What is Open in the Open Campus?
The term “Open” in its name signifies that the Open Campus has embraced the ideals of Open and Flexible Learning, the principles and practices of the Open Source Software movement and the concept of Open Educational Resources. It is committed to opening up a wide range of educational opportunities to address the regional, national and local economic, social and cultural needs of the sixteen countries to which it provides service. And at the core of its virtual mode of operation is the use of ICT.
During Open Access week, October 19-23, 2009, the Open Campus made public its commitment to openness through two examples of openness in action:
On behalf of the Open Campus, Professor Hazel Simmons-McDonald, Pro-Vice Chancellor and Principal, UWI Open Campus signed the Cape Town Open Education Declaration at http://www.capetowndeclaration.org. Signing it means that the Open Campus will follow the principles of the Declaration:
- First, we encourage educators and learners to actively participate in the emerging open education movement, in particular, in creating, using, adapting and improving open educational resources.
- Second, we call on educators, authors, publishers and institutions to release their resources openly. These open educational resources should be freely shared through open licences which facilitate use, revision, translation, improvement and sharing by anyone.
- Third, governments, school boards, colleges and universities should make open education a high priority. Ideally, taxpayer-funded educational resources should be open educational resources.
Also during Open Access Week, Open Campus published two Special Issues of The International Journal of Education and Development using Information and Communication Technology (IJEDICT)
- "eLearning in the Caribbean", Guest Editor Dianne Thurab-Nkhosi, UWI Open Campus, Trinidad and Tobago. This special issue comprises refereed articles selected from the eLearning Conference held at St Augustine earlier this year.
- "e/merge in Africa", Guest Editors Tony Carr and Laura Czerniewicz, University of Cape Town, South Africa. This special issue comprises refereed articles selected from the eLearning Conference held virtually and physically in Cape Town in 2008.
IJEDICT is an international, peer reviewed e-journal that provides free and open access to all of its content. It aims to strengthen links between research and practice in ICT in education for development in hitherto less developed parts of the world. The Managing Editor is Professor Stewart Marshall (Open Campus) and it is published by the Open Campus at: http://ijedict.dec.uwi.edu//index.php
Since IJEDICT is an open access journal, published using open source journal management software, it is highly appropriate for it to be part of Open Access Week. And the publishing of these two issues in Open Access Week makes a symbolic open access gesture across the Atlantic ocean.