Fostering Open Education in a Truly Open Environment

Open@RIT Uses IEEE SA OPEN to Advance Education

In June 2020, the charter of Open@RIT was approved. Fellow students and staff at the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) were able to pursue their mission of creating resources for students who want to learn, use, and contribute to Open Source technologies. This Open Source Program Office (OSPO) would soon find a place to develop best practices and their community on one of the most robust platforms available – IEEE SA OPEN.

There’s no surprise that Open Source provides a vast array of opportunities in technological and educational advancements, however, there is a crucial need for truly OPEN and safe spaces to develop foundational processes that ensure its longevity.

Role Diversity Pathways for Open Source

Academic institutions are able to provide healthier learning environments when they understand diversity and its positive impact in both educational and social surroundings. Creating diverse spaces allows for those who study other professions, such as communications, marketing and design, or law, to have the necessary impact other organizational structures create.

OSPOs merge existing business practices and processes that can help stitch together overall project health. In implementing methodologies that help an organization run efficiently, the need for role diversity is apparent. The platform has provided space for those who wish to help create and lend advice on best practices and other guidelines in technology, community, marketing, research, and more.

IEEE SA Open is a comprehensive open source development platform that helps raise the world’s standards through new communities of technology collaboration. The collaboration between OPEN@RIT and IEEE SA OPEN will help advance open education through developing and sharing resources via a secure, easy-to-access platform.

Continuous Contributions

The students participating in OPEN@RIT along with contributors on the IEEE SA OPEN platform help to create its foundational architecture, in turn, increasing sustainability for any group or project. The upstream- and cross-stream contributions from their work can help to produce better tools, processes, and community structures – the very nature of Open Source.

Continuing on the path to advance all things open aligns with OPEN@RIT’s goal of progressing Open Source Software, Open Hardware, Open Data, Open Science, Open Education, and Creative Commons licensing. The institution is already lending their expertise in the Education subgroup presenting a tools wishlist to help those on the platform understand tools needed specifically for students and academic institutions.

The Path Ahead

Open Education continues to create firsthand opportunities for those who understand the importance of Open Source and its impact on the world. Through OSPOs, learning is encouraged to be both formal and informal, as well as inclusive to those who wouldn’t normally consider it an option. With OPEN@RIT forging the path ahead for OSPOs enabled by IEEE SA Open, there’s no doubt they will inspire other academic institutions to adapt to the changing environment.

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The Featured Blog Posts series will highlight posts from partners and members of the All Things Open community leading up to the conference in October.