Benefits of Sharing

Why is it Important to Share Openly?

The open sharing of information and knowledge not only allows for greater access, but also supports collaboration and innovation. The idea of free and open sharing in education is not new. In fact, education IS the sharing of information and ideas upon which new knowledge, skills and understanding can be built. Sharing information allows for greater retention as it becomes part of a collective repository that many can access. It helps to break down silos and allows for new ideas — or thoughts — to germinate.

Sapire and Reed’s (2011) study shows that sharing and collaboration in open education improves the quality and depth of learning resources. Those who engage in open collaborative projects are more likely to collaborate in the future (Petrides et al., 2011). Furthermore, educators who co-create OER are more likely to continue creating and sharing content online on a consistent and ongoing basis (Petrides et al., 2008). This suggests that once educators engage in a community, they see the benefits of it — which makes this process more sustainable.

The benefits of sharing are great and have an impact on all stakeholders in open education. Through open sharing, students have a richer and more engaging learning experience — as they have greater access to information, perspectives and materials to help them to succeed. Educators can draw on resources from all around the world — and researchers can share data and develop new networks. People can connect with others they wouldn’t otherwise meet to share ideas and information. Materials can be translated, mixed together, broken apart and openly shared again — increasing access and inviting fresh approaches. See the table below for a list of benefits experienced by all of those involved in open education.

Benefits of Sharing

Educational Institutions
Other Sectors (Employers, Government, etc.)

One barrier to sharing and collaborating openly is the lack of institutional support for open work. However, institutions that promote openness as a value, in order to demonstrate their contribution to the public interest of their society, will enhance their image and role within that society (Skidmore & Provida, 2019).In the following section, we will see some examples of initiatives that are happening at institutions in Ontario to support working openly.

Activity : Reflection

After reading this section on the benefits of sharing, reflect on your own work in your institution.

Do you regularly share openly?
What are some ways you could be more open?



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