Skip to Main Content

Go Open: a beginner's guide to open education

A guide to engaging with open education practices in your teaching, research and support activities

Open teaching and learning or open pedagogy integrate open practices, open educational resources, and assessment approaches into education. There are diverse views on the definitions of open pedagogy and open educational practices; David Wiley frames open pedagogy as the integration of open educational resources:

“OER-enabled pedagogy is the set of teaching and learning practices only possible or practical when you have permission to engage in the 5R activities” (Wiley, 2017).

Other commentators, such as Susan Koseoglu (2017), take a broader perspective and view open pedagogy as a philosophy of teaching and learning centred around social justice and sharing. 

In practical terms, open pedagogy can involve using open educational resources such as an open textbook in your teaching. It can include creating assignments that are not disposable and contribute to public knowledge, for example, through student-created blogs or editing Wikipedia (National Forum, 2020; Jhangiani & DeRosa, n.d.). These forms of assessment are authentic and can enable students to develop their digital competencies and communication skills. 

Resources and examples

The Open Psych blog illustrates an online and open pedagogy assignment undertaken by students of an educational psychology module at Dublin City University. Following the open pedagogy principle of empowering students to create and share information, the module team, Dr James Brunton @DrjamesBrunton and Megan Gaffney (Dublin City University, Ireland), designed an assignment that supported students to produce communication that is openly shared with the public. The student-designed resources are available at


Equity Unbound provides resources to University learners and staff who wish to explore digital literacies that focus on equity and intercultural awareness. A collection of multimedia-based collaborative lessons and activities are available that cover themes including empathy and bias, equity and fake news.

Created by Maha Bali @bali_maha (American University in Cairo, Egypt), Catherine Cronin @catherinecronin (National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching & Learning in Higher Education, Ireland), and Mia Zamora @MiaZamoraPhD (Kean University, NJ, USA) for their own course settings, the resources are now available to all. Contributions are invited and can be submitted through the website.

Open Pedagogy was developed by Rajiv Jhangiani @thatpsychprof (Kwantlen Polytechnic University, British Columbia, Canada) and Robin DeRosa @actualham (Plymouth State University, NH, USA), as a way for educators and students to present their experiences of implementing and experimenting with open education. The website invites contributions that demonstrate open education in practice. The site is displayed as an ‘Open Education Notebook’, and currently hosts various examples from the University sector, including open assignments, textbooks and student reflections.