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Open education handbook in slides

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What is open?

  • A piece of data or content is open, as defined by the Open Definition, “if anyone is free to use, reuse, and redistribute it — subject only, at most, to the requirement to attribute and/or share-alike.
  • In open education, for a resource to be open, it must be both gratis and free/open.
    • gratis means one must be able to access the educational resource at no cost
    • free/open means one must have the legal rights to reuse, revise, remix and redistribute the resource and/or adaptations of the resource.
  • Further discussion:

What is education?

Education involves a wide range of activities. The core processes of formal education:
  • policy at a national through institutional level on how institutions are run
  • administration , dealing with recruitment, admissions, retention, progression, graduation, timetabling, reporting, and so on;
  • teaching , including mentoring and all non-instructivist activities around the deliberate nurturing of knowledge;
  • learning , which may be the only necessary activity here;
  • assessment , summative, formative and diagnostic;
  • accreditation , saying and recognizing who learnt what.

Academic and business topics that inform or influence these processes: 

  • politics,
  • management studies,
  • pedagogy,
  • psychology,
  • philosophy,
  • library functions,
  • Human Resource functions such as recruitment and staff development.

What is open education?

  • is a collective term that is used to refer to many practices and activities that have both openness and education at their centers
  • is first and foremost about removing barriers to education
    • removing entry requirements (Open University)
    • making content and data freely and legally available for reuse
  • reflects other cultural changes, such as the move to open up learning methods and practices
    • blurring or removal of traditional roles such as teacher and student
    • moving towards roles such as mentor and learner
Further information:

History of open education

  • started as public library movement in the 19th century
  • continues with institutions like the Open University in the UK

Detailed information:

Is traditional education not open?

  • Both traditional and Open education are not open to all
  • Traditional education did not strive to be open to all
  • Not all initiatives within open education are currently open to all, but inclusivity (or more accurately, equality) is core to open education. 

Further discussion:


Impact of Open education on education

The full effect of open education is yet to be seen:

  • cultural shift that is needed for open education to reach its potential will take time
  • open education is still in its infancy


  • The Jisc OER Impact Study (November 2010 - June 2011, University of Oxford) concluded that OER's main impact factors are pedagogic, attitudinal, logistical and strategic
  • The OER Research Hub research will be reported in forthcoming years
  • The paper, notes significant adoption hurdles to OER, including discoverability, quality control, failure to organise and acquisition.

Other resources:

Benefit from open education

Organisations, groups and individuals benefit from open education.These include:

Further discussion:

Conferences about open education


Events for open education


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Open Educational Resources (OERs)

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OERs: Basics

Open educational resources

OER definitions:

  • liberally licensed stuff for use in education
  • teaching, learning, and research materials in any medium that reside in the public domain or have been released under an open license that permits their free use and re-purposing by others (Hewlett definition
  • freely accessible, openly licensed documents and media that are useful for teaching, learning, educational, assessment and research purposes (Wikipedia)

Open Educational Resources meet the “4Rs Framework,” meaning that users have free access and all of the legal rights necessary to:

  • Reuse:  Content can be used in its unaltered form;
  • Revise: Content can be adapted, adjusted, modified or altered;
  • Remix: The original or revised content can be combined with other content to create something new;
  • Redistribute: Copies of the content can be shared with others in its original, revised or remixed form.

Further information:

Types of OER

By level of interactivity with users:

By content format:

  • Text led
  • Video led
  • Animation led
  • Multiple media 

Useful OER resources/handbooks

Benefits of OER for an educator

The reusage of existing OERs helps you to:

  • free up time
  • expand your range of teaching materials
  • find additional sources for students
  • encourage students to refer to and cite teaching materials  
  • encourage students to be educators and start experimenting with learning and teaching materials.

The creation of own OERs helps you to:

  • raise your profile
  • improve the quality of your materials by collaborative work
  • improve your practice by encouraging you to reflect 
  • find people interested in and teaching/learning the same areas as you.
  • look outside your immediate environment and get broader and different views on topic areas.
  • learn new stuff which will reinvigorate your teaching.

Other resources:


Benefits of OER for an institution

Benefits of OER for a learner

History of the OER movement

Usage of OERs

Searching for OERs

Quality of OERs

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Releasing own OERs

Benefits of releasing your own OER

Misperceptions about Copyright

Deciding to Create OER

Development of OERs

Publishing OERs

Challenges when developing OERs

Software for making OERs

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OER: Best Practices

Do open educational resources have to be online?

Open textbooks

Open courseware

Open resources and open formats

European OER use cases

Worldwide OER use cases

Books about OERs

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OER Movement

Groups of people or individuals interested in OER

Ideas that stretch the idea of OER

OERs and developing world

Main discussion topics around OERs

Creating of OER and ownership

Fair dealing/use and OER

Current opportunities and challenges of OERs

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Searching for MOOCs


Types of MOOCs

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Open Licenses



Open licences

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Open Learning and Practice

Open learning and practice

Examples of open learning and practice methods

Challenges of open learning and practice

Open Educational Practices

Open Education vs Open Learning

OERs vs OEPs

OEP practioners

Open Learner

Open Practioner

Open assessment

Open accreditation

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Open Badges

Digital badges

History of open badges

Open badges

Benefits of open badges

Challenges of using open badges

Open badges use cases

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Open Policy

Open policy

  • Open policies require access to, and open licensing of, resources financed through public funding.
  • Policy is defined broadly as legislation, institutional policies, and/or funder mandates.
  • Open policy may refer to content (such as OERs) or data.
  • Foundations and education systems may also create open policy.

Policy relating to open education

Policies usually apply either to K-12 education or to higher education - there are no examples of unified policies spanning all levels of education:

  • International policies: These are adopted by intergovernmental organizations and are usually not binding for its members. The most important such policy now in force is the UNESCO OER Declaration 
  • National policies: Currently no country in the world has adopted a comprehensive policy concerning open education or open educational resources. However, many governments have required open licensing for the educational outputs of certain programs, eg. the U.S. Department of Labor's $2 billion TAACCCT program requires CC BY on all educational outputs 
  • Regional policies (for example, state-level policies): In several countries, policies have been introduced by state governments. Examples of such policies is the Bill  HB 2337  “Regarding open educational resources in K-12 education”, passed by the Senate of the State of Washington
  • Funders mandates can be seen as specific types of policies that apply to funding programs of charitable organizations. They are important in themselves, but also set standards for other, public policies.

See the  OER Policy Registry  for examples of OER policies.

Convincing policy makers about open education

Convincing policy makers requires making:

  • a business case for open education - how  21st century legal and technical tools can be used to significantly improve the effectiveness of investments in publicly funded resources.
  • a social case for open education - how  taxpayer-funded educational resources  should be available for all to use, and the human right to education.

Support for open policy work

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Open Data

Open education data

Open education data =
  • all open data that can be used for educational purposes (e.g research data, GLAM data etc.)
  • open data that comes out of education institutions

Other terms: Open education data, open educational data, open data in education, open data exploited/used by education

Benefits of open data in education

Supporting students

  • New tools, enriching resources, exploration, informed choices

Supporting schools and institutions

  • Learning analytics, improve efficiencies, benchmarking

Supporting governments and policy

  • Change in policy, transparency, education reform

Types and categories of open data relevant to education

Benefits to Institutions of opening up data


  • The charitable mission of education can be helped through a commitment to open data.
  • Help educators and institutions to engage with learners more effectively and in better ways.
  • There is a role of data openness and exchange in driving quality research.  
  • Openness can become part of the identity of an institution.


  • Education institutions are subject to freedom of information, open research data policy, key information Sets, student number controls and widening participation data.


  • Opening up data could save time - no need for central collection.
  • Internal usage of data can inform decisions and practice.
  • Business intelligence - from corporate data through to learner analytics - market strategy, online learning pedagogies.


Creating open data

Guidance on creating open data is available in the Open Data Handbook

The main recommendations are to:

  • Keep it simple. Start out small, simple and fast. 
  • Remember this is about innovation. 
  • Engage early and engage often. 
  • Bear in mind your audience. Much of the data will not reach ultimate users directly, but rather via ‘info-mediaries’. These are the people who take the data and transform or remix it to be presented. 
  • Apply an open license.
  • Make the data available - in bulk and in a useful format. You may also wish to consider alternative ways of making it available such as via an API.
  • Make it discoverable - post on the web and perhaps organize a central catalogue to list your open datasets.

Impact for schools in developing world

Open data can help identify gaps in the availability of education and provide simple solutions that can be delivered through the existing education system. In order to achieve this you need a robust analytical culture that demonstrates the impact of its work.

Main issues: Supply vs Demand

Education open data technology

Common open data technologies:

  • CSV, XML, Linked Data
  • Common Data Management
  • Common tracking tech.
  • Logs, analytics platform
  • Specific metadata standards
  • XCRI, MLO, LRMI, LOM, ...

Machine-readable data

Linked data

Education open data use cases

Open Data Challenges

  • Open Education Challenge:  Funded by EU. Invitation to all innovators to submit projects, receive mentoring and seed funding through the European Incubator for Innovation in Education, and get direct access to investors from day one. Looking for the 10 most promising startups. Events in Barcelona, Paris, London, Berlin and Helsinki. 
  • Open Data Challenge:  One in a series of seven challenge prizes designed to generate innovative and sustainable solutions to social challenges using open data - organised by the Open Data Institute, UK. Looking for teams to create products and solutions using open data to help parents make informed choices about their children’s education. Using open data relating to the UK education system.

Additional resources on educational open data

Conferences on open data in education

Open data in education community

Impact on developing world

  • Open data can help identify gaps in the availability of education
  • It can provide simple solutions that can be delivered through the existing education system.

Case study: Uganda

  • In Uganda the government allocated funding for schools, but corruption at various levels meant much of the money never reached its intended destination.
  • Between 1995 and 2001, the proportion of funding allocated which actually reached the schools rose from 24% to 82%.

Active in this area:

  • Akshara Foundation  
  • Karnataka Learning Partnership
  • Licence

    • Facebook Customer Service
    • How do I block a website link on my account ?
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    • http://www.emailcontacthelp.com/facebook-customer-care-service-contact-number.html


    Other Open Handbooks

    What open source open education tools are there?