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Toolkit for Planning a University System-Wide Open Education Week Event: Home

This will serve as a toolkit for open education advocates and practioners in the higher education space who are interested in planning a system-wide event for Open Education Week.

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. 

This toolkit also serves as the community resource for a SPARC Open Education Leadership Program capstone project. Unless otherwise noted, this guide is published under a CC BY license. 

Digital photograph of the world with pinpoints at various locations and lines connectiing all of the pinpoints

Celebrating 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:

  • Local and/or state wide conferences
  • Institutionally focused presentations from faculty champions using OER or other open education principles
  • Presentations and/or workshops from librarians or other open education advocates to their campus community
  • Tabling and other partnership events with the Student Government Association or other student groups
  • Special presentations to faculty senate to promote OER and other open educational practices
Examples of Open Education Week Events in Higher Education

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 SystemThe Texas Tech University System, The Texas State University System, and The University of Houston System

Why a University System-Wide Open Education Week Event?

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. 

Variety of Institutions

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. 

Future Collaborations 

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.

Advantages and Disadvantages

  • Greater outreach potential
  • Potential collaborations
  • More people to help plan the event
  • Greater diversity in perspectives and open education projects
  • University Admin could look favorably on system-wide collaborations
  • It could take longer to plan the event because more people are involved
  • Requires more reliance on a group of people to make things happen. An OER or Scholarly Communications Librarian shouldn't plan this type of event alone
  • More opportunities for things to not go as planned


CCY-BY Creative Commons Icon "Toolkit for Planning a University System-Wide Open Education Week Event" by Sabrina Davis at Texas Tech University Libraries. This Library Guide is licensed CC BY