While causing unprecedented disruption worldwide, COVID-19 has also stimulated the mainstreaming of digital technologies in the delivery of formal education. For most key stakeholders – organisations, educators, and students – this has been a new and challenging experience and has been described in policy terms as ‘emergency remote education’. For many students, however, it has either exacerbated or marginalised their opportunity to access formal education. In probing this impact at a deeper level, an international collaboration involving the authors during 2020-2021 focused on reviewing contemporary practices and potentials of open education as a strategic and sustainable response. This paper highlights practices, case studies, and emerging issues from 13 diverse countries, to be globally representative, which include: Australia, Brazil, France, India, Mexico, the Netherlands, Nigeria, Spain, Sweden, South Korea, Taiwan, Turkey, and the United Kingdom. This collection of countries was selected based on researcher contexts and contributions. To date, findings indicate open education has demonstrable benefits for distance learning. More broadly, open educational practices are positioned to shape a ‘new normal’ that embraces ‘global citizenship’ while also being equitable and inclusive. Our aspirations are that such practices will lead to better formal education promoting and ensuring human rights, democracy, lifelong learning, safety, social justice, diversity, cultural sensitivity and inclusivity through strategic and long-term support by all stakeholders in both modes of educational delivery and access: face-to-face and distance learning.
Full open access at: Stracke, C. M., Sharma, R. C., Swiatek, C., Burgos, D., Bozkurt, A., Karakaya, Ö., Ossiannilsson, E., Mason, J., Nerantzi, C., Agbu, J.-F., Ramírez Montoya, M. S., Shon, J. G., Inamorato dos Santos, A., Farrow, R., Wan, M., Santos-Hermosa, G., & Conole, G. (2021). How COVID-19 has an impact on formal education: A collective international evaluation of open education in distance learning. Proceedings of the 14th Annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation (ICERI). (pp. 4270-4275). https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.5764585