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Deadline: March 2019

Special Issue

Open Educational Practices

This call for proposals for a special themed issue of the journal Distance Education focuses on Open Educational Practices (OEP), which can be defined as “a broad range of practices that are informed by open education initiatives and movements and that embody the values and visions of openness” (Koseoglu & Bozkurt, 2018). While the term OEP is frequently used to refer to the creation, use and modification of Open Educational Resources (OER), it is latterly becoming better understood as a multidimensional and interdisciplinary construct that encompasses many different types of open practices, including: opening access to educational opportunities and materials; open learning, teaching, pedagogy and scholarship; and the educational use of open data and software (see Atenas, Havemann & Priego, 2015; Cronin & MacLaren, 2018; Havemann, 2016; Koseoglu & Bozkurt, 2018; Naidu, 2016).

Although open practices have a long history in education, including the field of distance education (DE), OEP’s emergence as a distinct research theme is relatively new (Weller, Jordan, DeVries, & Rolfe, 2018) and appears likely to grow in the near future (Bozkurt, Koseoglu, & Singh, 2019). This interest in OEP is significant because, as the Cape Town Open Education Declaration (2007) stated more than a decade ago, “open education is not limited to just open educational resources. It also draws upon open technologies that facilitate collaborative, flexible learning and the open sharing of teaching practices that empower educators to benefit from the best ideas of their colleagues.” Yet, the dominant discourse in open education appears to be centered on access to educational resources (Knox, 2013; Lambert, 2018), which limits the value and potential of open and distance education initiatives. The rise of OEP as a research theme both reflects and signals a shift of focus away from access to resources to a much more complex and contextualized understanding of the specific processes of open(ing) practice—including connecting, designing, contributing, curating, teaching and learning in public or shared spaces. Alongside this turn to practices, there has also been a critical turn in open education literature which increasingly calls into question the ethical, political, economic, social and cultural dimensions of OEP. Central to this line of enquiry are the overlapping issues of empowerment, inclusion and social justice in and through open practice (see, for example, Czerniewicz, 2018; Hodgkinson-Williams & Arinto, 2017; Jhangiani, 2018).

If there is a growing awareness of new, digitally-enabled open practices, it is also the case that the relationship between these and more established educational modes such as blended and distance education remains unclear, complicated, and perhaps, contentious (Prinsloo, 2016). In view of this gap in current research, this special issue of Distance Education seeks the contribution of papers that examine open practices within the context of open, online and distance education.

The issue will be organized around two types of contributions:

  • Conceptual/theoretical debate and reviews on OEP
  • Qualitative, quantitative or mixed methods studies exploring OEP in context

Proposals might include, but are not limited to, the following themes:

  • The contribution of OEP to learner empowerment, inclusion and/or social justice
  • The technological, pedagogical, cultural, legal, ethical and/or economic issues in OEP
  • OEP’s relationship with, or integration into, established educational modes such as blended and distance education
  • The relationship between OEP and lifelong learning

Submission Guidelines

If you are unsure about the scope of your proposal, please submit a brief overview which includes information on the background, purpose, and methodology of the study to Suzan Koseoglu, Aras Bozkurt and Leo Havemann  for an initial review.

All submitted proposals will undergo a double-blind review process. Please adhere to the journal’s style in your submissions.

Important Dates

  • One-page proposal due (500-1000 words): March 2019
  • Completion of first review round: April/May 2019
  • Full manuscripts due: September 2019
  • Double-blind review: October/November 2019
  • Revision: December 2019/January 2020
  • Final decision notification: January 2020
  • Copyediting: February 2020
  • Publication of the special issue: March 2020


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Distance Education

Table of Contents for Distance Education. List of articles from both the latest and ahead of print issues.

Visit Journal Articles


Atenas, J., Havemann, L., & Priego, E. (2015). Open data as open educational resources: Towards transversal skills and global citizenship. Open Praxis, 7(4), 377-389. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5944/openpraxis.7.4.233

Bozkurt, A., Koseoglu, S., & Singh, L. (2019). An analysis of peer reviewed publications on openness in education in half a century: Trends and patterns in the open hemisphere. Australasian Journal of Educational Technology, 35(4), 78-97. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.14742/ajet.4252

Cape Town Open Education Declaration. (2007). Cape Town open education declaration:
Unlocking the promise of open educational resources. Retrieved from http://www.capetownde

Cronin, C., & MacLaren, I. (2018). Conceptualising OEP: A review of theoretical and empirical literature in open educational practices. Open Praxis, 10(2), 127-143. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5944/openpraxis.10.2.825

Czerniewicz, L. (2018). Inequality as higher education goes online. In N. Bonderup Dohn, S. Cranmer, J-A. Sime, M. de Laat, & T. Ryberg (Eds.), Networked learning: Reflections and challenges (pp. 95-108). Switzerland: Springer International Publishing. 

Havemann, L. (2016). Open educational resources. In M. A. Peters (Ed.) Encyclopedia of Educational Philosophy and Theory: Living Edition. Singapore: Springer Singapore. Retrieved from  https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-287-532-7_218-1

Hodgkinson-Williams, C., & Arinto, P. B. (Eds.). (2017). Adoption and impact of OER in the Global South. Cape Town & Ottawa: African Minds, International Development Research Centre & Research on Open Educational Resources. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.1005330

Jhangiani, R. (October 11, 2018). Critical open pedagogy. Interview by B. Stachowiak [Podcast]. Teaching in Higher Education. Retrieved from https://teachinginhighered.com/podcast/critical-open-pedagogy/ 

Knox, J. (2013). The limitations of access alone: Moving towards open processes in education technology. Open Praxis, 5(1), 21-29. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5944/openpraxis.5.1.36

Koseoglu, S., & Bozkurt, A. (2018). An exploratory literature review on open educational practices. Distance Education, 39(4), 441–461. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.1080/01587919.2018.1520042

Lambert, S. (2018). Changing our (dis)course: A distinctive social justice aligned definition of Open Education. Journal Of Learning For Development - JL4D, 5(3). Retrieved from http://www.jl4d.org/index.php/ejl4d/article/view/290/334

Naidu, S. (2016). The case for open educational practice. Distance Education, 37(1), 1-3. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.1080/01587919.2016.1157010

Prinsloo, P. (2016). (Re)considering distance education: exploring its relevance, sustainability and value contribution. Distance Education, 37(2), 139-145. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.1080/01587919.2016.1188445

Weller, M., Jordan, K., DeVries, I., & Rolfe, V. (2018). Mapping the open education landscape: citation network analysis of historical open and distance education research. Open Praxis, 10(2), 109-126. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5944/openpraxis.10.2.822

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