Why Open Education?

Why open education matters?

Open educational resources (OER) have been a UNESCO goal since the early 2000s. The goal is to advance global educational equality: each person should have a chance to learn and find quality learning materials to support learning. Open educational resources also enable flexible self-education and independent study in a whole new way.

Advantages for students, e.g.

  • Continuous learning
  • Being able to revise
  • Improving one's skills: independent study
  • Versatility and adaptability, e.g. for accessibility
  • Getting to know other fields of study
    • When thinking about choosing secondary subjects
    • Supporting complementary studies
    • Considering different universities and places of study as an upper secondary student
    • Public engagement and communication
  • Publishing one's own learning materials
    • Getting profiled as a competent creator of learning materials: demonstrating one's skills
      • Students can be authors of learning materials and show their knowledge
      • Future teachers can use this to highlight their experience and expertise for future employers
    • Opportunities of collaboration and networking

Advantages for teachers, e.g.

  • Getting profiled as a competent creator of learning materials: demonstrating one's skills
  • Getting profiled as a skilled peer-reviewer of learning materials: demonstrating one's skills
  • New ideas
    • Ideas e.g. for how to present subject matter, pedagogical implementations or course design
  • Productivity boost
    • Colleagues may already have resolved a problem you have or have a new perspective you have not considered
  • Opportunities of collaboration and networking
  • Improving one's skills: independent study
    • Teachers can also be learners!
  • Public engagement and communication

Teachers benefit from making their learning materials open too. It's a good idea to make use of existing open learning materials in your own work: why reinvent the wheel? On the other hand, making your own learning materials open can be a great addition to your professional profile. Open learning materials also remain available to you if you change jobs.

Open learning materials give teachers a chance to experiment with diverse ways to teach and new technological tools.

Advantages for supporting staff and training organizers

  • Supporting students
  • Opportunities of collaboration and networking
  • Public engagement and communication
  • Learning materials for various educational levels and purposes
  • Unified practices help with findability and licencing

Merits (national recommendations)

  • The national recommendation on gaining merit explains how opening your learning materials can be recognized as a merit. It includes
    • A checklist for makers of open educational resources: quality, impact, level of openness, cooperation, workload and competence 
    • Competence levels
      •  Using open educational resources
      • Publishing and peer-reviewing open learning materials and helping others in doing so
      • Researching open education
    • How to record merits