Introduction to Open Education

Objectives and competences

The aim of this course is to provide a broad overview of Open Education (OE) and enable understanding of basic concepts needed for the rest of the programme.

Students will

  • understand the whole OE ecosystem, basic elements of OE including national and organisational policies, the main building blocks and actors, basic OE processes, the added value of OE, implications and obstacles in the process of implementing OE in national, local or organisational environment;

  • learn to recognize and envision implications of introducing OE into traditional educational environments, and implications OE brings to businesses and society;

  • understand how OE connects with the topics covered in the UNESCO Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

  • know what is expected from a leader in the field of OE.


Required prerequisits include fundamentals of information and communication technologies and basic understanding of educational environments


1) History and evolution of OE
2) Open access, Policies enabling openness
3) Open education: concepts, processes, roles, organization
4) Open learning: concepts, processes, roles, organization
5) Mentors for every learner
6) Learning 21st century skills
7) Universal access to global classrooms
8) ICT enhanced learning
9) e-Learning Accessibility
10) Didactics, Pedagogy, Andragogy in OE
11) Underlying concepts: learning paths, learning objects, personalization,
12) Standards and licensees: Dublin Core, IMS Core, LOM - IEEE, Creative Com-mons
13) Future and emerging issues: contextual-ized learning, Artificial Intelligence, mu-tual learning, microlearning, credentials and micro-credentials, immersive learn-ing,
14) Obstacles: service quality, assessment, legal barriers, critical thinking

Intended learning outcomes

After completing this course, students will:

• Understand and master the complexity of OE ecosystem, OE vocabulary, basic concepts, organisational and value added models, OE processes and actors;

• Understands the role, functions and needed competences of a leader in OE;

• Be able to evaluate the readiness of the existing learning environments for OE;

• Be able to construct the basic OE implementation scenario in an exsisting educational environemnt;

• Be able to distinguish between good and bad OE practices;

• Reflect on performance in terms of introducing new OE use models.


• Urbančič, T., Orlič, D. (2016). Opening up education: towards affordable and sustainable solutions. V: EBY, Gulsun (ur.), YUZER, T. Volkan (ur.), ATAY, Simber (ur.). Developing successful strategies for global policies and cyber transparency in E-learning. Hershey: Information Science Reference. 2016, str. 133-144.
• Orr, D., Weller, M., and Farrow. R. (2018). Models for online, open, flexible and technology enhanced higher education across the globe – a comparative analysis, chapters 2-5. International Council for Distance Education. E-version
• Bregar, L. (2011) Trendi v e-izobraževanju ter dejavniki uspešnega in učinkovitega vpeljevanja v izobraževanje odraslih v Sloveniji. Andragoška spoznanja, 17(4), str. 44-59. E-version
• Hegarty, B. (2015). Attributes of Open Pedagogy: A Model for Using Open Educational Resources. Educational Technology, (August), 3–13. E-version
• Pučko, M., Jurca, B., & Jermol, M. (2016). Odprto izobraževanje v zdravstvu – tehnologija in metoda. Andragoška spoznanja, 22(4), 57-71. E-version
• Cooperman, L. (2018) “Open Education, Core Concepts and More,” Talk delivered as part of Open Education Design course, OE For a Better World (OE4BW), Univerza v Novi Gorci, Slovenia. E-version
• New relevant articles from professional and scientific journals


• Assignments (30%) • Presentation of an OE implementa-tion scenario (70 %)

Lecturer's references

Robert Schuwer is Lector (Professor) in Open Educational Resources at Fontys University of Applied Sciences, School of ICT in Eindhoven. He is an expert in the use of open learning materials and other forms of open and online education, such as Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC). He has been responsible for initiating Open Educational Practices and research around this. In September 2016 he became UNESCO Chair on Open Educational Resources and promotes OER adoption by Teachers, Learners and Institutions. He obtained his Master degrees in 1980 in mathematics at the Catholic University Nijmegen and in Computer Science in 1989 at Eindhoven University of Technology. He obtained his PhD at Eindhoven University of Technology in 1993 with a thesis on the value of Knowledge Base Systems. His specialization includes data and process modeling for system development. He has experience with teaching Management Science and Computer Science, and also experience as CTO at a software development company, project leader and independant consultant for solving information problems. He also worked as a project leader of OpenER project at the Open University Netherlands from 2006 until 2008. He was also leading a project of “Content at the national program Wikiwijs” from 2009 until 2013. Robert Schuwer has held a position of chairman of the Special Interest Group Open Education - SURF (since 2010) and as Captain of the subprogram Towards (open) digital educational resources in the Dutch Acceleration agenda for Innovation of Higher Education using Technology (since 2018).

More detailed information available at:

Selected bibliography:

Bregar, L., Zagmajster, M., & Radovan, M. (2023). E-Learning for a Digital Society. University of Nova Gorica Press.

Downes, S. (2007). Models for Sustainable Open Educational Resources. Interdisciplinary Journal of Knowledge and Learning Objects, 2007(3). 29-44.

Huttner, N., Green, L., & Cowher, R. (2018). Seeking a sustainable OER ecosystem. Redstone.

Orr, D., Luebcke, M., Schmidt, J. P., Ebner, M., Wannemacher, K., Ebner, M., & Dohmen, D. (2020). Higher education landscape 2030: A trend analysis based on the AHEAD international horizon scanning. Springer Nature.

Orr, D., Weller, M., & Farrow, R. (2018). Models for online, open, flexible and technology-enhanced higher education across the globe – a comparative analysis. International Council for Open and Distance Education (ICDE). Oslo, Norway. Available from

Osterwalder, A. & Pigneur, Y. (2010). Business Model Generation. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, New Jersey. ISBN: 978-0470-87641-1.

Sanderse, J., De Langen, F., & Perez Salgado, F. (2020). Proposing a business model framework for nonprofit organizations. Journal of Applied Economics and Business Research, 10(1), 40-53.

Sheets, R., Crawford, S., & Soares, L. (2012). Rethinking Higher Education Business Models. Center for American Progress.
Stacey, P., & Pearson, S. H. (2017). Made with Creative Commons. Creative Commons.

Tlili, A., Nascimbeni, F., Burgos, D., Zhang, X., Huang, R., & Chang, T. (2020). The evolution of sustainability models for Open Educational Resources: insights from the literature and experts. Interactive Learning Environments.

Wiley, D. (2007). On the Sustainability of Open Educational Resource Initiatives in Higher Education. OECD/CERI.