The Importance and Meaning of Open Education
Category : Uncategorized
Open education is education without academic admission requirements and is typically offered online. Open education broadens access to the learning and training traditionally offered through formal education systems. The qualifier “open” refers to the elimination of barriers that can preclude both opportunities and recognition for participation in institution-based learning. One aspect of openness or “opening up” education is the development and adoption of open educational resources.
Institutional practices that seek to eliminate barriers to entry, for example, would not have academic admission requirements. Such universities include the Open University in Britain, and Athabasca University, Thompson Rivers University, Open Learning in Canada. Such programs are commonly (but not necessarily) distance learning programs like e-learning, MOOC and OpenCourseWare. Whereas many e-learning programs are free to follow, the costs of acquiring a certification may be a barrier. Many open education institutes offer free certification schemes accredited by organisations like UKAS in the UK and ANAB in the United States; others offer a badge
Even before the computer was developed, researchers at public universities were working at educating citizens through informal education programs. In the early 1900s, 4-H clubs were formed which taught youth the latest in technological advances in agriculture and home economics. The success that the youth had in utilizing “new” methods of farming and home economics, caused their parents to adopt the same practices.
As the 4-H club idea was spreading across the country, Congress passed the Smith-Lever Act. which created the Cooperative Extension Service in the United States Department of Agriculture. The Cooperative Extension Service is a partnership between the USDA, land grant universities in each state, and counties throughout the United States. Through the work of the Cooperative Extension Services and 4-H, people throughout the United States have easy and inexpensive (most often free) access to the latest research done at land-grant universities without having to visit a college campus or attend college courses. The educational programs and resources offered by 4-H and the Cooperative Extension Service meet people where they are, and offer them the opportunity to learn what they want to learn, on their own schedules. In order to meet the changing needs of citizens and the use of new technology, the Cooperative Extension Service has created eXtension, which provides research based, non-biased information on a wide variety of topics to people through the use of the internet.