OER timeline

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Work in progress, expect frequent changes. Help and feedback is welcome. See discussion page.

This page started in a Learning4Content workshop as a resource to mark significant events in the Open Educational Resources(OER) movement. As an ecosystem, OER has meaningful events that mark its growth. That's what this page is about. OER also has an endless number of people, events and things that make up the ecosystem and contribute to its health and expansion. Those are celebrated in a new OER Birthdays page.

Please share your OER milestones hereand your OER birthdays here and help track the growth of OER worldwide!

Date Milestone
1998 Open content term coined by Wiley, (2006)[1]; first open content license (OpenContent Principles and License) released.
1999 - June Second open content license (Open Publication License) released [2], includes license options concerning attribution, derivative works, and commercial use of materials
1999 - October Connexions project is born at Rice University[3]
2000 - March Nupedia, predecessor of Wikipedia launched by Jimmy Wales and Larry Sanger[4], using original "OpenContent Principles and License"
2001 - Jan Wikipedia, launched by Jimmy Wales and Larry Sanger[5]
2002 - July Open Educational Resources (OER) term coined by UNESCO[6]
2002 - December Established in 2001, Creative Commons release the first set of licenses.[7]
2006 - October Open University of the United Kingdom launches OpenLearn[8]
2006 - November FLOSS4Edu launches for African OER[9]
2006 - Feb WikiEducator domain name registered and prototype server installed[10]
2006 - August First Multi-Country Education Curriculum using OER: Virtual University of the Small States of the Commonwealth[11]
2007 - February OER Commons launches[12]
2007 - March First commercial training provider launches OER courses: Novell[13]
2007 - July First U.S. OER College Consortium: Community College Consortium for Open Educational Resources[14]
2007 - September First Public Declaration: Cape Town Declaration[15]
2007 September??? First university to adopot CC-BY-SA default Intellectual Property Policy: Otago Polytechnic, New Zealand[16]
2007 - September First US statewide OCW consortium launches, Utah OpenCourseWare Alliance [17], [18]
2007 - November First university to publish over 90% of its courses as OER: MIT OpenCourseware, established in 2002[19]
2008 - February OER Africa launched[20]
2008 - April First global OER Consortium legally established: OpenCourseware Consortium[21]
2008 - July First OER Handbook v1.0 published[22]
2008 - July First For-Profit Publishing Company based on OER: FlatWorld Knowledge[23]
2009 - April First Masters Thesis published as OER [24]
2009 - April First OER Non-Profit Foundation: OER Foundation[25]
2009 - May First-in-U.S. Initiative to Develop Free Digital Textbooks for High School Students: California Governor Schwarzenegger[26]
2009 - May First For-Profit University Publishes OER: Kaplan University[27]
2009 - July US President Obama Announces Federal OER Initiative for Community Colleges[28]
2009 - August First High School based on OER launches: Open High School of Utah[29]
2009 - September First OER University: University of the People[30]

Notes for inclusion and further research


  1. Wiley, 2006. The Current State of Open Educational Resources. Prepared for the expert meeting on open educational resources. Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, Centre for Educational Research and Innovation. Online: http://opencontent.org/blog/archives/247
  2. Open Publication License, 1999. Online: http://opencontent.org/openpub/
  3. Connexions, Online:http://cnx.org/aboutus/history
  4. Wikipedia, Nupedia, Online: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nupedia
  5. Wikipedia, Wikipedia, Online: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia
  6. UNESCO, OER Toolkit/Background, Online:http://oerwiki.iiep-unesco.org/index.php?title=UNESCO_OER_Toolkit/Background_to_Open_Educational_Resources
  7. Creative Commons, History, Online:http://creativecommons.org/about/history
  8. OU UK OpenLearn history, Online:http://www.open.ac.uk/openlearn/about-us/our-story.php
  9. FLOSS4Edu, Online:http://wikieducator.org/FLOSS4Edu
  10. WikiEducator, Early History. Online:http://www.wikieducator.org/WikiEducator_Early_History#The_first_prototype
  11. Virtual University of the Small States of the Commonwealth, Online:http://www.col.org/progServ/programmes/Pages/VUSSC.aspx and announcement of the first course development workshop in August, Online:http://www.cedol.org/cgi-bin/items.cgi?_rm=display_blob&_data=200701231139533701
  12. OER Commons about, Online:http://www.oercommons.org/about#about-oer-commons
  13. Novell announces OpenCourseware, Online:http://www.novell.com/news/press/novell-joins-opencourseware-consortium-to-drive-linux-it-training
  14. Announcement, Online:http://www.league.org/league/projects/CCCOER/ and web site, Online:http://oerconsortium.org/
  15. The Cape Town Open Education Declaration,Online:http://www.capetowndeclaration.org/
  16. Otago Polytechnic IP Policy, Online:http://wikieducator.org/Otago_Polytechnic/Intellectual_property a summary of the process, Online:http://wikieducator.org/Otago_Polytechnic:_An_IP_policy_for_the_times
  17. http://kairosnews.org/utah-opencourseware-alliance
  18. http://uocwa.org/
  19. MIT Open Courseware History, Online: http://ocw.mit.edu/OcwWeb/web/about/history/index.htm
  20. OER Africa, Online:http://www.oerafrica.org/Default.aspx?alias=www.oerafrica.org/aboutoer
  21. Announcement at Dahlian Conference, Online:http://bokaap.net/bits-and-pieces/open-courseware-consortium-growing-up/ and official OCWC website, Online:http://www.ocwconsortium.org/index.php
  22. OER Handbook, Online:http://wikieducator.org/OER_Handbook
  23. FlatWorld Knowledge, Online:flatworld knowledge and announcement of first tests, Online:http://www.flatworldknowledge.com/sites/all/files/pressrelease_071408.pdf
  24. Randy Fisher Thesis, Online:http://www.wikieducator.org/OMD/MPII/MP_Paper_II Fielding Graduate University
  25. OER Foundation, Online:http://www.wikieducator.org/WikiEducator:OER_Foundation
  26. Announcement, Online:http://oerconsortium.org/2009/05/07/ca-free-textbook-initiative/ and web site, Online:http://www.collegeopentextbooks.org/
  27. Kaplan University OpenCourseware, Online:http://ocw.kaplan.edu/
  28. White House Press Room, July 14, 2009 speech at Macombe Community College, Michigan, Online:http://www.whitehouse.gov/the_press_office/Remarks-by-the-President-on-the-American-Graduation-Initiative-in-Warren-MI/
  29. The Open High School of Utah, Online:http://openhighschool.org/
  30. University of the People, Online:http://www.uopeople.org/Default.aspx and United Nations announcement, Online:http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=30848
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