Case Studies on Institutional Open Approaches: The Open University

Lane, Andrew (2012). Case Studies on Institutional Open Approaches: The Open University. JISC.

URL: http://www.jisc.ac.uk/whatwedo/topics/opentechnolo...

Abstract

Interpreting openness has been part of The Open University’s mission since its foundation in 1969. As a distance teaching university it has always developed extensive educational resources for its students and occasionally for a wider audience but the emergence of open educational resources (OER) has challenged the ways in which it both develops and uses such teaching materials, in particular an over-reliance on in-house authoring and embedded third party materials and income from sales and licensing of such content. As educational resources are integral to the university’s teaching and business model a large scale, institution-wide, action research project aligned to University strategic objectives was established to examine the potential impact of OER in those models (with funding support from a US Foundation). Extensive research and evaluation activities plus widespread staff acceptance and experience in the use of OER in various parts of their work has enabled a gradual bottom-up adoption and planned top-down embedding of OER and other aspects of openness into most facets of University work after five years, including a defined open media policy.

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