Key Definitions

OpenMed takes the UNESCO 2012 definition of Open Educational Resources (OER) as a desiderare ending point of a journey towards openness in higher education that might start with less ambitious goals, and continue at different speeds, as far as we go in the same direction, emphasizing the idea of breaking boundaries and building bridges that expand the opportunities for any learner to benefit from universities as a source of knowledge.
Starting points for defining our ‘terms of reference’ have been presented at the OpenMed kick-off meeting by Daniel Villar-Onrubia and Katherine Wimpenny, Coventry University.
Open Access (OA)
Open access is a global movement which aims to provide unrestricted access to scholarly research outputs including peer-reviewed journals, theses, scholarly monographs and book chapters. Suber, P. 2004. Open Access Overview (definition, introduction).
Open Education
Open Education is an umbrella concept which incorporates emerging international practices in the formal education sector promoting openness and is inclusive of the concepts of Open Learning, Open Educational Resources (OER), OpenCourseWare, Open Content, Open Educational Practices (OEP), Open Access, Open Licensing, Open Policy, Open Source Software, and Open Business Models
Open Educational Practices (OEP)

Teaching techniques that draw upon open technologies and high-quality open educational resources (OER) in order to facilitate collaborative and flexible learning. They may involve students participating in online, peer production communities within activities intended to support learning or more broadly, any context where access to educational opportunity through freely available online content and services is the norm. Such activities may include (but are not limited to), the creation, use and repurposing of open educational resources and their adaptation to the contextual setting. (Wikipedia definition

Open Educational Resources (OER)
According to the European Commission (2014, 6), Open Educational Resources (OER) “are learning resources that are usable, adaptable to specific learning needs, and shareable freely.” In a more narrow interpretation of the concept, Unesco defines OER as “[t]eaching, learning and research materials in any medium, digital or otherwise, that reside in the public domain or have been released under an open license that permits no-cost access, use, adaptation and redistribution by others with no or limited restrictions.” (UNESCO 2012).
Open Licensing
Open licensing refers to the suite of the legal tools used to grant open copyright permissions to reuse, revise, remix and redistribute resources with Creative Commons licenses being the preferred international licensing standard
Open Policy
Open policy promotes unrestricted access and open licensing of resources financed through public and philanthropic funding in order to maximize the impact of the investment.
Open Source Software
Open Source Software is software with its source code made available with a copyright license which provides the rights to use, study, change and distribute the software for any purpose. See for example the Open Source Software definition:


CC Creative Commons

HE Higher Education

HEI Higher Education Institution

IR Institutional Repository

LMS Learning Management System

MENA Middle East and North Africa Region

MOOC Massive Open Online Course

OA Open Access

OE Open Education

OEP Open Educational Practices

OER Open Educational Resources

S–M South Mediterranean

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