Agency Open Access Policy | European Agency for Special Needs and Inclusive Education

“The European Agency for Special Needs and Inclusive Education (the Agency) acts as a platform for collaboration and information-sharing across a diverse range of countries, languages and contexts. The Agency is co-funded by the ministries of education in its member countries and by the European Commission via an operating grant within the European Union (EU) Erasmus+ education programme.

In 2020, the Agency adopted an Open Access (OA) Policy to maximise the reach and impact of Agency outputs. This policy affirms the Agency’s commitment to providing resources and tools for all relevant stakeholders, including educational policy-makers, researchers, school leaders, teachers, learners and families. The policy also clarifies usage and modification rights of Agency resources.

Agency resources are copyrighted but are available on the Agency website for the public to access, download and share. Certain resources, such as practical tools, are open source. The main distinction between open-source and open-access resources is that the latter cannot be modified without Agency approval.

As part of its commitment to open sharing, the Agency is also working to configure its own digital open access repository. Currently, users can search through Agency outputs by visiting the Agency’s publications listing page. This OA Policy will be updated as the Agency continues to enhance its open access offerings….”

Open educational resources: expanding equity or reflecting and furthering inequities? | SpringerLink

Abstract:  In this paper I argue that open educational resources (OER), such as open textbooks, are an appropriate and worthwhile response to consider as colleges and universities shift to digital modes of teaching and learning. However, without scrutiny, such efforts may reflect or reinforce structural inequities. Thus, OER can be a mixed blessing, expanding inclusion and equity in some areas, but furthering inequities in others.

As part of the “shifting to digital” special issue, this paper is in response to Hilton (2016). I argue that open educational resources (OER), such as open textbooks, can expand equity and inclusion, but without scrutiny, they may reflect or reinforce, and thus expand, structural inequities.

OER are defined as “teaching, learning, and research resources that reside in the public domain or have been released under an intellectual property license that permits their free use and repurposing” (Hewlett 2017). Hilton (2016) synthesized the existing literature to examine outcomes associated with instances in which OER replaced commercial textbooks. He reported two major findings. First, students generally performed better when using OER compared to commercial textbooks. The use of OER was not associated with decreases in learning. Second, OER were generally perceived by faculty and students to be as good as, if not better than, traditional textbooks. While this research faces some limitations acknowledged by the author much research since then continues to affirm the author’s original findings (e.g., Clinton and Khan 2019; Hilton 2020).

OpenEd20: Open Education Practices in Zimbabwe Hig…

“This paper presents the concept of Open Education as it is practised in Zimbabwe Higher Education Institutions. The idea of investigating the concept of open education practices was to examine how the Zimbabwe Government is using the concept in widening access to higher education by the diverse population in an environment of melting economy and the era of COVID-19 pandemic. The study sought to examine the current practice of OEP in Zimbabwe, establish strategies to enhance open education that promotes equitable and inclusive higher education. The study was underpinned by the theory of constructivism. Data were generated through a structured review of all Zimbabwe registered universities, Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education, Innovation, Science and Technology Development (MHTEIST) and Research Council of Zimbabwe (RCZ). Zimbabwe Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) are mandated to deal with the associated challenges of structural inequalities that hinder equal access to higher education. The current task of HEIs is to make all students access and participate fully in the creation and exchange of knowledge in an environment of melting economy, abject poverty and global pandemic. Except for one Open and Distance eLearning University, all the other universities use the face-to-face conventional mode, with some introducing regional campuses, weekend and evening classes as well as block release mode of teaching and learning. Open Education Practice (OEP), by contrast, has not been explicitly supported by Zimbabwe government initiatives, funding, or policy. The advent of COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the need for implementing OEP in an environment that is disconnected, with isolated examples of good practice that have not been transferred beyond local contexts. The study sought to examine the current practice of OEP in Zimbabwe, establish strategies to enhance open education that promotes equitable and inclusive higher education. A structured desktop review of all 24 Zimbabwe registered universities were conducted based on a range of indicators and criteria established by a review of the literature. The study was guided by constructivism theory. The review generated evidence of engagement with OEP using publicly accessible information via institutional websites. The criteria investigated strategies, policies, open educational resources (OER), infrastructure tools, platforms, professional development and support….”

Pop! The Open Scholarship Commons

“Higher education in the United States is in crisis. We see this in the reduction of state funding to public universities totalling US $9 billion over the past decade.1 We see this in the continuation of proposed funding cuts to the government agencies that are key to making new discoveries possible.23 Broadly, we see a continuing decline of the public’s confidence in higher education.4 It is clear that steps must be taken to restore the public’s faith in the academy and to demonstrate the value of research and education for the public good. But where do we start and what role can the library play? This paper will outline how we believe the design of a new physical and virtual space, an Open Scholarship Commons (OSC), can help advance research and education for the public good. In what follows, we will outline why we need an OSC in the library, walk through our visioning (or ideation) process for this space, share the vision and values for the space, and discuss our implementation process….”

“Copyright limits and learning: lessons from the covid-19 quarantine”, by Carys Craig.

“Though copyright law is the root of the problem, it is also the source of potential solutions. As the Supreme Court of Canada has stated, copyright is supposed to achieve “a balance between promoting the public interest in the encouragement and dissemination of works of the arts and intellect and obtaining a just reward for the creator.” Indeed, many of the activities about which my fellow educators worried are already protected within the scope of users’ rights. Canada’s Copyright Act contains exceptions for reading in public, for education and training (including for lessons communicated online), and a fair dealing defence for the purposes of education or private study. These provisions are to be interpreted with a view to the copyright balance, which “should be preserved in the digital environment.” If reading aloud to a class or showing an illustrative image on a PowerPoint slide was lawful in a classroom, it should be lawful in the online classroom.

The problem is that the specific educational exceptions are narrowly drawn and difficult to understand and satisfy, while the broader fair dealing defence requires a context-specific case-by-case assessment, making educators and their institutions reluctant to rely upon it. The result is a permission-first or ‘clear-for-fear’ culture that undermines user rights and unduly restricts the educational activities of teachers and students….”

Our approach to systemic racism in Open Education

“The events of this year and the killings of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd have impacted many of us in deeply personal ways. As a Black woman, I often wonder how to show up as my authentic self and use what power I have to undo systemic racism. At the Hewlett Foundation, I do not feel alone in this work. With a renewed focus on racial equity, the foundation has been taking steps to address systemic racism. This includes looking back at all of our grantmaking strategies to ensure that our investments address root causes of racial injustice. Through this process, we’ve recognized that there is more we can be doing, particularly through our work in open education.

Our Open Education strategy is about the vision that every learner should have access to the knowledge and information that they need to learn. Open education goes beyond a focus on resources and includes practices, policies, and research to create meaningful and inclusive educational experiences for learners. Nearly two decades of work in this space have made it clear that access alone is not a guarantor of racial equity for learners. Instead, learners should be supported and encouraged as sensemakers and creators of their identities and their communities….”

Five New Higher Ed Datasets Now Available from Ithaka S+R | Ithaka S+R

“Over the years, Ithaka S+R has routinely deposited datasets from our research projects with the Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research, better known by its acronym of ICPSR. In doing so, this ensures that our data is not only digitally preserved, enabling long-term access, but also thoroughly processed and made available in a variety of formats for download. Several new datasets from our research projects have recently become available in our Ithaka S+R Surveys of Higher Education Series….”

Five New Higher Ed Datasets Now Available from Ithaka S+R | Ithaka S+R

“Over the years, Ithaka S+R has routinely deposited datasets from our research projects with the Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research, better known by its acronym of ICPSR. In doing so, this ensures that our data is not only digitally preserved, enabling long-term access, but also thoroughly processed and made available in a variety of formats for download. Several new datasets from our research projects have recently become available in our Ithaka S+R Surveys of Higher Education Series….”

Creative Commons Virtual Global Summit: Visions for the Next 20 Years: Reflectio…

“Panel discussion and Q&A session on the big picture of open education, featured select members of the Open 2020 Working Group and invited guests. This Open 2020 Working Group – educators, innovators, thought leaders, activist practitioners, and funders – began meeting in May 2019 with a goal to put forward new, ambitious, and practical recommendations for the future of open learning. We asked: what are key opportunities for open resources and technologies to further support and enhance an equitable, accessible knowledge ecosystem? The educational and social disruptions of the COVID-19 pandemic have only added momentum and urgency to our original charge….”