Week 6 Learning Resources

This fortnight covers the topic Openness. We are going to explore some of the things that are open on the web, open education, open data, open access and open source and look philosophies behind knowledge sharing and open content.

We are going to look at some of the platforms and content that have emerged out of these technologies such as data and image mashups, MOOC’s, institutional repositories as well as the way open source has been at the base of some very successful organisations.

Please note that there are a lot of resources to look at this fortnight and you are not expected to look at all of them in detail. Have a skim through, decide which part of the Openness movement appeals to you, and then look at those resources in detail.

Open data

Open data is data that can be freely used, reused and redistributed by anyone – subject only, at most, to the requirement to attribute and sharealike. Opendata handbook. The Opendata handbook, where this quote comes from has a great introduction to the concept, and benefits of open data.

Watch this video for the Open Data Institute about the benefits of open data.

If you have the time you might like to look at the Open Data Institute’s videos on YouTube. There are a selection of short talks (about 20 minutes each) on how open data is being used to make everything from surfing to air quality safer.

This article explains how you can use open data to improve your life. While the article is based on information sets from the US, and can get a bit technical, it show how easy it is for individuals to benefit from open data.

Open education 

The topic of open education covers a number of interesting and hotly discussed issues. We touch on some of them here, including MOOCs and connected learning.

This article, available via QUT Library will give you an understanding of open education.

Belawati, Tian. Open education, open education resources, and Massive Open Online Courses [online]. International Journal of Continuing Education and Lifelong Learning, Vol. 7, No. 1, Dec 2014: [1]-15

MOOC’s have evolved out of the open education movement. Massive, open, online courses they have been touted as the future of education and a challenge to the way the higher education sector operates. For more details about MOOC’s this article is a good resource. 

Open education and MOOC’s are seen by some as not compatible, and by others as hugely beneficial. Read about the benefits of MOOC’s and those who disagree and make up your own mind.

Open source

Open source is when the source code is available to the public, who are free to use or adapt it however they wish. The Open Source Initiative provides a more in-depth definition of open source, and open source standards.



Many of the organisations that we interact with every day have their roots in open source software. Facebook is a great example. Have a look at Facebook’s Top 5 Open Source projects from 2015.

There are many benefits to open source, but as with everything there are some who argue that it is not a great model for business.

If you are interested in open source software, you might like to read this article about open source economics that also discusses the movement towards software as a service (SaaS).



Open access

Open access relates to scholarly publishing and underpinning this idea is that the more we allow open access to research, the faster knowledge will be created.

This video offers a great explanation of open access.

This article which answers common questions about Open Access was partially written by our guest lecturer Dr. Ginny Barbour. Ginny also wrote this Open Access blog post and has been kind enough to share it with us, please note that the blog has not yet been published so is for background reading only, and should not be shared.

For those of you who have a keen interest in Open Access you might like to look at Knowledge Unbound by Peter Suber. Please note I don’t expect you to read all, or any of it before the class, it is just for your own interest if OA is something that appeals to you.


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