Open Education Week is an annual worldwide celebration that provides an opportunity for sharing and learning about the amazing innovation and successes happening in open education. Open Education Week was launched in 2012 by Open Education Global and has continued annually since its inception. Open Education Global encourages practioners to post events happening at their institutions throughout the week and assists with promoting those events to a world-wide audience. Many higher education institutions participate in Open Education Week in some capacity at their institutions. This toolkit can assist open education advocates working within higher education university systems in planning system-wide events during Open Education Week.
Since it's inception, many higher education institutions across the globe have celebrated Open Education Week annually by hosting and promoting events to their campus communities. These events could include:
Some universities and colleges in the United States are clustered together into university systems. These systems are usually geographically structured, meaning that the institutions within a system are typically in the same state. While the individual instituitons within these systems generally operate independently of one another, they are usually governed by a system-wide board of regents. In the state of Texas for example, there are 6 university systems; The University of Texas System, The Texas A&M University System, The Texas Tech University System, The Texas State University System, and The University of Houston System.
To celebrate Open Education Week in 2023, Texas Tech University Libraries decided to expand our annual Open Education Week Virtual Conference to include presentations and registrations from all faculty, staff, and students at all of the Texas Tech University System institutions. We also included a local community college (South Plains Community College) in our event.
Expanding our event to include our entire university system and the local community college made sense to us because it allowed for a variety of institutioin types to participate in the conversations surrounding open education. The Texas Tech University System includes a large high-research institution, a couple of smaller liberal arts institutions, and a couple of health science centers. While each of the institutions have been making strides toward embracing open educational practices, a joint Open Education Week Event allowed participants to see what colleagues were doing and it created an environment where differing perspectives could learn from one another.
This was the first time that the Texas Tech University System institutions had partnered together to celebrate open education. The hope is that this event could be a starting point for collaborations in the future. These collaborations could be with faculty from the various institutions who are interested in creating OER together, or it could be the formation of a system-wide group of OER advocates who meet to support one another.