Open educational practice: Unleashing the potential of OER

Posted on September 2nd, 2016

In this opinion piece, TJ Bliss examines the growth of open educational resource adoption and the importance of open educational practice. Bliss, a Program Officer in the Education Program at the Hewlett Foundation, argues that in addition to the economic benefit of OER for students, it is important to look at open educational practice (OEP), or open pedagogy. Open pedagogy involves leveraging open licensing to involve students in the creation and adaption of OER. He points to examples such as the Wikimedia Foundation, which has an in-house project that encourages faculty and students around the world to edit and author Wikipedia articles in an academic setting. Early evidence has found that open pedagogy is an effective way for students to learn; in April 2016, students contributed to six percent of all edits across all of the science-related articles on Wikipedia. “This means,” Bliss says, “tens of thousands of students are engaging in authentic learning experiences by creating—not just consuming—knowledge.”