Open educational resources

From WikiEducator
Jump to: navigation, search

The milestones of Open Educational Rersources movement worldwide

1. Foreword 2. OER developments in Finland 3. OER insights. The case of Mexico. 4. OER in Sweden 5. OER in P.R. China 6. OER in Italy 7. Process and license.

1. Foreword

This book has appeared as the result of the joint effort of the participants of the third LERU Doctoral Summer School 2012, which focused on exploring issues pertaining to the Open Source Movement. One of the issues, Open Educational Resources (OER) attracted major attention to become a starting point for an effort to identify and map Open Educational Resources (OER) initiatives across the globe focusing on the home countries of the participants. We hope that this effort will contribute to raising awareness of OERs and their potential among teachers and learners alike in different part of the word and will enrich the body of existing knowledge on the topic. After all, the true motivation behind the project nests in altruistic belief that sharing and re-using knowledge openly and free of charge is in line with traditional academic values and should be fostred for the benefit of present and future society of learners

Open Educational Resources: background and definitions The last decade has witnessed an important reconsideration of the role of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) in education. Advances in information technologies, such as Web 2.0 applications and tools, have created unique opportunities for the free exchange and access to knowledge on a global scale. This “free exchange and access to knowledge”, alternatively referred to as “Open Educational Resources (OER) movement” (Geser, 2007), represents the idea of “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” (UNESCO, 2002)

One of the most cited definitions of Open Educational Resources is given in the report published by OECD Center for Educational Research and Innovation (CERI) on The Emergence of Open Educational Resources, where OER defined as: “…digitized materials offered freely and openly for educators, students and self-learners to use and reuse for teaching, learning and research. OER includes learning content, software tools to develop, use and distribute content, and implementation resources such as open licenses.”

Yet, the debate on what OER are, is an issue on its own, since the term itself needs further clarification and in-depth analysis. To the moment, the number of Open Educational Resources initiatives around the world soared to thousands. Such topicality of the “open source approach” springs from common understanding that open source, open content and open freeware contain a considerable potential in promoting innovation and change in educational practices that will enable “finding effective new ways to expand access to quality educational opportunities” (UNESCO, 2009) for learners of both traditional and non-traditional age groups. The potential of OER has been repeatedly acknowledged by both world and international power structures that are calling for action in implementation and development of OER both locally and globally. On June 20-22, 2012, UNESCO released the 2012 Paris OER Declaration calling on governments to openly license publicly funded educational materials. "The future is not what it used to be." (Valery). Openness is seen as the core paradigm of contemporary education and research. In this respect it may be the Open Access approach that will fulfill the promise and deliver the level of change needed in the Age of Knowledge Societies.


Geser, G. (2007). Open Educational Practices and Resources. Available at:

UNESCO (2002) Forum on the Impact of Open Courseware for Higher Education in Developing Countries: final report. URL:

OECD (2007). Giving Knowledge for free. The Emergence of Open Educational Resources. Paris, 3-140. URL:

UNESCO (2009). Open Educational Resources. Conversations in Cyberspace. UNESCO Publishing.

2. OER developments in Finland

OER movement is still rather young but taking root in Finland. The production of OER (Avoimet oppiresurssit in Finnish) is far from systematic, but already stretches through all levels of education. Partially open resources have been provided for all levels of education by the Finnish National Board of Education (, library of material to be freely used in teaching, but which does not necessarily fulfil the criteria of open content), and for vocational high schools by the Finnish Online University of Applied Sciences (, only open for vocational high schools). Now there are government initiatives to promote OER in Finland, and there is increasing interest in institutes of higher education to join networks and consortiums. Importantly, Finland has signed the UNESCO 2012 Paris OER declaration.

Advances in OER An important milestone in projects aiming to improve the status and promote the awareness of OER has been the development of Le Mill (, the first version of which was launched in 2006. It is a web community and a library of OER developed by the Media Lab of the Aalto University School of Art and Design during an EU-funded project ”CALIBRATE” (2005-2008), which aimed in supporting the collaborative use and exchange of learning resources in schools. The majority of Le Mill users are elementary school and high school teachers, and at the moment the community comprises almost 30 000 teachers from 71 countries, and has more than 50 000 learning resources in 75 languages. However, only a minority of users and content are Finnish.

The latest advances in promoting OER in Finland include the joining of two universities in open educational initiatives. In 2010, Aalto University joined Open Educational Quality Initiative (OPAL) that aims to mainstream Open Educational Practices (OEP) in Higher Education. A year later, Helsinki Metropolia University of Applied Sciences joined the OpenCourseWare Consortium, as the first institute of higher education to introduce OpenCourseWare in Finland. Furthermore, University of Jyväskylä has participated a Nordic-Baltic project "NORDPLUS" (2009-2011) that aimed to build a network and to provide tools to promote OER across all educational levels of the participating countries. Finally, Universities in Finland run open access repositories that mainly contain theses and other publications by the institutions, but the digital repository of University of Helsinki, "HELDA" ( contains a section for study materials.

University of Helsinki strongly supports open access

-is the promotion of OER the next step?

3. OER insights. The case of Mexico.

This section is intended to share an insight of what has been done so far in terms of Open Education Resources -OER- in Mexico. Besides this chapter presents a list of available resources regarding OER movement and the ongoing initiatives in Mexico. It is neccessary first to understand that the Open Education Movement (OEM) respond to different cirucmstances form country to country. In some regions OEM might be seen as the tendency to follow entering the emerging economy of knowledge. how ever in some other countries (developing ones for example) OEM could be an effective action to address socio-economic issues. In Mexico, OEM raises during the first years of last decade as a strategy to bridge the gap between communities with access to iformation and those without access. Following the steps taken in 2001 by the Massachussets Institute of Technology (MIT), some educators in Mexico decided to join the Open Coursware movement under the idea of shared knowledge. OCW Mexico is a project started early 2007 and is the first space in Mexico offering free access to contents which in fact are part of the curricula of some higher education programs. From 2007 to nowadays different institutions have joined the movement led by the Tecnológico de Monterrey and an interesting variety of initiatives have emerged. This institution created its own courseware turning into the pioneer in the country.

TEMOA is an Open Educational Resources portal that brings together reliable educational resources catalogued by expert librarian including recommendations for using and for teaching or learning. It also includes a tool to help users to build individually or collaboratively resusable courses. This site offers as well online courses without requiring any additional technology. Finally TEMOA offers an interactive space to contact people from other places and to participate in the construction of courses, evaluating and receiving recognition throughout the community. In 2010 a group of seven mexican private and public universities started a joint project called Open Educational Resources and Mobile Resources for the Instruction of Educational Researchers. This project is funded by the Corporation of Universities for the Development of Internet (CUDI) and the National Council for Science and Technology (CONACYT) in Mexico.

The main goal is to generate a body of open educational resources (OER) and mobile learning resources (ML) on educational research methodology issues which are free and licensed for use, reuse and distribution within the academic community in Spanish speaking countries and around the world (Mortera-Gutierrez, 2010)

Universties participating in this project are:

1. Tecnológico de Monterrey (ITESM) 2. Universidad de Montemorelos (UM) 3. Universidad de Guadalajara (UDG) 4. Universidad Autónoma de Yucatán (UADY) 5. Instituto Tecnológico de Sonora (ITSON) 6. Universidad Autónoma de Guadalajara (UAG) 7. Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana (UAM)

At this moment, OEM in Mexico remains like an emerging movement in which more and more universities and institutions are putting effort to make it grow and to turn it into the engiene of knowledge dissemination in the country.


Mortera, F. (2010). Innovative Applications: Open Educational Resources and Mobile Resources Repository for the Instruction of Educational Researchers in Mexico. In Open ED 2010 Proceedings. Barcelona: UOC, OU, BYU.

4. OER in Sweden- Open and Beyond

OER in sweden Deliberate use and dissemination of open educational repositories (OER) is relatively new in Sweden and up to 2006 it has not made major impact on higher education until 2006. But after a couple of national surveys, workshops, networks and projects financed by the government resulted much tremendous impact. The Swedish Agency for Networks and cooperation in higher education (NSHU), the Swedish Agency for Flexible learning (CFL) and the Knowledge Foundation are some of them. The Swedish Net Agency (1n 2005 transformed to NSHO) started in 2002. Later in 2004-2005 the first national study on educational resources not only for OER, which was carried out 2004-20051 in which the main objectives was 1) To do an in depth study of the needs and incitement of single teachers or teacher groups of 2) To do a survey of local and regional initiatives of publishing and showcases of OER 3) Enhance knowledge sharing by national seminars and workshops 4) Stimulate local ongoing initiatives and pilot projects Next few years (2005-2006), several national seminars were carried out by NSHU and the National Library with special emphasis on creative commons and the possible use of it ina swedish context. SEED, Sweden’s English Educational Database for tertiary education: Creating a platform for sharing and collaboration1a project financed by NSHU, is an ongoing project has gained National acceptance which was an english Educational database for higher education. ationaldatabasefortertiaryeducation.htm ^ and NSHU Rapport 04:2007, Matriks, Lärresurser och erfarenhetstorg för matematik, projektutvärdering 5 ationaldatabasefortertiaryeducation.htm

5. OER in P.R. China

The term "Open Education Resources" was officially defined at the Forum on Open CourceWare for High Education in Developing Coutries in 2002, and then introduced to the scholars and educators soon later. The Chinese government play an important role in the OER movement, and there are some government-supported initiatives, which include the Chinese Quality Cource Project (initated, supported and funded by the Chinese Ministy of Education), the Science Data Share Project (the Chinese Ministy of Science and Technology), and National Cultural Imformation Resource Sharing Project (the Chinese Ministry of Culture).[1] And also, there is a non-profit organization called the China Open Resources for Education, or CORE for short. It was established in October 2003, and was initiated as a consortium of universities that began with 26 IET Educational Foundation member univerisities and 44 TV and Radio univerisitiers. [2]It has received approval and support from the Chinese Minstry of Education. And advanced courseware provided by universities like MIT has been introduced to China, and been translated into Chinese. Meanwhile, some quality Chinese courseware, which using English, is shared for people all over the world.

Legal issues for OER in China For the Chinese law system, there are mainly three laws related to the Open Educational Resource, which include The Constitution, Education Law and Copyright Law. The Constitution of People's Repubic of China provides detailed references for the people to get access of education, and giving foundmental support for the OER movement.


[1]Chunyang Wang and Guodong Zhao, Open Educational Resources in the People' Repubic of China: Achievement, Challenges and prospects for the movement. UNESCO Institution for Information and Technology in Education, Moscow. ISBN: 978-5-905175-07-7.


6. OER in Italy

Open Educational Resources (in italian "Risorse didattiche aperte") are teaching, learning or research materials freely available for everyone to use, share and remix. In Italy the first concrete step in this direction was TRIO (Technology, Research, Innovation and Orientation for vocational education and training). TRIO is a web learning system created in 1998 as an initiative of the Region of Tuscany. It's financed by the Region of Tuscany, the Ministry of Labour/Education and the European Social Fund. TRIO is completely free for users and is aimed to produce innovative teaching materials and to make them available to users through the e-learning catalogue and the e-learning training centers spread out all over the region. In 2004 Gold project was launched with the aim to create a wide community of teachers sharing experiences and digital materials. GOLD (global Online Documentation) is a national public funded repository collecting teachers’ experiences, best teaching practice and free learning materials designed to be used in the school environment. In 2008 three leading Italian institutions (Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, Università Cá Foscari di Venezia, CLUEB) involved in teacher education and in the development /distribution of digital resources for teaching education took part in Share.TEC (Sharing Digital Resources in the Teaching Education Community), a 3-year project (2008 to 2011) co-funded by the European Community’s eContentPlus programme. During these 3 years Share.TEC developed an online platform which helps practitioners across Europe search for, learn about and exchange resources of various kinds, and supports the sharing of experience about the use of those resources. Italy was also involved in SLOOP and Sloop2desc (Sharing Learning Objects in an Open Perspective, 2005-2007, 2009-2011), two eLearning and open content projects with partners in Ireland, Romania, Slovenia and Spain aimed to develop and promote a technological platform - named freeLOms - to create, save and use easy-to-access online teaching material, modifiable according to the open source philosophy. Current sitution

In Italy so far there are no significant OER initiatives even if in 2009 OER ITALY a national community was born within the UNESCO OER COMMUNITY joining 800 partecipants from 108 countries. Federica represents the first Italian higher education project for OER. Federica is a Web learning portal established in 2007 at the University of Naples Federico II that offers free access to a network of academic knowledge, providing learning objectives for every course and a structured guide to the vast amount of information already available online. It offers over 100 courses covering all 13 University departments from Engineering to Medicine, Social Studies and Agriculture. Content currently available online include more than 2,000 lessons, 1,600 documents, 20,000 images, 300 videos, and 600 podcasts. Each online course provides access to lesson abstracts, research material, multimedia resources, video and audio files, extra Web hyperlinks. Each individual can access the entire scientific and education content provided on Federica to study and research, to deepen his/her own learning or professional interests. The educational offering provided by Federica includes also three other learning environments:

PodStudio: downloading of all course lessons as podcast files, easy to use anytime and anywhere on last-generation multimedia device; Living Library: 600 external worldwide Web resources (magazines, e-books, databases, reseach centers, etc.), selected by an multisciplinary expert panel; Federica 3D: a virtual rendering of the University campus with all departments placed around one single squame, for exploring their educational resources in an exciting 3-D environment. Nowadays some Italian university (e.g., Politecnico di Milano, LUISS, Bocconi, UniFe) have began to upload lectures on YouTube EDU and Podcasting but there is still a lot to do. Waiting for a big opening...

The milestones of Open Educational Rersources movement worldwide by Campos, Chmilewsky, Cortinovis, Delmonte, Piltonen, Sunilkumar and Yang is licensed under a Creative Commons Reconocimiento-CompartirIgual 3.0 Unported License. Creado a partir de la obra en