This paper presents the initial findings of the OPAL project. OPAL aims to move beyond a focus on the development of open educational resources (OER) to articulation of the associated open educational practices (OEP) around the creation, use and management of OER. In this paper we provide a definition of Open educational practices, along with an associated set of dimensions. We describe how these were derived based on an extensive survey and analysis of OER case studies. The article focuses on three aspects: First it provides a working definition of open educational practices and articulates how better understanding of OEP might lead to enhancements in both quality and innovation in education. Secondly it is discusses the ways in which adopting more ‘open’ approaches to educational practices might impact on the quality of education. Thirdly, the case study findings are presented and the ways in which the different stakeholders involved influence open educational practices are discussed.
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