What is Open Education?
Open education is an umbrella term that covers many different practices that focus on improving the educational experience for students and faculty alike.
To engage in open education, you can
- Customize your resources and reduce barriers for students by creating, adapting, or adopting open educational resources (OER).
- Engage students and collaborate by designing and implementing renewable assignments and other forms of open pedagogy.
- Expand your knowledge and explore our impact by engaging in open education research.
As a special purpose teaching university with an open mandate, KPU is committed to affordable education and to crafting new ways to enable learners to realize their ambition and career plans. We encourage and emphasize new ways our faculty engage with colleagues worldwide in innovative knowledge-practice networks to improve the learning experience. Through this approach, we serve as a model for the way our graduates will engage with their own professional and practice communities.
At KPU, open education initiatives are led by the Associate Vice Provost, Teaching and Learning, guided by the Open Education Working Group, and supported by Open Education Strategists in the Teaching & Learning Commons.
KPU Open Supports
Open Education FAQ
Who pays for this?
While open resources, tools, and practices are free for students, faculty, and anyone else to use, they’re not free to produce. Funding and compensation come in different forms. Typically, support for open education practices is funded (often through grants) through:
- Internal funding from KPU
- Government (provincial or state, federal)
- Philanthropic organizations (e.g., Hewlett Foundation, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation)
- Professional societies (e.g., Association for Psychological Science)
- Consortia (e.g., Center for Computer-Assisted Legal Instruction)
Why should I give my work away for free?
We understand faculty’s hesitancy about giving their work and the rights to their work away for free. However, things have changed. The sharing and collaboration of material and permissions between educational writers and teachers have and are leading to many good things, though it can feel like a sacrifice to the individual author. The following are some common concerns for faculty:
“I’ll lose money”
According to a 2013 survey conducted by Dana Beth Weinberg, nearly one-fifth of self-published authors earned no income from their writing and for those that did, the annual median income was less than $5,000. Even authors who worked with a publisher only made between $5,000 and $10,000 per year.
“I’ll lose control over content”
One of the primary goals of open education is to remove obstacles to accessing and sharing information. Putting an open licence on your work does not mean that you are giving up copyright, and all licenses require that you be attributed as the original author.
What's in it for me?
Here are some reasons why people consider open education a worthwhile venture:
- Your work will be more widely read. There is a movement underway in which it is believed that work that is funded or supported by public funds should/must be openly shared and covered by an open license.
- If authors release their original work or revisions made to someone else’s work openly, the risk of repeating existing knowledge is decreased. Instead, sharing one’s work promotes building on existing work and collaboration.
- Some people see this as a social justice issue in which knowledge and education need to be available to everyone, in particular members of marginalized groups who face systematic barriers.
- Having access to open textbooks and OER helps authors who wish to customize, or adapt, an existing work for their course, institution, region, or country.
There is no doubt that writing a textbook requires commitment, time, and fortitude. Yet, there are certainly benefits for the author.
- Authoring a textbook is a form of scholarship that can influence your field and contribute to your credibility. (Why do universities support faculty writing textbooks?)
- Writing a textbook can lead to more professional opportunities.
- Sharing one’s work as an open textbook will contribute to the knowledge-sharing community and, hopefully, lead to new ideas from others who then share these out.