Professor Tian Belawati defines open education as “based on the belief that education and knowledge are public goods and that everyone has the right to access quality education. Open education, therefore, emphasizes the importance of system flexibility to minimize hindrances of access due to aspects related to place, time, economy, geography and age.” Starting from the emergence of Open Universities in the late 60s and MIT’s posting of course content on the web in the 90s, open education has become widespread around the world. Particularly with the development of digital technologies such as massive online open courses (MOOCs) open education has become a movement.
One of the benchmarks of the open education movement is to produce and spread what is known as Open Education Resources (OERs). At the 2002 UNESCO Forum on the Impact of Open Courseware for Higher Education in Developing Countries, OERs are defined as "the open provision of educational resources, enabled by information and communication technologies, for consultation, use and adaptation by a community of users for non-commercial purposes." Today, OERs are promulgated by organizations such as Creative Commons, Free Software Foundation, Open Architecture Network, Openmod Initiative, and Open Knowledge International, among others. University of the Commons contributes to the open education movement by producing online courses, educational videos and other OERs such as open syllabuses and podcasts.