Dear Educator, How Open Are You?

Fabio Nascimbeni
Universidad Internacional de la Rioja, Spain


As a researcher working on open education, I often feel frustrated by the distance between the promises of openness in education, both in terms of increased equity and access and of improved efficiency of educational systems, and the actual impact of open approaches on out university systems. Surely, research shows that Open Educational Resources (OER), Open Educational Practices (OEP), Open Textbooks, Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) are increasingly being adopted by universities around the world (Grodecka & Śliwowski, 2014; Esposito, 2013; European Commission, 2013); but at the same time many observers agree that the outreach of the openness in education is still limited (Rohs & Ganz, 2015; Kortemeyer, 2013; Hollands & Tirthali, 2014; Glennie et al., 2012; Okada et al., 2012). The situation is certainly evolving and openness is increasingly being accepted in higher education policy and practices; nevertheless we need to accept that the consideration made by Conole in 2008 is still valid today: “Arguably then there has never been a better alignment of current thinking in terms of good pedagogy – i.e. emphasising the social and situated nature of learning, rather than a focus on knowledge recall with current practices in the use of technologies – i.e. user-generated content, user-added value and aggregated network effects. Despite this, the impact of Web 2.0 on education has been less dramatic than its impact on other spheres of society – use for social purposes, supporting niche communities, collective political action, amateur journalism and social commentary.

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