The Open Education Consortium is a worldwide community of hundreds of higher education institutions and associated organizations committed to advancing open education and its impact on global education. We envision a world where everyone, everywhere has access to the education they need to build their futures. We seek to instill openness as a feature of education around the world, allowing greatly expanded access to education while providing a shared body of knowledge upon which innovative and effective approaches to today’s social problems can be built. The Open Education Consortium realizes change by leveraging its sources of expert opinion, its global network and its position as the principal voice of open education.
What is Open Education?
Open education encompasses resources, tools and practices that employ a framework of open sharing to improve educational access and effectiveness worldwide.
Open Education combines the traditions of knowledge sharing and creation with 21st century technology to create a vast pool of openly shared educational resources, while harnessing today’s collaborative spirit to develop educational approaches that are more responsive to learner’s needs.
The idea of free and open sharing in education is not new. In fact, sharing is probably the most basic characteristic of education: education is sharing knowledge, insights and information with others, upon which new knowledge, skills, ideas and understanding can be built. Open Education seeks to scale educational opportunities by taking advantage of the power of the internet, allowing rapid and essentially free dissemination, and enabling people around the world to access knowledge, connect and collaborate. Open is key; open allows not just access, but the ability to modify and use materials, information and networks so education can be personalized to individual users or woven together in new ways for large and diverse audiences.
Why is Open Education important?
Education is an essential tool for individuals and society to solve the challenges of the present and seize the opportunities of the future. However, the current provision of education is limited by educational institutions’ capacity, consequently, this resource is available to the few, not the many. The digital revolution offers a potential solution to these limitations, giving a global audience unprecedented access to free, open and high-quality educational resources.
People want to learn. By providing free and open access to education and knowledge, people can fulfill this desire. Students can get additional information, viewpoints and materials to help them succeed. Workers can learn something that will help them on the job. Faculty can exchange material and draw on resources from all around the world. Researchers can share data and develop new networks. Teachers can find new ways to help students learn. People can connect with others they wouldn’t otherwise meet to share information and ideas. Materials can be translated, mixed together, broken apart and openly shared again, increasing access and allowing new approaches. Anyone can access educational materials, scholarly articles, and supportive learning communities anytime they want to. Education is available, accessible, modifiable and free.
Activities of the Open Education Consortium are generously supported by:
The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation
Sustaining Members of the Open Education Consortium:
- The African Virtual University
- Community College Consortium for Open Educational Resources
- Delft University of Technology
- Fundação Getulio Vargas – FGV Online
- Japan OpenCourseWare Consortium
- Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
- Korea OpenCourseWare Consortium
- Massachusetts Institute of Technology
- Netease Information Technology
- Open Universiteit
- Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie
- Taiwan OpenCourseWare Consortium
- Tecnológico de Monterrey
- Tufts University
- Universidad Politécnica de Madrid
- University of California, Irvine
- University of Michigan
and contributions of member organizations