Open education

Technological advances give teachers new opportunities to share their teaching materials to a wider user community and even hold online teaching sessions. However, opening up learning and teaching is also challenging and raises many technical, legal and cultural questions.

What is Open Education?

Open Education is education that often takes place using digital technology. The aim is to expand access to and participation in learning by lowering barriers and increasing its accessibility, supply and learner-centeredness. Open Education diversifies the possibilities of teaching, learning, creating information and knowledge, collaborative development and sharing. It also combines formal and informal learning pathways. In Finnish context, more emphasis is usually placed on the learner than the teacher, and therefore Finnish equivalent of Open Education - "avoin oppiminen" - would literally translate into "open learning".
Important concepts related to Open Education are Open Educational Resources (OER) and Open Educational Practices (OEPs). Open Educational Resources are digital or other educational and research materials that come in different formats and are released to the public domain or licensed under an open license that gives others the right to free access, use, editing, and redistribution with no or limited restrictions. The wider concept of educational resources refers to resources specifically meant for teaching, education and learning.
Open Educational Practices, on the other hand, support the production, use and reuse of Open Educational Resources. They promote the introduction of innovative pedagogical models and support and reinforce the learner in lifelong learning. In addition, they encourage teachers and learners to produce, collaborate, share and use new educational resources and new educational practices, for example, through merits gained from these practices.