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Ariadne Pfad:


Open Educational Resources (OER) - an Overview of Initiatives Worldwide

"Bei Bildung geht es darum, Wissen zu teilen"

In the course of the digitisation of education, Open Educational Resources (OER) are playing an increasingly important role internationally. The individual countries and institutions find a variety of ways to create educational programmes with open and free educational materials. In the following dossier we present some of these networks, projects and repositories as well as lessons learned and more. The link tips are supplemented by literature references on OER (as of December 2020).

Institutions, Organisations, Networks

The organisation Open Education Global was created in 2008 under the name of "OpenCourseWare Consortium". It then had a focus on courses and course material that is freely accessible. Starting in 2014, the organisation changed its goals and began focussing on Open Education in general. OEG [...]

international; United States
The Institute for the Study of Knowledge Management in Education (ISKME) was founded in 2002. It conducts research in the field of OER and educational information and communication technologies, advises educational leaders and also produces OER. The website provides a lot of information on projects worldwide, for [...]

[This website has become an archived site. For new content please visit the new website under].
OpenCourseWare Consortium is a community of more than 200 institutions of higher education and associated organisations that aim at promoting courses and course material that is [...]

Brazil; international
Website of the Unesco Chair for Distance Education at the Universidade de Brasília. The chair focusses on open education. Its website provides information on OER projects in Brazil, a "Caderno REA para professores", a guide for teachers on OER, news and some tutorials on how to use open software. [Abstract: Editors of [...]

Brazil; international
The Brazilian Initiative for Open Education brings together productions and projects from the UNESCO Chair for Distance Education and the Educadigital Institute, which promote the issue of Open Education in Brazil. The website provides academic research, publications, production of resources and repositories, as well as [...]

Asia; Bhutan; Cambodia; China; Indonesia; Laos; Mongolia; Pakistan; Philippines; Sri Lanka; Thailand; Vietnam
OER Asia brings together experts on OER from different Asian countries. The website offers broad information and resources on OER in Asia. You will find news and information on conferences, papers, articles, presentations, studies, all [...]

Africa South of the Sahara; South Africa, Republic; East Africa; Ghana; Senegal; Kenya; Nigeria; Rwanda; Sudan [...]
This website provides ample information on PER projects on Africa (esp. South Africa, Ghana, Senegal, Kenia, East Africa). There is a focus on OER in agricultre, health and teacher training. Furthermore, you will find [...]

The Open University of Japan (OUJ) was founded in 1983 by the Open University of Japan Foundation, under the auspices of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, and the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications. It is an accredited educational institution open to all the people in Japan. OUJ utilizes [...]

international; New Zealand; Australia; Canada
The OER Foundation was created by institutions / universities in New Zealand, Australia and Canada. Nevertheless, it aims at at international network and membership. The Foundation runs several projects, among which for example the creation of an OER University, the portals WikiEducator oder dem [...]

Africa; Africa South of the Sahara; international
The "Association for the Promotion of African OER" was founded in 2009. It provides information about OER in Africa including links to various projects, OER materials, courses, software, etc. Some of the resources are sorted by language (francophone, anglophone, lusophone) or as pan-African. [...]

Running Projects

[Please note: The project ended in April 2022. Nevertheless, the platform OERinfo plans to integrate the OER World Map into its website. Information only in German].
The OER World Map provides information on [...]

The heart of the hub is the Open Education Policy Registry, an evolving database which collects and classifies Open Education Policy documents from all educational sectors and levels of governance around the world. The OE Hub is a project by the OER World Map.

"Opening up Slovenia" is a bottom-up created and top-down supported new and innovative initiative in which Slovenia as a first European member state will attempt to create a unique nationwide research environment in open education.

Africa South of the Sahara
TESSA is a pan- Africa (hitherto mainly anglophone countries) project for the creation and dissemination of OER in Africa. TESSA also does research, studies, workshops and more to integrate OER into teaching, to educate teachers in the use of OER etc. The website offers the OER resources as such (in English, French, [...]

The project is developing an university didactic offer for lecturers in Switzerland. The objective is to support digital communication, cooperation and collaboration and generally digital education.

The OPEN GAME project (Promoting Open Education through Gamification) aims to contribute to the uptake of Open Education Resources and Open Education Practices among educators in Higher Education in an innovative and motivating way, through the developing of a gamified and situated learning experience on Open Education. The [...]

Past Projects

The website brought together international researchers and educators to discuss OER topics. OLnet provided fulltext documents and information on research, projects and news concerning OER topics. Furthermore, you could find links to OER plattforms and tools.
OLnet was supported by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation [...]

Europe; Latin America
"The project intends to foster the adoption and pilot of open educational practices (OEP), and open educational resources (OER) in Latin America as a bottom-up approach to develop a common Higher Education Area. (...) The OportUnidad project is co-funded with support by the European Commission under the EuropeAidALFA III [...]

" (...) the Open Educational Resources in Europe (OEREU) project will provide a critical assessment of OER initiatives and practices in Europe, develop sector-specific foresight scenarios to illustrate the benefits, carry out a representative survey on the use of OER, identify challenges across all sectors and, jointly with [...]

"OLCOS, the Open eLearning Content Observatory Services project (1/2006-12/2007) is co-funded under the European Union’s eLearning Programme and aims at building an (online) information and observation centre for promoting the concept, production and usage of open educational resources, in particular, open digital educational content [...]

Europe; international
[As the original website is offline, the link provided here leads you to the webarchive and is a copy as of 27.03.2014 of the original website. Therefore, some links on the website might not work anymore.]
OPAL (2010-2011) was an initiative by different European universities and organisations to promote quality and [...]

"[LangOER is a] 3-year network (January 2014- December 2016) supported by action KA2 Languages of the Lifelong Learning Programme, European Commission." The network is to support the use of Open Educational Resources for the benefit of regional and minority languages and linguistic diversity in the EU. The network has two target groups: [...]

United Kingdom
"This infokit includes information about the three year UK Open Educational Resources Programme (UKOER) (2009 - 2012) and offers links to a wide range of resources which describe the outcomes (lessons learned) and outputs (reports, guidance materials and toolkits) that emerged." [Source: Site editor’s information]

Latin America; Mexico; Bahamas; Barbados; Guyana; Cuba; Dominica; Dominican Republic; Haiti; Jamaica; Suriname; Peru [...]
Latin America Learning was a project of the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies at Michigan State University. You can browse for OER resources and projects by country, region or topic. You will also find [...]

international; Latin America; Chile; Europe; Spain; United Kingdom; Brazil; United Kingdom; Netherlands
temoa was a project run by the Center for Innovation in Technology and Education (Innov@TE) at the University Tecnológico de Monterrey, Mexico. In July 2015, an [...]

Brazil; international
[Project ended. For final information please visit
This website offered a very well-arranged overview over Brazilian OER projects, worldwide OER projects, legislations / legislative projects on OER in Brazil, [...]

The website provides information on the centre's past OER activities between 2007 and 2014. It provides information and access especially on two studies conducted by the centre in 2007 and 2012. The 2007 CERI project aimed at analysing "the scale and scope of initiatives regarding 'open educational resources' (OER) in terms of [...]

Repositories with OER material

LRE offers learning resources for schools from different European countries and 53 institutions. You will find audio, video, pictures, texts, glossaries, courses, presentations, exercises and much more. The search can be specified by language, subject, provider and later filtered by max./min. age and resource type. You can also search [...]

KlasCement is a very successful Belgian online platform where teachers share free learning resources. The content is also available in English.

United States
The platform contains free and open workforce training materials for 21st century employment in the United States of America.

international; United States
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is considered to be one of the pioneers of the Open Courseware / Open Educational Resources Movement. Since 2002, it publishes all of its courseware online and freely accessible. You can search courses by topic, course number or Department. There is one restriction, [...]

United States; United States
City Tech’s OpenLab is an open-source digital platform where students, faculty, and staff can meet to learn, work, and share their ideas. Its goals are to support teaching and learning, enable connection and collaboration, and strengthen the intellectual and social life of the college community.

Arab States; international; United States
This OER platform is run by US-American research institute ISKME. It provides Open Educational Resources for different subjects and levels. These OERs are provided by different educational institutions. The website also offers an online training for teachers on how to use OERs effectively, special OERs [...]

Armenia; Belarus; Kazakhstan; Moldova; Russian Federation; Ukraine; Uzebekistan
This website offers Open Educational Resources from the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). The OERs are meant to be "mainly for primary and secondary school teachers and pupils, students of technical and vocational schools and universities, teaching staff [...]

international; Africa South of the Sahara
This African OER project was run by the African Virtual University in cooperation with 12 African partner universities. It went online in January 2011 and provides more than 200 modules for mathematics, chemistry, bilogy, physics, as well as teacher education courses on the use of ICT and copyright [...]

international; Argentina; Australia; Brazil; Canada; Chile; Colombia; Czech Republic; Finland; India; Italy; Italy [...]
The Creative Commons Website provides a long list of websites where you can search for OER. For each platform, you will find an explanation where and how to search for OER. The platforms are sorted by resource types, for [...]

Open Education Austria is a collaborative initiative among Austrian universities to develop a national infrastructure for creating, discovering, and sharing open educational resources (OER). With Open Education Austria, the libraries, e-learning centres, and central computing services of our partnering universities will join forces for [...]

Austria; Austria
Articles and educational resources of authors who are members of Graz University of Technology and who are available for use under Creative Commons licenses are collected in this repository.

Lessons Learned on OER

The study presents examples of positive initiatives and changes in education originated as a reaction to the closure of schools during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 and which are part of what is known as Open Educational Practices and Open Educational Resources.The aim of analysis is to gather information about the most [...]

Norwegen ist auch in der deutschen Diskussion um freie Bildungsmaterialien durch Beiträge auf OER-Konferenzen und einzelnen Veröffentlichungen in regelmäßigen Abständen kurz als beispielgebend thematisiert worden1. Dabei blieben viele Details jedoch im Unklaren. Die vorliegende Studie und die damit verbundene Publikation haben sich zum Ziel gesetzt, den Leser_innen einen [...]

OERinfo talks to Ilmari Jauhiainen, Senior Planning Offices at the Ferderation of Finnish Learned Societies, about Open Education and OER in Finnland.

Interview of OERinfo with Professor Tsuneo Yamada of the Open University of Japan on Open Education. In Japan awareness to OER is not high. MOOCS on the other hand play an important role in the discussion.

Interview of OERinfo with Mostafa Kamal, Bangladesh Open University, about the challenges of education in Bangladesh. Open Educational Resources (OER) are important for accessibility to education.

Overviews & Literature on OER

"This publication is motivated and inspired by the UNESCO OER Recommendation and the innovative experiences worldwide. It aims to show the implications of using Open Educational Practices (OEP) and Open Educational Resources (OER) on learning outcomes. Particularly, it describes, through illustrative examples, innovative approaches to using OEP and OER worldwide during [...]

This report provides an overview of definitions of quality for OER, suggests a conceptual mapping and reviews the major issues related to the quality for OER. The outcomes of the report can be outlined as follows: First, when reviewing a set of definitions of OER we find that they all: cover both use and reuse, repurposing, and modification of resources; include free use of [...]

Three documents have been developed in the framework of the 2nd World OER Congress. The two documents: Open Educational Resources: From Commitment to Action and the Open Educational Resources: Global Report 2017 provide the outcomes of the six regional consultations and global surveys conducted prior to the 2nd World OER Congress. The third document, Ljubljana OER Action Plan [...]

This project is run by the Unesco Chairs of Athabasca University, Canada, and Open University of the Netherlands. It collects links to articles and other literature on Open Educational Resources. You will find different possibilities to search for resources, e.g. by keywords, country, publication year or type and more. [Source: [...]

"The articles in this issue have been organised to present an overview of the OER movement, and the perspective is largely that of the OER provider. Given the fact that it is a young movement, case studies seem appropriate and they constitute the majority of the articles. The cases represent a range of different types of initiatives; and the voice of the OER champions who have [...]

This paper presents the results of an analyse on OER initiatives at universities worldwide (as of 2007).

Learning resources are often considered key intellectual property in a competitive higher education world. However, more and more institutions and individuals are sharing their digital learning resources over the Internet, openly and for free, as Open Educational Resources (OER). This study, building on previous OECD work on e-learning, asks why this is happening, who is [...]

Francophone Countries; France
In this article of 2009, the blog author Jean-Marie Gilliot gives a short overview over francophone information and projects in terms of OER. Gilliot is a researcher at Telecom Bretagne, a Grande École (specialised university) and research centre for engineering. [Source: Editors of Education Worldwide]

"In contrast to the face-to-face learning of campus based universities and the focus on traditional students, distance teaching universities focus on a mix of distance learning, e-learning, open learning, virtual mobility, learning communities, and the integration of earning and learning. In doing so, they are taking a leading role in helping to increase and widen [...]

Europe; international
Unfortunately, it is no longer possible to search for keywords in the European Journal of Open, Distance and E-Learning (EURODL) directly. When you use the portal search, you will also get results from other journals. But if you browse in EURODL direcly, you may nevertheless find interesting article on Open Educational [...]

"In this paper a vision for a future where Open Education (OE) culture thrives is presented. Open Education is a collection of practices and principles that encourage collaboration among educators to create educational resources that can be freely shared and distributed for learning and further collaboration. A review of the importance and benefits of Open Education is [...]

The author Jian Yimin gives a short overview over Chinese OER movement and politics since 2003. When the text was written (2010), Jia Yimin was a lecturer and researcher of educational technology in the Future Education Research Centre at the South China Normal University. [Source: Site editor’s information supplement by editors of [...]

This article of 2014 provides an overview over Open Educational Resources (policies, projects, practices) in Oceania / the Asia-Pacific Region (the islands of the South Pacific scattered across Polynesia, Micronesia, Melanesia as well as Australia and New Zealand and the countries of the Malay Peninsula - Indonesia, Malaysia, Burma, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Philippines). [...]

"In the currently policy context, this paper attempts to examine the potential of OERs to bridge the gap between formal, non-formal and informal education in Australia. Then, it highlights some of the current Australian OERs initiatives that have been identified through a centrally funded research project. The study reported in this paper aims to gather an understanding of the [...]

"This paper [which follows the article "Gathering the evidence: the use, adoption and development of open educational resources in Australia" (2011)] starts by exploring some of the most important OER initiatives in Australia, and then describes a centrally funded research project that investigates the state of play of OER in Australia. After that, the authors report on some [...]

Criticism of OER

Europe; international
A critical position paper on Opn Educational Resources, published by the European EdTech Alliance in 2022. "he European Edtech Alliance (EEA) is a consortium of national trade associations and clusters working with founders and providers of education technology (Edtech) (...)". It was founded in 2019. [Abstract: Site [...]

The author is a PhD student in Education studies, funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (UK). His focus is on E-Learning and Digital Cultures. In his article, he discusses several critical points about the OER movement.

* Introduction
* An under-theorisation of the notions of [...]

The author is a researcher with a focus on digital learning. In his blog article he has a critical look at Open Educational Resources and tries to answer the following questions:

What are OERs good for?
When are they a good thing?
Could they be a bad thing?
Whom do they serve?

[Abstract: [...]

Last Update: 30.01.2024  -

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