The Open Mindset

Open Webslides is not just a tool. It is a philosophy, a vision on education that is promoted and concretized through our platform.

Our society is characterized by globalization, digitalization and constant change. This is contrasted by educators that often struggle to provide students with the skills to shape tomorrow’s society.

A paradigm shift is needed where 21st century skills such as digital literacy, sustainability, entrepreneurship, global citizenship and research must be included in a new curriculum design that focuses on self-guidance.

We believe this can be achieved by an open approach to learning. In this sense, open is the holy grail of our project and covers a variety of ideas


Firstly, co-creation means opening up educational material to be co-created and improved by not only colleagues but also students and other stakeholders.

Using co-creation, students naturally bring their individual learning needs and qualities to the table, allowing for increased course diversification and student engagement leading to better and deeper learning outcomes.

By contrast, current course material typically starts from the educator, and fails to engage the rich capabilities of its students, many of which have prior work and learning experiences that could add value to the learning process.

Unlocking their potential through co-created course content – also in a blended and distance learning context – greatly contributes to the quality and richness of the course, and to the development of critical thinkers.

Opening up material to other stakeholders also results in a more self-reflective, critical approach to creating learning material, while also inviting critical friends to provide feedback and vice versa. This, in turn, promotes the connecting of different subject narratives into a more coherent, multi-perspective curriculum.

Accessibility and lowering the bar of entry

Open Webslides aims to facilitate the learning process and make it accessible to everyone. This includes people for whom the bar of entry might currently be rather high, such as those who suffer from learning disorders or physical disabilities.

A global platform for learning

Secondly, Open Webslides provide the option to go beyond co-creation in closed environments such as faculty departments, teacher corps or student groups. We believe that opening up learning material for a global audience in one unified and accessible platform can add tremendous value to learners everywhere.

Free and built with free material

Just as its underlying web technology, the Open Webslides platform is free to use and accessible everywhere. Even our source code is available to any and all who wish to improve upon it.

Content over layout

To promote and facilitate this co-creation philosophy, we strongly believe that the value of learning material should not be found in nifty transitions or extensive use of exotic styles but rather in simple yet structured material that makes well-thought-out use of innovative tools for interaction and flipped classroom initiatives.

The slides

At the core of the Open Webslides project is the new format of course slides, pioneered by Ruben Verborgh. These webslides differ from current slide solutions in a variety of ways.

Open Webslides, as the name suggests, are slides made with web technologies such as HTML, CSS and JavaScript. Essentially, this means that every slide in itself is a website and as such, is able to do everything a website can. You can seamlessly embed YouTube videos, flipped classroom tools, dynamic graphics, etc. The possibilities are virtually endless.

Because every slide is a website in itself, each one also has its own URL, allowing you to link to specific slides from other platforms such as Facebook or Twitter. In its turn, this enables you to make your material more accessible and hold discussions on various social networks.