As recently discussed at the UNESCO 2nd OER World Forum and as visible from the OER World Map, many efforts around the globe exist to increase the use of open practices within Higher Education, from the ones just aiming at getting our first MOOC out to more sophisticated ones dealing with awareness raising, capacity building and – importantly – working on the mind-set change that is needed if we want open practice to become the norm within universities.
Still, fully mainstreaming openness across a university is a resource and strategy-intensive enterprise, especially in times of public budget cuts. To be effective and especially sustainable in the long run, capacity building on openness within a university – as well as within any educational institution – should build on the existing skills of the institution staff and on the champions that are already fluent with open approaches. The problem is that the openness capacity of the teaching population of a university – or even of a part of it – is difficult to be quantified, mainly because openness is a social construct which evolves over time and because it is connected with individual cultural behaviours, bringing to a situation where everyone – policymakers, academic leaders, educators – seems to agree on the many benefits of opening up education but nobody has an understanding of what kind of open practices are actually performed by individual educators.
The Open Educators Factory project is addressing this problem through a rather original methodology that takes into account all dimensions of openness – open design, open content, open teaching and open assessment – and that allows to reach a comprehensive view of the level of “opened fluency” of an institution, that is built on the openness capacity profiles of the single educators.
The pilot experience that we have run within an Italian university, based on a cohort of 180 educators, has shown that it is possible to increase the granularity of the openness analysis to the level of the single educator, spotting the best openness performers within the university and starting from those to mainstream openness across the institution. The presentation will introduce the results of the pilot study, as well as discuss this experience in terms of relation between open practices and networking attitudes, age and role within the institution. Considerations will be made on the impact of such an exercise on the culture of change of universities. Finally, the transferability of the tool across institutions and educational contexts, which is now the focus of the OEF project, will be presented.
 Veletsianos, G. (20125). A case study of scholars’ open and sharing practices. Open Praxis, vol. 7 issue 3, July–September 2015, pp. 199–209
 Cronin, C. (2017). Openness and Praxis: Exploring the Use of Open Educational Practices in Higher Education. The International Review Of Research In Open And Distributed Learning, 18(5).