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Recommendations for sharing open educational materials and teaching practices at Haaga-Helia

Satu Koivisto, Johanna Rajakangas-Tolsa & Antti Nyqvist
Julkaisuvuosi: 2023


Haaga-Helia’s operations are guided by five values: responsibility, collaboration, courage, respect and openness. These values are also reflected in our teaching at Haaga-Helia. Haaga-Helia is committed to the national Declaration for Open Science and Research 2020–2025 and any policies and recommendations in line with it. Through this commitment, we promote openness in four areas: open organisational culture, open publishing, open data and open learning. Our aim is to enable broad visibility and social impact for our operations through open and transparent operating models.

In addition to our values, openness and accountability are at the heart of our university strategy. Openness and accountability are implemented through effective cooperation, open information flow and structures, responsible and ethical practices and an operating culture that promotes accountability and transparency. In addition to effectiveness, openness allows us to increase the efficiency of our operations and enhance the benefits to society achieved with public funding. At Haaga-Helia, we link openness and accountability to one another.

The 2022 national policy on open education and educational resources offers guidelines to universities on creating, developing and utilising open educational resources as part of the everyday life of the university community. Haaga-Helia develops its own open education practices in line with these guidelines. The policy on open education and educational resources defines open education as “expanding access and participation in education to wider audiences and target groups by lowering educational barriers and increasing availability, accessibility, provision and learner-centredness”. Open educational resources, on the other hand, are defined as materials or information partly designed for teaching and learning purposes and released for public use or distributed under an open licence. Pedagogically meaningful material that is available for learning purposes is also considered an open educational resource.

The open education recommendation outlines the objectives and practices of Haaga-Helia’s open education on a general level. The aim of the recommendation is to ensure the implementation of national and international guidelines and recommendations related to open education at Haaga-Helia. The recommendation is complemented by more practical and more frequently updated guidelines. The recommendations on open learning are updated for each new strategy period. The Open Science and Research Coordination Group at Haaga-Helia, headed by the Research and Information Services Director, is responsible for updating the recommendations. The group includes representatives from Research Services, Library and Information Services, IT Services, Education, HR, and Learning, Research and Innovation Environments. In addition, Haaga-Helia’s lawyer and data protection officer participate in the group’s activities.

The recommendation enters into force at the start of the 2023–2024 academic year.


Open educational resources mean materials or information in any format and for any device that is partly designed for teaching and learning purposes released for public use or distributed under an open licence (policy component on open education and educational resources).

In practice, it is often material used by a teacher in a teaching context or through which the teaching takes place.

Haaga-Helia’s open educational resource:

    • is an educational publication that has gone through the publishing process and/or has been edited.
    • is created and shared by the teacher, for example, as presentations, videos or texts.
    • contains clearly identifiable information of the creator, licences and sources.
    • meets the accessibility criteria.
    • meets the threshold of originality. The threshold of originality is met if the product is independent and original intellectual work by its creator.
    • is stored in one permanent address.

Open teaching materials are materials used to support teaching that do not meet the threshold of originality and do not as such open to the reader. In this policy, we focus in particular on open educational resources.

Open learning and teaching practices refer to practices that allow for learning and teaching to be shared and processed further. Examples of such include peer learning and student participation in the planning of their learning paths, opening teaching to the public (MOOCs), sharing and re-using materials related to the planning and delivery of teaching, the use, further development and co-development of open educational resources. (Policy component on open education and educational resources.)

Principles of open educational resources at Haaga-Helia

Making open educational resources available and the FAIR principles

Haaga-Helia aims to open educational resources and learning and teaching practices by applying the FAIR principles. This means that the educational resources and teaching practices we open are Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Re-usable.

In particular, we open the educational resources and learning and teaching practices created within publicly funded projects. In practice, we aim to make all the educational resources produced within our projects openly available. Only the educational resources that cannot be opened, for example, due to contractual agreements in closed in commercial implementations would be kept closed.

Places for making open educational resources available

At Haaga-Helia, educational resources can be opened in a restricted way (e.g. for use by degree students, Open University of Applied Sciences students and staff) or made fully open. This policy focuses on making educational resources openly available to all. In such cases, the educational resource must be made available at a single permanent address.

We recommend that educational resources produced in Haaga-Helia projects are made available on Haaga-Helia’s own platform for publishing educational resources (eSignals) and linked to the national Library of Open Educational Resources. It is important to export at least the metadata of any educational resource to Haaga-Helia’s publishing platform eSignals and are fully open access publishing platforms.

If the educational resource is produced in a wider collaboration between different universities, the primary location of the material may be somewhere other than the eSignals platform. However, it should be noted that the educational resource may not, thus, meet the criteria for publication and will not be considered a publication under this recommendation. It is, however, important to link such resources to the national Library of Open Educational Resources.

Quality criteria for open educational resources

At Haaga-Helia, we apply the nationally specified recommendations or open educational resources, so that all open educational resources meet at least the basic level. Furthermore, we apply Haaga-Helia’s quality criteria for online implementations.

  • Contents: High-quality open educational resources are reliable in terms of content.
  • Learning and teaching methods: High-quality open educational resources support a wide range of different and varied ways of learning and teaching.
  • Usability and accessibility: High-quality open educational resources are as accessible as possible to all, in all situations.
  • Findability and sharing: High-quality open educational resources are easy to find, and their user knows the terms with which they can be re-distributed.
  • Lifespan and interoperability: High-quality open educational resources are maintained and regularly updated.
  • Quality criteria for online implementations (Haaga-Helia intranet)
  • Ministry of Education and Culture’s Quality Criteria for publications

Assessment of educational resources

Assessing and assuring the quality of open educational resources starts at the planning stage, so that the required quality criteria are met and there are no last-minute obstacles for opening the resources.

When the material is ready, a team of Haaga-Helia experts will assess whether the material fulfils the quality criteria. The team will also act as the editorial team for the open educational resource. The editorial team consists of at least two persons independent of and external to the production of the educational material in question. They are able to assess whether the material meets the publication threshold and quality requirements set by Haaga-Helia for open educational resources. The information about the editorial team is public and available on the publication channel of the educational resource.

The editorial team decides on the publication of the educational resource. The editorial team makes the publication decision by evaluating the educational resource in relation to the quality criteria and by assessing whether the resource offered for open publication meets Haaga-Helia’s definition for open educational resources. The editorial team gives special attention to whether the material is suitable for wider use than just a single course.

Furthermore, the published educational resource must be based on research, development or expert work carried out at Haaga-Helia; at least one of the creators must have an affiliation with Haaga-Helia, and the material must not have been previously published in a similar format.

Copyrights and licences for open educational resources

The copyrights of educational resources are owned jointly by the creator(s) of the work, but the related economic rights can be transferred. Economic rights include the right to make copies of the work, and the right to make the work available to the public.

Most Haaga-Helia employees already have a transfer of rights clause in their employment contract. Haaga-Helia also requires that anyone participating in RDI project activities concludes a separate copyright agreement before starting the project. This is necessary to enable Haaga-Helia to fulfil its commitments to its funding and project partners. The agreement also ensures that Haaga-Helia employees are aware of the transfer of rights. Thus, the economic rights to educational resources produced by Haaga-Helia’s employees as part of projects belong to Haaga-Helia and Haaga-Helia may, for example, decide to publish the educational resources. However, the moral rights of the creator must be taken into account when publishing the material. This mean that the creator must be credited, and the resource must not be used in a way that may be offensive to the creator.

When project partners have jointly produced an educational resource, the rights belong jointly to the project partners who created it. Before publication, it is important to check what has been agreed in the cooperation agreement between the project partners, or if there is no agreement, the partners should make a separate agreement regarding the publication.

If the educational resource intended for publication has not been produced within the framework of the project, it must be separately confirmed that Haaga-Helia has the necessary rights for its open publication.

We recommend that you use either the Creative Commons CC BY-SA or CC BY-NC-SA licence when opening educational resources. The decision on which licence to use at any given time is made by the project team in consultation with the relevant parties. When an educational resource is produced within an RDI project, it is necessary to discuss and agree on the licence with the RDI project funder or partners.

  • Attribution (BY) The creator must be credited. When using a creation, its creator or pseudonym must be declared. The attribution BY licence is always part of the licence combination.
  • ShareAlike (SA) Must be shared on the same licence. All derivatives can only be shared with the same licence as the original creation.
  • NonCommecial (NC)
  • Attribution – ShareAlike (CC BY-SA) The creator must be credited, and the creation must be shared on the same licence as the original.
  • Attribution – non-commercial: CC BY-NC-SA (Allows others to share and edit the creation and use it to create new works based on it but not for commercial purposes. The creator must always be credited as the original creator. The creation must be shared with the same licence as the original).

Support for the publication of open educational resources and the responsibilities of different actors at Haaga-Helia

Sharing educational resources creates responsibilities for both the creator and Haaga-Helia. Haaga-Helia’s duty as an organisation is to provide information, training and support on open educational resources, including their production, licensing, copyrights, assessment and sharing. Furthermore, an editorial team led by Haaga-Helia is responsible for assessing the quality of each resource to be shared and makes the publication decision. Haaga-Helia as an organisation stores the educational resource that has undergone the publication process on its platform. The creator of the educational resource is responsible for the accuracy and quality of the resource, for marking the resource’s licence in accordance with Haaga-Helia’s guidelines, for the accessibility of the material and for linking the resource published on Haaga-Helia’s platform to the Library of Open Educational Resources. When transferring educational resources to the Library of Open Educational Resources, it is also the responsibility of the creator to determine the expiry date for the resource.

As a university, Haaga-Helia supports the publication of open educational resources in various ways:

  • The ATT Coordination Group supports, communicates and develops expertise on general issues related to open science and research.
  • Digital pedagogy mentors and the university pedagogy team provide support for the production of digital educational resources and on accessibility issues. It is a good idea to get in touch with digital pedagogy mentors already when you start planning your digital educational resources.
  • The Open Educational Resources Editorial Team evaluates the resources against the national quality criteria and decides on their publication.
  • Communications provides guidance on accessibility and grammar/spelling and coordinates the Open Educational Resources Editorial Team.
  • The Library and Information Services provide guidance on copyrights, CC licences and the use of third-party materials, the storage and linking of educational resources to the national Library of Open Educational Resources, and on publication data collection.
  • With any problems, please contact: