What is Open Education?

Open Education is a movement that emphasizes the need for students to have free access to the tools and knowledge necessary to obtain a college education. By adopting Open Education in its classrooms, USNH also acknowledges the demand for 21st- century, student-driven learning that stresses community and collaboration. In order to further understand “Open Education,” one must define its three tenets: open educational resources, open access, and open pedagogy. These recursive elements build on each other to form the education philosophy and initiative that has begun to enter USNH’s classrooms.


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"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." (Open Education Week)

Open Educational Resources (OER)

There has been a lot of discussion and presentations around open educational resources. Open educational resources (OER) are instructional resources created and shared in ways so that more people have access to them. That’s a different model than traditionally-copyrighted materials. This is what the William and Flora Hewett Foundation says about Open educational resources: 

Open Educational Resources (OER) are high-quality, openly licensed, online educational materials that offer an extraordinary opportunity for people everywhere to share, use, and reuse knowledge. They also demonstrate great potential as a mechanism for instructional innovation as networks of teachers and learners share best practices.

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Open Access

Open access refers to online research outputs that are free of all restrictions on access (e.g., access tolls) and free of many restrictions on use (e.g. certain copyright and license restrictions). Open access can be applied to all forms of published research output, including peer-reviewed and non-peer-reviewed academic journal articles, conference papers, theses, book chapters, course syllabi.  Read More

Open Pedagogy

“Looking at open pedagogy as a general philosophy of [Open Education] in all elements of the pedagogical process, while messy, provides some interesting possibilities. Open is a purposeful path towards connection and community. Open pedagogy could be considered as a blend of strategies, technologies, and networked communities that make the process and products of education more transparent, understandable, and available to all the people involved.” (Tom Woodward or David Wiley) Read More

Other Open Terminology:


An unconference is a participant-driven conference in which the participants themselves propose session topics and lead the discussions. This is the antithesis to a traditional conference in which the sessions are predetermined prior to the event and the more formal presentations are prepared ahead of time. The main rules of an unconference are Read More

Academic Exchange

An academic exchange is an online forum for faculty and/or staff from a college or system of colleges which is used to share resources, show-case exemplary work and make connections with colleagues. Here are some examples. Read more