2013) note the importance of listening to our students, and exploring closures, exclusions and silences -- in our pedagogies and all across our institutions...

Additional resources

Articles, books & papers

Group Members

Please feel free to contribute your ideas by editing and/or adding to this wiki -- and add your name below: