The OECD Centre for Educational Research and Innovation (CERI) has started a new discussion on the impact of the “openness” movement on higher education.
All countries are confronted with the increase in open forms of educational delivery. Technology and the availability of educational resources and educational offers via the Internet are changing the ways in which education is delivered and learning takes place. The impact of these new modes of education and learning on higher education institutions might be very profound. While open higher education is probably not the ‘avalanche’ or revolutionary force that some observers claim it to be, it definitely will be a game changer in higher education.
Open higher education includes various phenomena: open educational resources, open access and enrolments, open universities, open degrees, open data, open science, etc. The concept of openness thus is expanding from content-oriented resources to cover the entire educational and learning process. The highly visible Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) are just one particular form of open education. Other forms and practices are emerging in the coming years, facilitated by new developments in technology, and, more generally, the opening of higher education to internationalisation and the labour market.
These developments have a pervasive impact on the existing, main institutional educational delivery modes. At the same time open higher education may have the capacity to improve the effectiveness of higher education and its economic and social outcomes.