Framework for Open Education at Swinburne University of Technology

Bossu, Carina (2015). Framework for Open Education at Swinburne University of Technology. Swinburne University of Technology, Australia.



Open education has the potential to transform the higher and distance education landscape around the world. It has opened up opportunities for universities to reconsider quality and diversity of education offerings, their traditional business models and award systems for degrees, and provided a venue for addressing their visions and missions. Open education has also benefited many learners and educators globally, through access to a diverse range of free and open learning resources. For many universities, open education has also challenged their funding models, resources and strategic priorities in learning and teaching (Bossu, Brown, & Bull, 2014b). The promise of open education, including the massive open online courses (MOOCs) and Open Educational Practices (OEP), has also been recognised by some Australian universities as a way to meet a number of key institutional strategies, such as enhancing reputation and brand, increasing enrolments, contributing to areas of social and community need and enhancing curriculum offerings. However, research has shown that many challenges to the open education movement still remain. Some of them are:

• Lack of awareness;

• A concern about the quality of OER resources available;

• Insufficient institutional support to encourage and promote the adoption of open education;

• Copyright and intellectual property policies issues; and

• Lack of sustainable business models (Bossu, Brown, & Bull, 2014a).

In order to further realise some of these benefits and overcome the challenges, systematic and institution-wide approaches need to be considered in order to address the disruptive elements of open education within the current role that technology enhanced learning plays in delivering university programs (Butcher & Hoosen, 2014). This report will describe the conceptualisation and processes involved during the development of an institution-wide framework for the adoption of open education at Swinburne University of Technology, including consultation with key university stakeholders, strategies to build capacity and raise awareness within the institution, approaches for development and implementation, and opportunities for research and collaboration. These elements will then be explored in light of existing recommendations, frameworks and guidelines for open education at institutional levels, such as the Feasibility Protocol (Bossu et al., 2014b), the 2012 Paris Declaration (UNESCO, 2012), and Guidelines for open educational resources in higher education(Commonwealth of Learning, 2015). The results of the analysis undertaken here inform the institutional readiness for open education at Swinburne, which will support its open education trajectory and provide recommendations for future directions. These directions will be aligned and informed by the Learning Transformations Unit's Strategic Plan 2015.

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