What We Do

Open Education Global is a member-based, global, non-profit supporting the development and use of open education around the world to:

  • expand access to education enabling every person on earth to access and contribute
  • improve the quality of education
  • make education more affordable
  • improve student success
  • foster collaboration and sharing through co-creation of education materials and the freedom to use, customize, improve and redistribute them
  • generate pedagogical innovation using the collaborative, interactive culture of the Internet
  • foster international partnerships and a global participatory culture of learning, creating, sharing and cooperation

OE Global member interests and needs are broad and diverse. Open education has a long history, particularly around providing education opportunities to those who may not typically have access. OE Global continues and builds on that tradition with a focus on new forms of open education enabled by digital technology, the Internet, and cultures of sharing.

Current areas of focus for OE Global and its members include:

  • Open Educational Resources (OER)
  • Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs)
  • Open Access (OA)
  • Open Data
  • Open Science
  • Open Education Technology
  • Open Practices

Open Educational Resources (OER)

OER are teaching, learning and research materials in any medium – digital or otherwise – that reside in the public domain or have been released under an open license that permits no-cost access, use, adaptation and redistribution by others with no or limited restrictions.

OER come with 5R permissions including the permission to:

  1. Retain – the right to create, own, and control copies of the content;
  2. Reuse – the right to use the content in a wide range of ways;
  3. Revise – the right to adapt, adjust, modify, or alter the content itself;
  4. Remix – the right to combine the original or revised content with other material to create something new;
  5. Redistribute – the right to share copies of the original content, the revisions, or the remixes with others.

OER can include textbooks, instructional materials, interactive simulations, lesson plans, full courses, and even complete degrees (often called Z-Degrees). A popular example of OER is open textbooks that are funded, published and licensed to be freely used, adapted, and distributed. These books can be downloaded for no cost, or printed at low cost offering significant savings, compared to expensive proprietary textbooks. OER provide academic freedom to customize, localize, translate, and update as required. OER expand and enhance the academic offering of an institution.

OER are typically stored and distributed through web sites, platforms or repositories that provide search, view and download capabilities.

Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs)

Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) are aimed at unlimited participation via the web. MOOCs can include traditional course materials such as filmed lectures, readings, and problem sets but also may have interactive elements such as user forums to support discussion and dialogue and quizzes with automated feedback.

Open education MOOCs openly license the course content, structure and learning goals, to promote the reuse and remixing of resources. MOOCs that use closed licenses for course materials while maintaining free access for students have reduced open education benefits. While MOOCs typically support free and open enrollment, participants wanting a credential such as a certificate usually must complete all course requirements and pay a fee. MOOCs are frequently used as a means of marketing, profiling world-class professors and the unique programmatic offerings of an institution.

Open Access (OA)

In addition to teaching and learning materials, open education includes research outputs. Open Access (OA) refers to research published in a way that is digital, online, free of charge, and free of most copyright and licensing restrictions. OA removes price barriers such as subscriptions and pay-per-view fees giving researchers, students, and public access to research. As most research is publicly funded OA ensures the public has access to what is funded. OA makes research discoverable, available and reproducible for the advancement of science. When used for teaching and learning Open Access articles are a form of OER.

Open Data

Open Data is structured data that is machine-readable, freely shared, used and built on without restrictions.

Open data, especially open government data, has generated significant business opportunities, efficiency gains and enhanced the transparency of political processes while at the same time boosting democracy by enabling the participation of citizens in decision making at local, regional and national levels.

In open education, open data is associated with open access research articles where the data sets involved in research are openly published in a way that ensures research is verifiable and replicable. Open data and the practices of open data are increasingly used in teaching and learning especially in science domains. A new emerging focus for open data in education is around user data collected by education technologies and student data collected by institutions. The ethics associated with open data is of growing importance in the field.

Open Science

Open science is the movement to make scientific research and data accessible to all levels of an inquiring society. Open Science is the practice of science in such a way that others can collaborate and contribute, where research data, lab notes, and other research processes are freely available, under terms that enable reuse, redistribution, and reproduction of the research and its underlying data and methods. In the context of open education open science frequently involves the use of OER, OA, and open data along with the engagement of the public in citizen science.

Open Technology

The various forms of open education have underlying technology infrastructures. Open education technologies are hardware and software that are based on and make use of the principles of open education providing a means for users to participate in their development contributing improvements and modifications. Open education technologies include platforms for MOOCs, repositories for storing and distributing educational materials, learning management systems, online communities for collaboration co-creation, library systems, and other educational tools.

Open Practices

Open education is functionally different than traditional forms of education. It involves new norms and cultural practices including sharing, collaborative authoring, finding and reusing existing resources, modifying and customizing educational materials through translation and adaptation to local contexts, attribution, and open pedagogical practices that engage participants in producing outputs that have wide public good. These new open practices are a form of system change requiring new policy and different models for education provision that are supported by government and senior education leaders.

Every OE Global member is involved in some unique combination of these forms of open education.

On behalf of all members and the open education community as a whole OE Global plans and hosts open education activities, events, and conferences every year including:

  • Webinars, newsletters, listservs, …
  • Open Education Week
  • Open Education Awards of Excellence
  • OE Global Conference
  • Regional nodes

Our Mission

We promote, support and advance open education around the world.

Our Vision

Empowerment through education.

We envision a world where everyone, everywhere has access to the high-quality education and training they desire; where education is seen as an essential, shared, and collaborative social good.