Open Educational Practices Initiatives

The OPAL Consortium
The Open Educational Quality (OPAL) Initiative define Open Educational Practices (OEP) as "the use of Open Educational Resources (OER) to raise the quality of education and training and innovate educational practices on institutional, professional and individual level".

For the mainstreaming of Open Educational Practices OPAL recommends:
Enabling Legislation to Facilitate OEP
Incentivising OEP through Legislation
Reducing Legislative Burdens through Harmonisation
Rethinking Intellectual Property Law for the 21st Century
Empowering Learners to take up OEP
Addressing Fragmentation in Learning Resources
Promoting the provision of Open Educational Assessment
Strengthening the Evidence-Base of OEP
Helping institutions nurture OEP
Addressing Sustainability Concerns
Making the Societal Benefit Explicit
Culturing Innovation through Networks
Supporting Truly Open Collaboration
Building a Coalition of Stakeholders around Principles of Openness
Improving Trust in OEP
Integrate OEP into Institutional Quality Procedures
Create Open Academic/Scientific Trust Infrastructures

The International Council for Open and Distance Education sees OEP as those practices which support the production, use and reuse of high quality open educational resources and regards that OEP are often achieved through institutional policies, which promote innovative pedagogical models, and respect. Learners are empowered as co-producers on their lifelong learning path. The scope of OEP covers all areas of OER governance: policy makers, managers and administrators of organizations, educational professionals and learners.

The OLCOS Consortium
Open e-Learning Content Observatory Services (OLCOS) project is a Transversal Action under the European eLearning Programme.

The OLCOS Roadmap focuses on Open Educational Practices, providing orientation and recommendations to educational decision makers on how to develop the use of OER. To further benefit from OERs one needs to better understand how their role could promote innovation and change in educational practices.

The Roadmap states that; delivering OER to the dominant model of teacher-centred knowledge transfer will have little effect in equipping teachers, students and workers with the knowledge and skills required in the knowledge economy and, lifelong learning. Downloading Web-accessible, open teaching materials for classes and, continuing a one-way channel of content provision, will likely mirror the little impact achieved with regard to changing educational practices following the massive investments in the e-learning infrastructure by educational institutions. Open Educational Practices aim to deliver a competency-focused, constructivist paradigm of learning and promote a creative and collaborative engagement with digital content, tools and services to meet knowledge and skills required today.

The Support Centre for Open Resources in Education (SCORE) at the Open University (UK), was the second major initiative to be funded by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (Hefce). (The first being the UKOER programme, jointly run by the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) and the Higher Education Academy (HEA)).

Discussions and actions were moving on from how open educational resources are published to how they are used. Placing OER as an enabler, within a wider set of open educational practices. Over a period of three years, SCORE, initiated a series of activities and events that involved several hundred educational practitioners from the majority of the higher education institutions in England.

There has been interest in how educational practitioners would accept and embed open resources into their practices (Geser, 2007 in). Sharing is at the heart of the philosophy OER and probably OEP and thus collective and cooperative activities between people and institutions are likely to be a key factor in the sustainability of such practices. SCORE reports it succeeded in raising the profile of OER and OEP within UK higher education institutions by assisting existing communities of practice and by creating new communities of practice to form a much larger network of practice that will be sustained by its participants.