About this Course

Openness in Education is a credited course in Athabasca University's (AU) Master of Education in DE. Information on AU and its accreditation is available here. This version of the course is delivered as an open online course - free for anyone to join. Please contact me at if you are interested in seeking credit.

Affiliation and Course Registration

The for-credit version of the course: MDDE622: See the course description for more details.

Course Description:

Openness in content, data, government, and access is influencing organizations of all types. Education is influenced heavily: open educational resources and open teaching hold potential to disrupt the full spectrum of education: policy, learning development, delivery, and accreditation.

This course will offer a detailed overview of the history of openness in education, current trends including legal and technological developments, as well as future directions. Educators in all sectors (primary, secondary, and higher education), as well as administrators, will benefit from being well informed of trends and the organizational impact of open education.

Learning Outcomes

Through review of literature, participation in group discussions, online lectures, and related open education resources, students will be able to:

  • Define openness in an educational context and describe its various instantiations in different educational sectors
  • Identify the potential of openness to contribute to systemic change in higher education and policy
  • Plan, search, deploy, and integrate open educational resources (OERs) from design to delivery phases of learning
  • Analyze current research views on how openness influences higher education enrolment, course design costs, and the distinctions between peer-developed resources (“crowd sourcing”) and centrally curated resources (expert).
  • Describe the history of openness in education (including early literature on open universities in the 1960’s) and detail the impact of technological developments on openness
  • Evaluate prominent intellectual property and copyright systems, detailing the influence of each on scholarship.

Technologies Used

All students (for-credit and MOOC participants) will be encouraged to use a variety of tools and technologies throughout the course to create and access learning content including: Collaborate, blogs, Twitter, wikis, Google Docs, concept mapping software, YouTube, and Diigo (among others). For-credit students will use Athabasca University's Moodle service as well as the Landing - AU's social network site.


George Siemens

Rory McGreal