“Open education” encompasses a number of different activities in education. One useful definition of open education defines open education as a “collection of practices that utilize online technology to freely share knowledge.” At the core of Open Education is open educational resources (OER), which are teaching, learning, and research resources that are free of cost and access barriers, and carry legal permission for open use.
At the University of Alberta we anchor our definition of open to David Wiley's 5 Rs: Retain, Reuse, Revise, Remix, and Redistribute. To achieve this criteria, learning materials must be openly licensed.
Openly licensing material through Creative Commons allows faculty and students to freely adapt learning materials to suit their teaching and learning needs. OER may include textbooks, video, audio, images, websites, journal articles, and more.
This definition of Open Education has been adapted from the BC Campus Open Education Adoption Guide 2nd Edition.