The Why and How of Open Education: Concepts and Practices


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The Why and How of Open Education: Concepts and Practices
OKCon – The 6th Annual Open Knowledge Conference 30th June – 1st July 2011, Berlin – Germany (
Online notes of the sessions are available from:

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The Why and How of Open Education: Concepts and Practices

  1. 1. The Why and How of Open Education‘ Session One: Towards Suitable ConceptsBy: Dr. Andreas Meiszner, United Nations University UNU-MERIT – The Netherlands Workshop on “The Why and How of Open Education: Concepts and Practices” OKCon 2011, June 31st – Berlin, Germany
  2. 2. ... and more in detail Open Education allows for:•  A greater range of inputs – not just from the educator, but from all contributors so thecollective is the source of knowledge, not one individual•  A more personalized learning experience – learners can gather the elements of knowledgethey require – but skip what they know already.•  Greater sharing of knowledge – in traditional higher education much of the previousinput is lost, whereas in Open Education the dialogue, resources, and outputs remain aslearning resources.•  Peer production – active engagement in producing something with a set of peers is apowerful motivational and educational driving force.•  Real activities – engaging in legitimate activities that are not restricted to an artificialuniversity setting also provides valuable experience.•  Peer support – a large support network provided voluntarily by peers in a collaborativemanner nearly 24/7.•  The whole is greater than the sum of its parts – all individual actions and activities add avalue to the educational experience
  3. 3. ... and from a financial perspective Open Education could allow for:•  Cost Sharing; e.g. through joint course production and delivery•  Cost Reduction; e.g. through avoidance of replications or through an increasedtransparency of processes•  Higher Value for Money; e.g. a better learning experience for students•  New Revenues; through unbundling traditional education services or through newservices
  4. 4. ... so why then ‘NOT’ to engage at Open Education?•  It is more complex; more stakeholders, less control,etc.•  It is ‘new’; thus more uncertain and humans generally tend to avoid change…•  It might be a threat, to current funding and business models, to the institutes strategy, toones own job, etc.•  It could challenge the ‘status quo’; academia might (further) loose the monopole onproviding higher education.•  It might be a totally pointless undertaking that would never work out in practice – so whybeing the first risking it…
  5. 5. For the start: Make your content available! It’s perhaps not education, but a pre-requirement!
  6. 6. Very easy: Just Open Up your course and let others OBSERVE!
  7. 7. Pretty easy: Just Open Up your course and let others PARTICIPATE!
  8. 8. Equally easy: Let your students INTERACT with others from Academia or Industry
  9. 9. Not that easy, but still feasible: Develop & Deliver an Open Course together with others
  10. 10. Even less easy, but APPARENTLY still feasible: Set up an OPEN University
  11. 11. And last but not least: confer degrees or certification for Open Learning!
  12. 12. Thank you for your attention! Dr. Andreas Meiszner, United Nations University UNU-MERIT