This post was written by Adrian Stagg, Manager (Open Educational Practices), University of Southern Queensland. Adrian is the Project Lead for the Open Educational Resources Advocacy project.
The why of open knowledge is a strong focus for higher education institutions. In the open education space, advocates promote the benefits related to social equity, reducing costs, improving learning and teaching outcomes, seeking a market differential, or combinations of these. To achieve these benefits, the way we go about openness is critical. It matters how we approach developing, publishing, adapting and adopting open educational resources (OER).
When we’re advocating for OER, we’re hoping to get to a point where there is institutional support, leading to practical action – and this phase can be just as daunting as the advocacy phase. The manner in which an institution and its staff approach opening knowledge signals strength of commitment and maturity of practice, and impacts on outcomes.
This year, the theme of Open Access Week is It matters how we build open knowledge: building structural equity.
Over the last few years, Open Access Australasia has coordinated an Australian calendar of events with a focus on practicality, and deep conversations. This year is no different.
Whether you are new to openness, or have been involved for a while, the breadth of discussion in the 2021 program will be valuable to you and your colleagues. This is an opportunity to interact and learn in a free and open learning environment. The topics will include:
- Ecologies of open access – for whom are we making knowledge open, and what are the next steps?
- Changing the thinking around assessing the value of research, and ‘what counts’ as research output
- Learning about open research practices from across a spectrum of disciplines
- Open Science
- Indigenous perspectives on open and closed knowledge and the implications for research
- Making research outcomes more accessible
- Openness in learning and teaching.
There’s even an opportunity to participate in a hackathon.
Browse through the program and start blocking out your calendar. If you’re fostering open access or open education at any scale, these sessions will be full of practical advise and critical conversations that will prompt you to reflect on how you approach open. Learning from others can help you to make your practice more successful.