Open Education Practices

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Ehler 2011, defined Open Educational Practices as “Collaborative practice in which resources are shared by making them openly available and pedagogical practices are employed which rely on social interaction, knowledge creation (peer learning) and shared learning practices”. Ehler adds that “OEP support the (re) use and production of OER through institutional policies, promote innovative pedagogical models, and respect and empower learners as co-producers on their lifelong learning paths”.

According to Chiappe and Adame (2018), “Open Educational Practices can cover several dimensions, including assessment, teaching and educational planning”

Five Conditions

OER: Teaching materials used within OEP should be openly licensed, and the resources produced during the course (e.g., reports, presentations, videos) should also be released as OER.

Enabling technology: Teachers should make use of different technologies and tools to build and support a connected learning community where the OEP can flourish. These technologies and tools include OER authoring tools, OER repositories, social networks, and collaborative editing tools.

Open teaching: Educators should implement teaching methodologies that can help students to construct their own learning pathways (self-regulated) and to actively contribute to knowledge building, both individually and collaboratively.

Open collaboration: Teachers should build open communities, for instance by using social networks, to help students to work in teams to carry out particular learning tasks (e.g. editing a blog, creating a Wikipedia page) as well as to exchange ideas and discussions related to those specific learning tasks. Other teachers and stakeholders can participate in these discussions as well to further assist learners.

Open assessment: Teachers should allow learners to evaluate one another (peer assessment). This can emphasize reflective practices and improve learning outcomes.

Challenges of using OER and OEP by teachers

  • Copyright related challenges; “copyright is one of the challenges of using online resources. Indeed, during OEP development, teachers should pay attention to the attributed open license of each OER to ensure its legal use in their context”, (Yang, S. 2020).
  • Difficulty by educators to select the best and most appropriate online resources. According to Prof ID 12, “teachers might not be familiar with the process of choosing the most suitable resources to use in their teaching processes”. This is not only laborious but directly affects the quality of the teaching and learning process.
  • Educators might lack the necessary technical digital skills to develop their OER and how to use the open educational practices. In this case, it may not produce the intended learning outcomes.

Guidelines to the Teachers on the beneficial use of the OER and OEP

Using the Chinese scenario where following Covid 19, conventional physical learning was disrupted and OEP were used as an alternative, education specialists came up with guidelines on how to ensure an active and engaging teaching experience using OER and OEP for better learning outcomes. According to the education specialists, teachers were encouraged to follow some guidelines:

  • Select resources from internationally recognized repositories. “Teachers should consider the quality of the OER they would use by referring to well-known national and international OER repositories, such as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Commonwealth of Learning–OAsis OER and Open Knowledge Repository”, Ozdemir and Bonk (2017).
  • Educators should apply open teaching to keep their learners motivated. “During the teaching process, teachers should apply open teaching to engage learners and encourage them to participate in the co-creation of knowledge”. (Nascimbeni and Burgos 2016). This can be through, for example by asking the learners to update a given blog related to a specific learning topic.
  • To facilitate OEP adoption, “teachers should select friendly learning tools and technologies that learners are already familiar with. They should also avoid overloading learners by asking them to use too many tools, resulting in inconvenient learning practices for them.” (Zhang et al. 2020).
  • Teachers can also promote peer to peer learning of their learners as another mode of teaching and learning. To promote peer interaction, “teachers can build open learning communities where the students can openly exchange ideas, create discussions, and collaborate on different tasks.” (Hegarty 2015). Use of social media platforms can be the best way of ensuring effective peer to peer interaction.
  • Techers can also ensure effective use of OEP by playing to role of learning facilitators. According to Hegarty (2015), “During the learning process using OER and OEP, teachers should act as facilitators of the learning process”.

Five Conditions to Enable OEP

  • OER as input and output (teaching and learning material)
  • Enabling technology to support a connected learning community where OEP can flourish
  • Open teaching approaches that empower students to construct their own learning pathways
  • Open collaboration to reach out to concerned communities for students to interact with outside of academic actors
  • Open assessment through peer evaluation, reflective practice and evaluation by third parties.

Six Reasons to Adopt OEP

Werth, E., & Williams, K. (2022), have provided an elaborate narrative on the rationale of adopting OEP in the six reasons of adopting OEP including open education pedagogy.

Firstly, OEP allow Sharing

OEP allows free sharing of content and knowledge and individuals allow others to use what they create to further their own personal and professional development. This may be done through collaborative efforts, publishing open articles or licensing Creative works in a way that permits the 5Rs of OER.


Transparency is evident in the purpose of educational activities, expectations and practices for assessment. It is also provided into the value inherent in education such as how knowledge has been constructed and how one’s own biases, beliefs and values impact the teaching/learning dynamics.

Collaborative Knowledge Construction

Knowledge is not viewed as complete, unchanging, or being determined by those traditionally in positions of authority like teachers. Educators and learners acknowledge the value and participate in efforts to construct knowledge together.

Deconstructing Traditional Power Structures

Concerted efforts are made to evaluate and evolve power structures in the educational environment such as the traditional and pupil relationship. Voice is given to those in underrepresented groups and those with authority move instruction away from a deficit model of learning.

Personalized Learning

OEP give learners the authority to determine what is learnt, how it is learned, how mastery is demonstrated and when learning takes place. This personalization takes place in traditional classroom settings as well as in nontraditional learning environments.

Enhancement of Learner Empowerment.

OEP empowers learners in all aspects of their learning. Learners participate in knowledge creation, how learning occurs, and the assessment of themselves and others.

Open Educator Inventory.

The OEF platform allows university educators to self-assess their capacity and level of development in terms of Open Education and provides some guidelines to further adopt openness in all dimensions of their activities. In the blue table, I was graded as indicated in the positions below in regard to Openness

Open Learning Design I am positioned A2 (Collaborative Designer). Collaborate in designing courses with close colleagues either from the same university or from international subject related teams.
Open Content Here I am positioned B3 (OER expert user). Reshare resources I have used Openly through social media and Open education repositories. I use resources created by others. Searches for OER through social media and repositories. Shares links and resources beyond the classroom through an open online identity
Open Teaching Positioned at C2 (Engaging Teacher). Adopts seminars like strategies either offline or restricted online spaces (chats/discussion forums). Uses flipped classroom methodologies. Uses the university LMS in support to classroom teaching, to share links and resources with students of my course
Open Assessment Positioned D1 (Traditional Evaluator). I use traditional assessment methods such as tests and classroom work.

Based on my performance as indicated in the blue table, the following have been recommended to improve openness in my teaching:

On improving Open Design, the following are suggested:

Open Educational Resources

On Open Teaching, the following are recommended

On Open Assessment, the following are recommended

Competences Framework Open Education




Use Open Llicenses Understand the (comparative) advantages of using open licences and know the existing open license types
  • Know how to apply a CC license to teaching resources
  • Recognize the respective requirements and restrictions of a license and know how to determine whether a resource has one
Search for OER Know the major OER repositories and be able to identify those that are the most suited to your needs
  • Find OER that are relevant for own teaching
  • Assess materials within existing OERs in order to use them
Create, Revise and Remix OER Know the different options for adaptation of an OER (Translation, illustration,

accessibility, contextualization, etc.)

  • Create an OER, taking into account the specificities of licenses as well as its potential for reuse (format, language, granularity)
  • Revise an OER, taking into account the specificities of licenses.
  • Create an OER composed of various OERs, taking into account the specificities of licenses.
Share OER Know reputed OER repositories most suited for OER creators and cocreators to disseminate their creations for wider impact.
  • Identify relevant OER repositories and publish your resource.
  • Share your resource through social media and other mean.
Design open Educational


Know strategies on how to allow students participation in curriculum and learning design.
  • Design engaging open educational experiences.
Guide Students to Learn in the Open Know about connected and network learning strategies, Be aware of the issues

connected to online privacy and personal data management

  • Support students to learn through the open web (social networks, online communities etc.)
  • Provide guidance to students about online privacy and personal data management.
Teach with OER Master knowledge related to 1, 2, 3 and 4 above
  • Support students in searching for and using OER (either collaboratively or individually)
  • Support students in producing OER (either
  • collaboratively or individually
Implement Open


Know the comparative advantages of open assessment and be aware of

existing open assessment methods and tools

  • Deploy OER within an assessment (e.g., students analyze an open data set)
  • Guide students in doing their work in the public (e.g., blogging publicly)
  • Guiding students in producing OER for summative assessment

Competences Framework Open Educational Resources

The Open Educational Resources (OER) Competency Framework has been made available by the International Organization of La Francophonie (IOF) pursuant to the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License The competence frameworks deal with five main competences as indicated below:

  1. Becoming familiar with OER
  2. Searching for OER
  3. Using OER
  4. Creating OER
  5. Sharing OER

Field of competence D1. Becoming familiar with OER

Becoming familiar with open education resources involves developing abilities such as:

Being able to distinguish an OER from another resource. This involves demonstrating capabilities like being able to define an OER in your own words and listing the essential characteristics of an OER

Listing some factors in the emergence of OER. This involves capabilities like describing the place of education in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) of the United Nations and Identifying the actors and triggers that have made OER possible.

Consider a specific role in the OER movement. This involve being capable to: Identify the “5 Rs” that characterize a copyright-free resource, determine what your contributions could be to the OER movement.

Field of competence D2. Searching for OER

Becoming familiar with open educational resources involves developing abilities such as:

Use a search tool to find OER; This involves developing capabilities like; Understanding the meaning of the various terms bank, deposit, directory and repository of resources, and be able to recognize them as the source of an OER, searching for OER on Internet with simple and advanced search mechanisms by manipulating the search parameters in order to modulate the search results of OER as required, know the major OER repositories and be able to specify those that are the most suited to your needs and understand the role played by the standardization of metadata in the interoperability of banks.

Select appropriate OER.

This entails capabilities to know the quality criteria of an OER, know the validation mechanisms of the quality of OER, identifying some of the key data in order to correctly attribute an OER and recognizing a license and know how to determine whether a resource has one.

Field of competence D3. Using OER

This involves mastering competences such as:

Distinguish between the different types of Creative Commons licenses

Important capabilities under this competence involve; Setting out in simple terms the comparative advantages offered by Creative Commons licences. Understanding the exceptions to the laws of intellectual property and name at least two of them that apply in teaching. Identify the four basic options for Creative Commons licences, know their initials and explain their meaning. Identify at least one of the reasons given by those who oppose the licensing system.

Respect the terms of Creative Commons licenses

This involves developing capabilities like; Use a resource licensed under the Creative Commons licensing system. Demonstrate understanding as applied to the Creative Commons licensing system.

Field of competence D4. Creating OER

Important competences under this include:

Designing OER

The capabilities under this involve; Produce original or reusable content that can be assembled into a work that may be licensed to become an OER. Know the right practices to design resources that take into account the educational and cultural dimensions of the resource, its technical quality and ergonomics as well as basic concepts in order to ensure its discovery and accessibility.

Revise OER

This involves capabilities such as: Being able to identify and distinguish a modifiable OER in open format (in particular by ensuring the original design format is available). Knowing the different options for adaptation of an OER (translation, sound, illustration, accessibility, contextualization, etc.).

Remix OER

Capabilities include; Knowing how to create an OER comprising various OER taking into account the specificities of licenses and their potential for dissemination. Knowing how to create an OER comprising various OER and content that is not open within the constraints associated with this type of composite work and specifying the rights associated with the individual content.

Co-creating OER

Co-creating involves being capable of; Distinguish between the different modes of co-creation in order to use them wisely for the creation of OER. Identify the contributors involved in the creation of OER by establishing and clearly stating the levels of contributions and intellectual property of each of them.

Field of competence D5. Sharing OER

Important competences include:

Choose a license for an OER

This involves being capable to: Select an appropriate license for your OER. Recognize which licenses are less suitable for reuse when several of them are combined. Being able to Assign a license to an OER One should be capable to Demonstrate best practices in the attribution of authorship, for both the authors of the OER and for your own creations.

Ability to Publish an OER

Capabilities under this ability are: Use an OER within its information envelop and its license to ensure usability. Make your resource available in every way possible. Capable of identifying the major OER repositories in which OER creators can publish their creations.

Promote an OER

Capabilities include: understanding the lifecycle of a resource. Use social networks to publicize OER. Identify communities of practice to discover and analyze the uses of OER.