Throughout the last several decades we have come to connect the term ‘open’ to Open Educational Resources. During that time there has been a focus on the use of the 5 R’s introduced by Wiley (2014) to define open and new forms of technology to facilitate the sharing of and access to content.
More recently, we have seen increasing interest in Open Educational Practices and Open Pedagogy, and as we struggle to define these terms, we often treat these as new ideas, being explored for the first time. In fact, there is a long history of exploration of open education that dates back to at least the 1960s (Paquette, 1979; Weller, 2014).
The aim of this research is to build on the work of Rolfe (2016) who identified a body of literature relating to open education that is largely unacknowledged today. It also builds on the work of Jordon et al. (2017) who performed a network citation analysis to explore connections between distance learning and open education scholarship. We will take a look back at the work from the 1960 – 1980 to explore the earliest branches of research into open education. Through a sample of literature from these decades, we will explore the evolution of themes and concepts of open, and discuss common threads, diversions, and the emergence of ‘new’ ideas.
We will discuss how this early work might both offer valuable insight and frameworks for our current work and how it might challenge us to think differently about the meanings and possibilities of ‘open’ fifty years later.
Jordan, K., Devries, I., Rolfe, V. and Weller, M., 2017. Reclaiming our history. #ICDE17, Toronto Canada, October 2017. Available: https://www.slideshare.net/IDevries/reclaiming-our-history-citation-network-analysis-of-historical-open-and-distance-education-research
Paquette, C., 1979. Quelques fondements d’une pédagogie ouverte. Québec français, (36), p.18. Document téléaccessible à l’adresse: http://id.erudit.org/iderudit/51334ac
Rolfe, V., 2016. Open, but not for criticism? #opened16, Richmond Virginia, November 2016. Available at: http://www.slideshare.net/viv_rolfe/opened16-conference-presentation
Weller, M., 2014. Battle for Open: How openness won and why it doesn’t feel like victory. London: Ubiquity Press. Available at: https://doi.org/10.5334/bam
Wiley, D., 2014. “The access compromise and the 5th R” (5 March). Available at: http://opencontent.org/blog/archives/3221
Gabi Witthaus joined the session Digging into the past – Historical branches of open  8 months ago