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Open Education Practice

Open Education

Open education is a belief, an attitude, a practice, and a method of teaching that inspires inquiry, and equal access to course materials.  Open education values sharing lessons and materials with the wider community under the belief that education is strengthened when knowledge is shared openly.

Open Education Practice “leverages open education resources (OER) to expand the role of educators, allowing teachers to become curators, curriculum designers, and content creators. In sharing teaching tools and strategies, educators network their strengths and improve the quality of education for their students. ” (OERCommons)


Openness in education is an idea that encompasses various facets of the educational experience including admissions, access, resources, and practices (1). Open educational practices (OEP), sometimes called open educational pedagogies, are ways of teaching that incorporate open education resources (OER), as well as the 5 Rs Wiley uses to characterize open activities (2).

Retain the right to make, own, and control copies of the content (e.g., download, duplicate, store, and manage)
Reuse the right to use the content in a wide range of ways (e.g., in a class, in a study group, on a website, in a video)
Revise the right to adapt, adjust, modify, or alter the content itself (e.g., translate the content into another language)
Remix the right to combine the original or revised content with other material to create something new (e.g., incorporate the content into a mashup)
Redistribute the right to share copies of the original content, your revisions, or your remixes with others (e.g., give a copy of the content to a friend)

Wiley’s 5 Rs of Open Content

In OEP, learners, teachers, and the at-large community work as co-creators on a shared resource or toward the achievement of a common real-world goal. These might range from collaborative research and writing efforts to create featured articles on Wikipedia (3), to community-based participatory research that results in open data (4). OEP activities are learner-centered and move away from didactic models of teaching, making them opportunities to engage learners in more meaningful ways. Hegarty proposes 8 attributes of OEP that encourage this move through the use of connectedness, trust, reflection, creativity, sharing, participatory technologies, peer review and learner-generated content (5). This last attribute brings the spirit of openness full circle by promoting activities that facilitate student contribution to a body of knowledge that itself may become an open resource to be made available beyond the boundary of the classroom.

Open educational practices encourage connectedness, trust, and innovation according to Hegarty, who describes OEP as having 8 attributes (5).
Open educational practices encourage connectedness, trust, and innovation according to Hegarty, who describes OEP as having 8 attributes (5).


Additional Resources

David Wiley talks at TEDxNYED, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rb0syrgsH6M


  1. Cronin, Catherine. “Openness and Praxis: Exploring the Use of Open Education Practices in Higher Education.” International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning, Athabasca University, Aug. 2017, www.irrodl.org/index.php/irrodl/article/view/3096/4301.
  2. Wiley, David. “Defining the Open” in Open Content and Open Education Resources”, https://opencontent.org/blog/archives/1123.
  3. Beasley-Murray, John. “Wikipedia.” Posthegemony, 18 Mar. 2008, http://posthegemony.blogspot.com/2008/03/wikipedia.html
  4. Campbell, Lorna M. “Crossing the Field Boundaries: Open Science, Open Data & Open Education.” Open World, 28 Mar. 2017, lornamcampbell.org/higher-education/crossing-the-field-boundaries-open-science-open-data-open-education/.
  5. Hegarty, Bronwyn. “Attributes of Open Pedagogy: A Model for Using Open Education Resources.” Educational Technology, Jul. 2015, https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/c/ca/Ed_Tech_Hegarty_2015_article_attributes_of_open_pedagogy.pdf.