Being a networked practitioner and scholar in higher education does require some level of openness. We are seeing colleagues share their work and perhaps even a bit about themselves online. Being an open higher ed professional (e.g. staff, faculty, or graduate student) does take some willingness to share a bit of what you do in the area of teaching, research, and service. Today academics and professionals on campus operate in a world that is more open, with regards to how we are networked and sharing with technology. Connectivity is a vital part of scholarship and practice, teaching/learning in digital environments, and how we work in higher education. Researchers and early career scholars require access to digital databases, online repositories, academic journals, and effective teaching/learning tools. Practitioners and administrators are finding value in open educational resources to scaffold student support services, improve instructional design, and enhance organizational planning. It is through transparency and accountability, that a growing number of scholars and practitioners openly contribute to their discipline, share practices about their functional area, find connections and collaborations with peers, and, most importantly, share public knowledge beyond the university/college.
By participating and sharing in the OPEN, we are all contributing Open Education Resources (OER) and participating in The Open Movement. Here are just a few (of the many) ways “openness” is impacting higher education:
- Open Education Resources (OERs) – Initially started in 2001-2002 with the MIT OpenCourseWare project, and has continued with others such as the Open Learn initiative from the Open University and OER Commons. Here is more about OER & Understanding OER in 10 videos e.g. an open learning commons: https://www.oercommons.org/
- Open Access – Pathways for free online accesses to online scholarly works have been created. There are two routes for open access: 1) Gold Route – pay to publish an article; and 2) Green Route – self-publication; often on your own website or institutional repository. Open access in scholarship, data, education and more, e.g. Open Access via SPARC and creating author agreements and rights by setting the default to open, e.g. SPARC
- Open Scholarship – Martin Weller’s book, The Digital Scholar (my recap blog post) discusses issues & challenges academia will encounter in digital works and connected networks + his revisited thoughts
- OER Research: The OER Research Hub increases access to course materials earlier and even in advance of the course start, with efforts like the #OER Impact Map to understand where open education resources are being developed.
- Open Publications: There are major policies, which mandate publicly funded research to make their findings publicly available – countries are forced to publish open access. For example, 51% of authors have published open access from the Wiley survey. Read more about The Development of Open Access Journal Publishing from 1993 to 2009.
- Open Data: A place for researchers to get credit, share or preserve data, aggregate project information, and openly share pieces of their work, research, or design for a study, e.g. figshare, GitHub, or the Open Science Framework
- Open Textbooks: Offering a shared repository of vetted university/college-level textbooks like the Open Textbook Library or find ways to reduce the cost of the textbook distribution through open textbook providers (e.g. OpenStax).
- Open Courseware: Ways to license and share open sections of a course, learning materials, or training development in an interdisciplinary learning commons, e.g. MIT Open CourseWare project or Open Course Library
- Open Practices & Open Peer Review: Providing spaces to share the scholarship of teaching and learning with an open peer review publication process, e.g. Hybrid Pedagogy
- Open Teaching: Opportunities to share how we do what we do, discover new teaching resources, and learn from others who are educating and teaching, e.g. The Open Syllabus Project or licensing work/resource via Creative Commons
- Massively Open Online Courses (MOOCs) – The big, (mostly) free, and online courses came out of Canada, initially…then Google Trends chart the course of the MOOC evolution into higher education. Explained by Dave Cormier in this video