The Collaborative Creativity Group at UNU-MERIT has just released a free online book on The Why and How of Open Education. This introduction to Open Education (OE) gives practical guidance on the design and delivery of OE courses while wrestling with theoretical considerations of this new and emerging domain. While educators are the main targets, the issue also is relevant to policy makers, senior education managers and the learning industry as a whole.
The book draws from three sources: well-established online learning ecosystems, including Open Source Software communities; existing Open Courses in traditional formal education and related design models, such as the Meta-design framework (Fischer, 2007); and EU-funded research and pilot projects such as FLOSSCom (2006-2008), openSE (2009-2011) and openED (2009-2012).
The first chapter provides a brief introduction to the OE field, addressing the question: ‘Why Open Education?’. The second chapter presents cases from the openSE and openED projects on how OE might look in practice.
Sustainability is as important for OE as for traditional formal education, so before joining any kind of OE venture it is important to have a clear understanding of how such a venture might be sustained; this is discussed in chapter three. Theoretical considerations and practical guidance for the design and delivery of OE are presented in chapter four, ahead of concluding remarks and future prospects in the fifth and final chapter.
“Version 1.0” of the book was released together with the start of the openED course on Business and Management Competencies in a Web 2.0 World, whose second edition began on 26 April 2011. It is also published in parallel with the re-launch of the openSE website, which is an OE framework for computer science software engineering.
A “Version 2.0”, with more in-depth findings from the openSE and openED projects and general improvements, is tentatively scheduled for summer 2012. Persons interested in co-authoring “Version 2.0”, be it by minor improvements or major extensions, are invited to read the editable version of this book at the following link and to correct minor mistakes “on the fly”.