Navigating the Open Educational Practice Landscape

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Martin Weller


Open education is an evolving term that covers a range of philosophies and practices aimed at widening access to education for those wishing to learn, with the current focus predominantly on practices based around reuse and sharing. This current focus can be traced back to the Open Educational Resources (OER) movement, and the use of open licences, such as Creative Commons licences. However, it also has links to open universities, open access publishing, MOOCs, open source software and open approaches to teaching.

The current interpretation of open education is heavily influenced by the OER movement with an emphasis on the ‘5Rs of reuse’ (Reuse, Revise Remix, Redistribute and Retain - Wiley 2014). The profile of open education has been further raised in recent years by the popularity of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). Although they do not always meet the 5Rs criteria, MOOCs are open to all and freely available, and have gained considerable attention and funding. Another growth area is that of open textbooks, which can be viewed as a specific form of OER, and is particularly prevalent in North America through projects such as OpenStax and BC Campus


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Weller, M. (2018). Navigating the Open Educational Practice Landscape. Irish Journal of Technology Enhanced Learning, 3(1), 58–63.
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