1.3 Open Educational Practices (OEP)

Wall mural image of two open hands
Photo: Open Hands by Alan Levine, licensed CC0 (Flickr)

Just as education cannot be reduced to textbooks and learning materials alone, so open education is not focused on OER alone. As described by OER Commons:

The worldwide OER movement is rooted in the human right to access high-quality education. This shift in educational practice is not just about cost savings and easy access to openly licensed content; it’s about participation and co-creation.

Another way of conceptualising and realising the potential of open education is through the enactment of open educational practices (OEP). OEP is a broad ‘umbrella term’ that is inclusive of the use of OER and open pedagogy. OEP can be defined as: 

collaborative practices that include the creation, use, and reuse of OER, as well as pedagogical practices employing participatory technologies and social networks for interaction, peer-learning, knowledge creation, and empowerment of learners. (Cronin, 2018, CC BY)

Some examples of OEP include co-creating open textbooks with students, collaboratively annotating web-based texts, creating OER assignments, encouraging students to  publish their work openly, supporting students in editing Wikipedia, and many more. These and other forms of OEP can help students not only to navigate but also to develop new ways to engage on the open web, sharing their work and building a digital presence. In general, the use of OEP can support students in developing digital literacies and web literacies, an important foundation for engaging online as learners, researchers, creators and citizens.

In practice, educators who use OEP seek to build opportunities for learners to:

  • access education, open educational resources, open textbooks, and open scholarship,
  • collaborate with others, across the boundaries of institutions, institutional systems, and geographic locations,
  • create and co-create knowledge openly, and
  • integrate formal and informal learning practices, networks, and identities

OEP and open pedagogy are explored in depth in the section Using OEP.


1.2 Open Educational Resources (OER)
1.4 Why use OER and OEP?