Aspects of Open: The evolution of the meaning of open education

As The Open University celebrates its 50th anniversary and its mission of openness, Martin Weller, Professor of Educational Technology at the OU, will examine what the term ‘open’ means and consider what an ‘Open University’ would look like if we were to invent it now.

When the OU was founded 50 years ago, it established a model of ‘open education’ that went on to be successfully replicated in many countries.

The ‘open’ in ‘Open University’ referred to open access to education, and the model was developed to enable that, and allowed the OU to take the lead in resources such as OpenLearn and Open Textbooks.

In the ensuing 50 years, open has taken on other interpretations in education: open source software, open educational resources, open access publishing, massive open online courses, open licenses, open science and open pedagogy. In fact, the term ‘open’ can be added to almost any academic pursuit now and a community can be found supporting that approach.

In his talk, he will examine these different aspects of open, consider what they have in common, what separates them and what they can learn from each other. It seeks to answer the question, if you were to invent an ‘Open University’ now, what would it look like?

Can’t join in person? Click here to watch online (link will be available before the lecture) or watch via Facebook and post your questions during the Talk. Please do take the opportunity to have your questions answered by our speakers LIVE during the event by emailing;

We very much hope you will be able to attend what promises to be an inspiring event and have your say. Eventbrite for free registration to participate in the event.

Tuesday 19 February 18:00 – 19:00. Berrill Lecture Theatre. The Open University