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

Tanja Urbančič is the Dean of the School of Engineering and Management at the University of Nova Gorica where she is a researcher and full professor in the field of computer science. She is also a part-time research fellow at the Department of Knowledge Technologies at the Jožef Stefan Institute in Ljubljana. Her main research and teaching activities are in the field of knowledge management and knowledge technologies with applications in biomedicine and education. She contributed to the development of new methods for modelling of human skill and for knowledge discovery with literature mining. She co-authored several book chapters and journal papers in IEEE Transactions on Systems, Man and Cybernetics, Engineering Applications of Artificial Intelligence, Knowledge Engineering Review, and others. She has over twenty years of experience with the design and implementation of study programmes and with the introduction of new teaching approaches into practice. She chairs the stirring committee for e-learning at the University of Nova Gorica and is one of the founding members of the Opening up Slovenia initiative. With Mitja Jermol, she developed and launched an international on-line mentoring program Open Education for a Better World in which expert guidance is provided to developers of open educational resources from the whole world. She has also experience from other international and national projects related to knowledge technologies and knowledge management, such as Sol-Eu-Net, ConCreTe and ExplorEdu. At the Master's study program Engineering and Management she coordinates interdisciplinary student team projects for more than 10 years.

Selected bibliography:

GUBIANI, Donatella, MOZETIČ, Matjaž, KOROUŠIĆ-SELJAK, Barbara, URBANČIČ, Tanja. E-learning experiment : web conference activities in teaching at a traditional university. International journal of innovation and learning. 2020, vol. 27, no. 1, str. 37-57.

PURVER, Matthew, XIAO, Ping, MILJKOVIĆ, Dragana, PODPEČAN, Vid, POLLAK, Senja, KRALJ, Jan, ŽNIDARŠIČ, Martin, BOHANEC, Marko, LAVRAČ, Nada, URBANČIČ, Tanja, et al. Conceptual representations for computational concept creation. ACM computing surveys. [Print ed.]. 2019, vol. 52, no. 1, str. 9-1-9-33.

URBANČIČ, Tanja, POLAJNAR, Anja, JERMOL, Mitja. Open education for a better world : a mentoring programme fostering design and reuse of open educational resources for sustainable development goals. Open praxis. 2019, vol. 11, no. 4, str. 1-18.

GUBIANI, Donatella, CRISTEA, Irina Elena, URBANČIČ, Tanja. Introducing e-learning to a traditional university : a case-study. V: SARASOLA SÁNCHEZ-SERRANO, José Luis (ur.). Qualitative and quantitative models in socio-economic systems and social work. Cham: Springer, 2020. Str. 225-241, ilustr. Studies in systems, decision and control, vol. 208.

LAVRAČ, Nada, JURŠIČ, Matjaž, SLUBAN, Borut, PEROVŠEK, Matic, POLLAK, Senja, URBANČIČ, Tanja, CESTNIK, Bojan. Bisociative knowledge discovery for cross-domain literature mining. V: VEALE, Tony (ur.), CARDOSO, F. Amílcar (ur.). Computational creativity : the philosophy and engineering of autonomously creative systems. Cham: Springer, 2019. Str. 121-139.

URBANČIČ, Tanja, ORLIČ, Davor. 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.

CESTNIK, Bojan, BOHANEC, Marko, URBANČIČ, Tanja. QTvity : advancing students' engagement during lectures by using mobile devices. V: RACHEV, Boris (ur.). CompSysTech'15 : proceedings of the 16th International Conference on Computer Systems and Technologies, June 25 - 26, 2015, Dublin, Ireland. New York: ACM. 2015, str. 334-341.

ORLIČ, Davor, CESTNIK, Bojan, URBANČIČ, Tanja. Supporting teachers in chosing and reusing open educational resources. V: BOROW, Wladimir (ur.). Proceedings, International Conference on e-Learning, e-Learning'15, 11-12 September 2015, Berlin, Germany. [S. l.: s. n.]. 2015, str. 28-33.

ORLIČ, Davor, CESTNIK, Bojan, URBANČIČ, Tanja. What can VideoLectures.Net and transLectures do for opening higher education to the multicultural world. V: RACHEV, Boris (ur.). CompSysTech'14 : proceedings of the 15th International Conference on Computer Systems and Technologies, Ruse, Bulgaria, June 27 - 28, 2014. New York: ACM. 2014, 8 str., ilustr.

PETRIČ, Ingrid, URBANČIČ, Tanja, CESTNIK, Bojan. Ontological representation of virtual business communities : how to find right business partners. V: CRUZ-CUNHA, Maria Manuela (ur.), VARAJAO, Joao (ur.). Innovations in smes and conducting e-business : technologies, trends and solutions, (Premier reference source). Hershey; New York; London: Information Science Reference: Igi Global. 2011, str. 263-277.

URBANČIČ, Tanja, BOHANEC, Marko, KONTIĆ, Branko. Collaborative decision making : an environmental case study. V: MLADENIĆ, Dunja (ur.), et al. Data mining and decision support : integration and collaboration, (The Kluwer international series in engineering and computer science, SECS 745).

LAVRAČ, Nada, URBANČIČ, Tanja. Mind the gap : academia-business partnership models and e-collaboration lessons learned. V: MLADENIĆ, Dunja (ur.), et al. Data mining and decision support : integration and collaboration, (The Kluwer international series in engineering and computer science, SECS 745). Boston; Dordrecht; London: Kluwer Academic Publishers. 2003, str. 261-269.

GIDER, Franc, URBANČIČ, Tanja. Developing soft skills for engineering: experience with student Team projects. Organizacija : revija za management, informatiko in kadre, ISSN 1318-5454. [Tiskana izd.], jan./feb. 2010, letn. 43, št. 1, str. 35-39.

LAVRAČ, Nada, LJUBIČ, Peter, URBANČIČ, Tanja, PAPA, Gregor, JERMOL, Mitja, BOLLHALTER, Stefan. Trust modeling for networked organizations using reputation and collaboration estimates. IEEE transactions on systems, man and cybernetics. Pt. C, Applications and reviews, ISSN 1094-6977. [Print ed.], maj 2007, vol. 37, no. 3, str. 429-439, ilustr.

URBANČIČ, Tanja. From fragments of knowledge towords a bigger picture : how can the process be supported. Organizacija : revija za management, informatiko in kadre, ISSN 1318-5454. [Tiskana izd.], 2007, letn. 40, št. 6, str. 263-266.
SOMEREN, Maarten W. van, URBANČIČ, Tanja. Applications of machine learning : matching problems to tasks and methods. Knowledge engineering review, ISSN 0269-8889, 2006, vol. 20, no. 4, str. 363-402.

GUBIANI, Donatella, FABBRETTI, Elsa, CESTNIK, Bojan, LAVRAČ, Nada, URBANČIČ, Tanja. Outlier based literature exploration for cross-domain linking of Alzheimer's disease and gut microbiota. Expert systems with applications, ISSN 0957-4174. [Print ed.], 2017, vol. 85, str. 386-396,

PETRIČ, Ingrid, CESTNIK, Bojan, LAVRAČ, Nada, URBANČIČ, Tanja. Outlier detection in cross-context link discovery for creative literature mining. The Computer journal, ISSN 0010-4620, 2012, vol. 55, no. 1, str. 47-61.

JERMOL, Mitja, LAVRAČ, Nada, URBANČIČ, Tanja. Managing business intelligence in a virtual enterprise : a case study and knowledge management lessons learned. Journal of intelligent & fuzzy systems, ISSN 1064-1246. [Print ed.], 2004, vol. 14, str. 121-136.

URBANČIČ, Tanja. Learning and understanding human skill. Informatica : an international journal of computing and informatics, ISSN 0350-5596, 2001, vol. 25, no. 3, str. 403-408.

CESTNIK, Bojan, MANAKOVA, Natalia, KARALIČ, Aram, URBANČIČ, Tanja. Engaging the net generation students in enhanced teaching and leaning with QTvity : the next steps. V: Proceedings : European thematic network, future education and training in computing: how to support learning at anytime anywhere, International Conference on e-Learning, 8-9 September, Bratislava, Slovakia, (International conference on e-learning, ISSN 2367-6698). [S. l.: s. n.]. 2016, str. 86-93.

CESTNIK, Bojan, URBANČIČ, Tanja. Teaching supply chain management with the beer distribution game on mobile devices. V: CABALLERO-GIL, Pino (ur.). Proceedings. [S. l.: s. n.]. 2014, str. 111-117.

CESTNIK, Bojan, URBANČIČ, Tanja, PETRIČ, Ingrid. Ontological representations for supporting learning in business communities. V: SMRIKAROV, Angel (ur.). e-Learning'11 : proceedigs of the International Conference on e-Learning and the Knowledge Society, 25-26 August 2011, Bucharest, Romania. Bucharest: ASE Publishing House. 2011