Openness and education: a beginner’s guide

Jordan, Katy and Weller, Martin (2017). Openness and education: a beginner’s guide. Global OER Graduate Network.


While recent high-profile developments such as Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) have placed renewed emphasis on the idea of openness in education, different notions of open in relation to education can be found dating back to the 1960s. This document builds on recent research undertaken to trace this history, acknowledging that there is no single root of ‘open’ in this context, but to map the different ways of thinking about open education that have come to bear on the field we see today. Mapping of themes across time aims to provides those new to the field with a useful overview of the history and introduction to the concept of openness, and ways to explore the literature further. Each section of this document will summarise the nature of one of the themes, and its relationship to the broader network. Additionally, the document provides an annotated bibliography, through summaries of five of the most influential publications across a range of perspectives in each theme.

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