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

The word

This web dossier (as of September 02,2014) will give you an overview of the subject of Open Educational Resources (OER) on an international level. The dossier will continuously be enhanced but it is not exhaustive.

As the websites linked here often contain both texts about OER as well as OER Resources as such, the dossier is sorted by continents and countries.


The website provides information on the centre's OER activities. 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 their purpose, content, and [...]

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 freely accessible online. The website offers a search over more than 6,000 courses worldwide, as well as a list of members with links to their respective [...]

international; Poland; Brazil; United Kingdom; China; Africa South of the Sahara; Netherlands; Slovenia; Japan [...]
While the World OER Congress invites government officials, the "Open Seminar and Exhibition" , that takes place at the same time, invites NGOs and individual experts and researchers worldwide to discuss the topic. The website [...]

international; Argentina; Australia; Brazil; Canada; Chile; Colombia; Czech Republic; Finland; India; Italy; Italy [...]
The Creative Commons Website offers a small list of known OER projects worldwide. You will also find a guide on OER policy and a further link to OER case studies worldwide.

The OER World Map provides information on organisations, services, persons, projects, events, and stories with regard to Open Educational Resources (OER). The simple search can be used with filters for type of resources,language, country, subject, tag, and audience. The world map is work in progress and users are asked to [...]

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 serach for resources. The regional and country browsing doesn't work. Here it is better to use [...]

The Cape Town Open Education Declaration was based on a meeting of international, leading personalities in the field of Open Education. The meeting was organised by the Open Society Institute and the Shuttleworth Foundation in 2007 in Cape Town. The declaration calls upon actors in politics, education, publishing, research and [...]

"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 [...]

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

This dossier offers an introduction into the topic of OER with articles, video interviews and podcasts. You will also find some information on OER projects in other countries (Poland, USA, Norway, United Kingdom / UK).

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]

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 [...]

"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
This link will lead you to results for a search for articles on Open Educational Resources in the European Journal of Open, Distance and E-Learning (EURODL). [Source: Editors of Education Worldwide]

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 [...]

"[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]

North America

"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 [...]

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, [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

South America

Latin America; Mexico; Bahamas; Barbados; Guyana; Cuba; Dominica; Dominican Republic; Haiti; Jamaica; Suriname; Peru [...]
Latin America Learning is 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 is a project run by the Center for Innovation in Technology and Education (Innov@TE) at the University Tecnológico de Monterrey, Mexico. The website offers OER-Resources from institutions worldwide, with a focus on resources from [...]

Brazil; international
A Brazilian initiative on OER. You will find a list of (mainly Brazilian) institutions that offer Open Educational Resources ("Onde encontrar REA?"), as well as a "Caderno REA para professores", a guide for teachers on OER. Furthermore, you will find a small bibliography as well as a list of Brazilian projects dealing [...]

Brazil; international
This website offers a very well-arranged overview over Brazilian OER projects, worldwide OER projects, legislations / legislative projects on OER in Brazil, literature and guides on OER as well as OER in the media. [Source: Editors of Education Worldwide]


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 [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

Armenia; Azerbaijan; Belarus; Moldova; China; Russian Federation; United Kingdom; Turkey; Latvia; Ukraine
The workshop, which took place in Moscow from 31 May to 01 June 2011, mainly assembled participants from East European countries. The website offers access totheir presentations. One important topic is the situation of OER in their [...]


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 [...]

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 [...]

Africa South of the Sahara; Ghana; Kenya; Nigeria; Rwanda; Uganda; Malawi; South Africa, Republic; Sudan; Togo; Zambia [...]
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 [...]

Australia & Oceania

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 [...]

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 [...]

Critique of the OER Movement

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 [...]

Last Update: 02.04.2020  -  N. Cohen ;

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