Winner of the Open Practices Award 2021 for Open Policy

Winner of the Open Practices Award 2021 for Open Policy

For announcement October 29, 2021 meet winners in another category of the Open Practices Awards.

Open Practices are collective behaviors and techniques that open up access to educational opportunities. These practices promote and support the use of open educational resources, technologies, and social networks to facilitate collaborative and flexible teaching and learning.

Open Policy

Creation, adoption and implementation of an open policy, legislation or mandate. A policy with a clear impact of public investment in the development of open knowledge through the efficient use and reuse of resources for the public good.

The winner is…

Open Policies for Learning and Teaching
University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom

University of Edinburgh: Open Policies for Learning and Teaching

In keeping with the University of Edinburgh’s commitment to open education and open knowledge, the University has created, adopted, and shared a suite of influential open licensed education policies and guidelines to benefit institutions across the Higher Education sector. These open policies are based on a significant body of research and consultation and represent a considered and timely response to changing circumstances in digital education. In addition to providing guidance for the University of Edinburgh’s own staff and students, by sharing these policies under open license they helped institutions across the UK and beyond to respond to the challenges of online teaching during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The OER policy (2016) reused and adapted elements from existing OER policies from other institutions. It reflects the University of Edinburgh’s mission to discover knowledge and make the world a better place and encourages staff and students to create OERs to enhance the quality of the student experience and provide learning opportunities for all.

The Lecture Recording policy (2019) was created following an extensive programme of internal and external research and consultation. It resolves ambiguity around personal data in recordings and clearly assigns intellectual property rights to their original holders, who in turn agree that recordings may be used for clearly defined purposes.

Learning Analytics Principles and Purposes (2017) governs the University’s use of student data, which should be ethical, transparent and for the purpose of enhancing the student experience.

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit in 2020, the framework provided by these open policies enabled the University to rapidly adapt its existing principles to accommodate classes delivered entirely online. In response to the online pivot, a Virtual Classroom Policy and accompanying Digital Citizenship Guide were created and shared at a critical time for the Higher Education sector.


Please reply and extend your congratulations to the winner or ask them any questions about their award winning efforts.

Posted on behalf of Neil McCormick, Education Technology Policy Officer, University of Edinburgh.

Thank you OE Global. We are delighted to receive this award, and we hope that the experience and approaches represented in these open policies and guidance will be of use to others grappling with issues such as safety, user rights and open licensing when teaching and learning is online or recorded. We are grateful in turn for what we have learned from the global OER community.

We’re also grateful for the leadership and encouragement we have within the University of Edinburgh that has created such opportunities for creating and curating OERs – in policy, and so many other areas – and that encourage us to engage strongly with the OER community. Edinburgh is, as Dr Melissa Highton says, a great place to work if you are interested in open education, open practice, open knowledge and open source edtech.