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How to use the framework

For each dimension, the framework presents a definition of the dimension, a rationale for it, its main components and its descriptors. These descriptors show detailed actions that can be performed by HE institutions to achieve or maintain the level of openness desired in each dimension.

The framework can be used differently depending on the stakeholder. It is designed to be used in a dynamic and flexible way, as it invites education institutions to mix and match the dimensions according to their specific requirements and strategic plan.

For example, the framework may be used by an executive HE manager, who will probably propose, approve and support policies but not necessarily engage in the detailed design of the activities involved in it. In this case, focusing on the dimensions’ definitions and their rationale will be enough to get a flavour of the comprehensiveness of the concept of open education proposed.

Some guiding questions might be:

  • Does my institution have an overall strategy for education or mission statement that fully embraces opening up?
  • If not, why and how could it be done? What would be the challenges and benefits?
  • If my institution does have an overall strategy/mission statement, how aligned is it with an open education ethos?
  • Which dimensions of the framework are currently most prominent in the institution? To which other dimensions could we pay further attention?
  • Who in the institution is playing/could play a leading role in helping us achieve our goals? How could they be supported?
  • How does opening up education enable my institution to have a positive local impact in the community, and if possible, globally?
  • Who in the community/region could benefit from the opening up of the practices of our university?
  • Who are our main collaborators and stakeholders?
  • What role do students and community leaders play in this process of opening up education?

However, the framework can be used in much more detail by anyone in charge of thinking deeply about openness as a strategy: i.e. managers, lecturers, researchers, strategists and community stakeholders.

In these cases, besides the questions above, further questions can be asked regarding each of the dimensions.

An optional opening up education planning template, in the format of a worksheet, is presented in ANNEX II to be used alongside this framework. It presents questions and a guide for stakeholders on things to consider when using the framework.

Source: OpenEdu Framework, 2016