Open Education Practices

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Open educational practices (OEP)

The International Council for Open and Distance Education (ICDE) defines Open Educational Practices (OEP) as follows:

"Practices which support the production, use and reuse of high quality open educational resources (OER) through institutional policies, which promote innovative pedagogical models, and respect and empower learners as co-producers on their lifelong learning path. OEP address the whole OER governance community: policy makers, managers and administrators of organizations, educational professionals and learners."

Becoming an open educational practitioner, as you may now realise, involves a philosophical shift in thinking. OEP is a deeper process involving more than just making use of OERs. Of course, the big dilemma for many teachers is why should I change? Please take a look at the list in the next section, and consider how you might change your practice to develop 'openness'. This concept was covered in the previous module.

Why use OER and OEP?

The Wikieducator OER Handbook for educators suggests several benefits of OER (you don't have to read the handbook, but may wish to skim through).

  • OER provide freedom of access for both yourself and others.
  • Because you can freely adapt them, OER encourage pedagogical innovation.
  • Because OER are available free of charge, using them can lower costs to students and organizations.
  • You and your organization may benefit from potential publicity.
  • When you share OER, you are contributing to the global education community.
  • When you share OER, you open a new method of collaborating with your students and colleagues.
  • Your OER may be helpful to future educators.
  • Your OER may be beneficial to underserved individuals in the developed and developing world.
  • Using OER puts you in control and avoids "vendor lock-in" or a situation in which you can only use one company's products.

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  • To what extent have you incorporated OEP in your teaching practice?
  • What do you think are the benefits and disadvantages (or challenges) for you in adopting a more open educational practice?
  • Post to your portfolio and share on the Moodle discussion forum.