How to account for quality in Open Educational Practices?

Last updated 7.3.2024

Open educational practices (OEP) refer to ways of making learning and education transparent, shareable and adaptable. Such practices include open educational resources as part of learning and teaching, opening up ways in which teaching is planned and provided, making a wider range of education open, and co-creating education with teaching and research staff, students and the wider society.

Open educational practices already exist in the daily operations of organisations. The purpose of the quality recommendation is to promote this trend and make practices increasingly open. The recommendation is intended to help organisations, teachers and learners. It stresses the importance of the active role of various operators in the implementation of open educational practices. When it comes to teachers and learners, their ability to advance the use of open educational practices at different stages of the learning process through their actions is emphasised.

Organisations are responsible for ensuring the necessary resources and support for the implementation of these practices, so that teachers can provide education and use the related educational practices in an open and high-quality manner, engaging learners. For the organisation, the recommendation describes items derived from the policy that are central in the high-quality adoption of open educational practices.

When it comes to teachers and learners, quality is assessed using the table below, according to the processes of learning and teaching, as well as four other dimensions: responsibility, accessibility, equality and a culture of sharing. This recommendation focuses specifically on the quality aspects of open education. 

Organisation's role in quality

High-quality open educational practices are based on a culture of open scholarship in an organisation, which facilitates open education and the functioning operation of teachers and learners, in accordance with the principles of openness. The organisation is responsible for harmonising different practices pertaining to openness and taking them to grass-roots level. The following describes things that an organisation must take into account in order to promote high-quality open education.

  • The organisation must incorporate the high-quality openness of education into its existing accessibility, equality and accountability policies and guidelines.
  • The organisation must allocate sufficient resources for the implementation of open educational practices and allow working hours to be used for the promotion of open education.
  • The organisation must ensure that its support services posses sufficient skill to promote the implementation of open educational practices.
  • The organisation must support the support services' coordination and internal cooperation.
  • The organisation must provide training and guidance on open educational practices, so that the higher education community is able to take data protection, copyright and other similar laws, regulations and guidelines into account.
  • In the procurement of digital education services, the organisation must factor in the availability of high-quality open educational practices (e.g. open content sharing, co-creation across organisational boundaries, etc.), favouring and creating mutually compatible open systems and open-source software.
  • The organisation must take into account high-quality open educational practices in career paths, recruitment and other merit building.
  • The organisation must encourage open education experts to network across organisational boundaries, and to share and co-create quality open educational practices.

Teacher's role in quality

This table illustrates open educational practices from a teacher's perspective. The table is intended for teachers to reflect on their work and improve the openness of educational practices, as well as for organisations to understand which elements they ought to facilitate.

Through their actions, teachers enable learners to participate and use open educational practices in a high-quality manner in their own activities. Teachers are supported by a background organisation, which establishes uniform practices, and provides resources and tools to support the successful implementation of open educational practices. 

The table examines the teaching process (planning, implementation, evaluation, further use) from the perspective of open educational practices through four dimensions related to open education: responsibility, accessibility, equality and a culture of sharing. 





Further use


Takes responsibility for the planning and development of education, and enables learners to participate in these as openly as possible.

Ensures the responsibility of and open access to education content, and the provision of education.

Is responsible for the transparency of evaluation.

Provides guidance and facilitates the learners' self-assessment and peer reviews.

Enables learners and colleagues to further use education content and educational practices, and actively develops them.

Looks after the copyright and licensing of their own material and the material they use.


Takes accessibility laws and recommendations into account.

Uses accessible (educational) resources that are open to all.

Complies with accessibility laws and recommendations.

Offers a wide range of implementation options with support from the organisation.

Guides and supports learners in the accessibility of open educational practices.

Provides evaluation criteria in an accessible form.

Ensures the accessibility of practices and materials that are to be used further.

Shares their experiences in achieving accessibility.


Takes the learning and participation of a wide range of target groups into account in planning.

Uses (educational) resources open to all and, where necessary, modifies material according to a target group.

Utilises feedback and provides it in return on an equal basis.

Offers various implementation methods for a variety of target groups.

Ensures that the evaluation criteria are fair and transparent.

Enables practices and materials to be adapted to the needs of various target groups.

Culture of sharing

Clearly specifies the level of openness, for example in the learning environment.

Engages learners in planning.

Utilises co-creation when planning education.

Provides education and guidance through methods that allow learners to have an active role.

Encourages and instructs learners to share their output.

Facilitates peer reviews and co-assessment.

Shares their own educational practices in a findable and engaging form.

Learner's role in quality

This table illustrates open educational practices from a learner's perspective. For the purposes of this recommendation, a learner refers to a person who participates in education, or utilises open educational resources or other open education. A learner is seen here as an active agent who promotes the use of high-quality open educational practices through their own actions. The table illustrates the ideal level but must, in practice, be adapted according to the diversity of learners. The active agency of a learner is promoted by the teacher, the education and guidance received, as well as the ability to act according to the principles of openness.

When assessing the role of a learner in the level of quality achieved in openness, the focus is on learning. A learner plans their learning process by making use of open education opportunities, such as open educational practices (e.g. by using open educational resources as support in independent study). They recognise and assess their own skills, and seek openly shared evaluation criteria to support their learning. Furthermore, the learner openly shares their skills acquired through learning with other learners, among others. 

The table examines the learning process (planning, implementation, evaluation, further use) from the perspective of open educational practices through four dimensions related to open education: responsibility, accessibility, equality and a culture of sharing.


Planning a learning process

Completing a learning process

Skill evaluation

Further use of skills


Seeks and recommends reliable open educational resources and online courses.

Takes advantage of open educational resources in independent study.

Evaluates their own skills and those of others.

Takes part in developing open education.

Is familiar with the laws, principles and recommendations concerning the use of materials.

Understands what personal information regarding education is available and how it can be utilised.


Knows their rights in relation to accessibility.

Is able to assess the suitability of various approaches or materials for themselves.

Seeks and recommends accessible open educational resources and online courses.

Chooses an implementation method suitable for themselves.

Requests the evaluation criteria in an accessible form. 

Provides feedback on accessibility.

Shares what they have learnt and their learning output in an accessible form.


Seeks and recommends open educational resources and online courses suitable for a variety of learning styles.

Takes other education participants into account, for example in open learning environments.

 Provides constructive feedback, taking the recipient into account.

Shares what they have learnt and their learning output in an adaptable form.

Culture of sharing

Seeks and recommends previous learning output. 

Utilises peer learning as part of their learning process.

Shares the good practices of their learning process.

Utilises peer reviews as part of their skill development.

Is able to share their learning output and use the learning output of others, while respecting copyrights and utilising open licences.