Open Educational Practice: An Introduction

Open education has the focus of sustained research, teaching, and media over the last fifteen years; with 2017 recognised internationally as ‘The Year of Open’. The notions of widening participation in education, reducing costs to students and institutions, and improving the quality of teaching and learning are deeply embedded into open culture.  In many ways, openness is simply an extension of academic values and existing culture – one additional approach to practice that can be used for specific contexts.

This Coffee Course will ask practitioners to consider the role of openness in their own work, and provide opportunities to re-evaluate (or re-visit) the value proposition of the university in a participatory and democratic society.  It will do so by introducing the foundational ideas of open educational practice (OEP) and open educational resources (OER), how it has been used in Australia and internationally in higher education, and explore opportunities for integration into day-to-day teaching and learning activities.

The course is structured by using critical questions as a lens for engaging with resources about openness and how it might align with your existing work.  There will be opportunities to extend your exploration and share with others, as well as participate in a broader conversation across a number of universities.

Course Dates

The course is offered as part of International Open Education Week 2017 and will run from from Monday, 27 March to Friday, 31 March 2017 through this blog. There will be one blog post on each of these days, which will take 10-15 minutes to work through. Feel free to leave comments or respond to other participants on the posts.


  • Day 1: What kind of open do you want? This will explore the underpinning concepts of openness, especially the distinction between free and open, and how open education is enabled.
  • Day 2: Open Educational Resources: giving content for free. Why would an institution or a practitioner consider sharing educational content with the world?  What possible value proposition could motivate this behaviour?
  • Day 3: Research as an Open Educational Resource: expanding impact? Research publications are used as teaching resources in most university courses.  This topic discusses open access publishing and how it both adds value to teaching and learning, whilst also challenging impact metrics.
  • Day 4: ‘I’m not allowed to that to a textbook!’ Discovering and using OER. OER can be found in a number of locations worldwide and allow practitioners to reuse, redistribute, remix, revise, and retain resources (the 5 R’s).  Locate and use some OER over your coffee (or beverage of choice) during today’s post.
  • Day 5: Join the Dark Side: we have openness. As we conclude the Coffee Course, you’re invited to reflect on a few case studies of global use of OER and how this might be integrated into your own practice.  Ideation and sharing will be the focus of today – and who knows, you might be considering an open education activity of your own.


Adrian Stagg is currently the Manager (Open Educational Practice) for the University of Southern Queensland. His career has included over 14 years in both public and academic libraries, followed by 7 years in positions as a Learning Technologist and eLearning Designer.  Adrian holds a Master of Applied Science (Library and Information Management) from Charles Sturt University, and he is now a PhD candidate at the University of Tasmania researching the Australian practitioner experience in the reuse of Open Educational Resources (OER).  He also has an interest in the role of educational policy and openness.


Emma Power is a research assistant for the Pro-Vice Chancellor’s Office (SILS), at the University of Southern Queensland. Her Bachelor of Science and Master of Counselling qualifications have influenced her work as researcher for the 2015 to 2017 Open Educational Practice (OEP) Grants offered by USQ, as she is particularly interested in qualitative interviewing and research ethics. Her OEP Grants research is centred on investigating and understanding the experiences of academic staff engaging with OEP and creating Open Educational Resources (OER).


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