In light of the growing development of open education policies and practices across Europe and internationally, as well as the increasing urgency of supporting Irish higher education staff and students in an increasingly networked society, the National Forum Strategy 2019-21 includes a specific focus on supporting open education principles, practices and policies in Irish higher education. The National Forum recognises that this requires both support for individual open practice as well as a commitment to openness at programme, institutional and national levels.
All National Forum resources are openly licensed using a Creative Commons license (CC BY). National Forum open resources include 17 open access professional development courses linked to the National Forum Professional Development Framework, each leading to a National Forum digital badge (see Open Courses). In addition, the National Forum requires that all resources arising from National Forum-funded projects be published openly, and actively supports project teams in accomplishing this goal. Initiatives to support open education undertaken by the National Forum in 2019 included publication of a Forum Insight outlining our support for open education in Irish higher education, publication of the National Forum Open Licensing Toolkit, hosting of a webinar on OER and open licensing, and sponsoring the OER19 Conference in Galway. The popularity of this Toolkit led to the establishment of a series of guides focused on open educational resources (OER) and open educational practices (OEP). The second guide in the series, How to Choose an Open Licence, followed a related webinar, ‘Creating and Sharing Open Educational Resources (OER)’, which took place on 28 May 2020 and focused on the value of OER for all who learn and teach.