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Issue 3 - December 2013



POERUP Newsletter

December 2013

Issue 3

International Advisory Committee (IAC) meetings

The second full meeting of the IAC was held in Oslo in June 2013, during the EDEN conference. Twelve experts from nine countries attended, accompanied by six members of the POERUP team.

The POERUP team presented the list of 125 major OER initiatives drawn from our research and the experts commented at length on this, suggesting a number of additions and amendments. This discussion led in to an exploration of two complementary typologies for the classification of OER initiatives – the first by themes and the second providing a framework.

The final part of the meeting was devoted to a general and wide-ranging discussion of possible OER policy recommendations. The outputs generated from this discussion have been fed in to the draft policy papers for each education sector.

Policy Workshop

We have invited a number of Ministry representatives and European experts to the next IAC workshop, which will take place in Brussels during the Media & Learning conference on Thursday 12th December 2013. The workshop will discuss our draft policy recommendations for OER uptake for schools, VET and HE across the EU and their relationship with the key transformative actions described in the Commission’s Opening Up Education initiative.

EDEN Synergy Workshop

The Synergy Workshop, a new EDEN initiative held on 19-21 October 2013 in Budapest, was co-hosted by 4 European Commission co-funded projects: eLene2learn, DigiSkills, POERUP and Open Discovery Space. With its 100 face-to-face & 30 online participants and 45 projects/initiatives presented, it was a lively and highly inspirational event (the recordings of the webcasted sessions, including the POERUP presentations and Monday's policy round table discussion, are available on the website).

The conference programme facilitated the sharing of project outputs and research findings and gave the means and platform to collectively develop new, feasible ideas and plans. The structure of the workshop also enabled the creation and the strengthening of new and existing partnerships by engaging the conference participants in highly interactive and practical working group activities.

POERUP has greatly benefited from the Synergy Workshop in many ways, not only by widening the circle of practitioners who gained knowelgede about current OER practicies and policies in the EU/world and its countries and acquiring direct feedback, but also by getting a closer insight to the OER state-of-the-art in Hungary during a dedicated round table session organised with Hungarian experts on the 21st of October. The collaboration with the ODS project has also strenthened and new collaborations with OER experts/enthusiasts emerged during the 3 working days - these will be followed up within the next few months.

Read the full press release of the event and feel free to share it with your colleagues.

POERUP at Online Educa Berlin

POERUP was invited to the European Commission's Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency Pre-conference Workshop entitled 'Openness, Innovation, and Inclusion: European Policies and Programmes in ICT for Learning' that took place on 4th December 2013 to make a presentation on our policy recommendations.

Furthermore one of the Synergy Workshop's working groups enjoyed the direct support and endorsement of the EACEA. For their special request the representatives of the 26 LLP projects showcased in Budapest, prepared a joint presentation that was delivered at the Online Educa Berlin conference. 7 of these 26 LLP projects - including POERUP together with VISIR, LeHo, TRANSIt, DigiSkills, I-TUTOR and eLene2learn - were highlighted as particularly interesting initiatives, and as such, these project was given special emphasis and more time within the 120 minutes long joint presentation.

Visit at Nordic OER

Paul Bacsich, project manager of POERUP, was invited to Oslo by Tore Hoel the leader of the Nordic OER project to discuss further liaison between POERUP and the project. The meeting took place on Friday 8 November at HIOA, the abbreviation in Norwegian of Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences. Also present was Ebba Ossiannilsson the Swedish contact for Nordic OER.

Prior to the all-day meeting on Friday Tore hosted a small dinner for Paul and Ebba on Thursday evening. On Friday morning there was a specific meeting with senior staff of the Learning Centre of HIOA engaged in OER and open access. On Friday afternoon there were two seminars given by Paul and Ebba to a larger audience from across the University College, followed by questions and discussions. Paul spoke on POERUP and Ebba on quality issues on OER from an EFQUEL standpoint.

The meetings established that it was timely to update both the Norway and Sweden reports and make the available in a format integrated with the earlier VISCED and Re.ViCa reports. (Some scoping work on this has already been done.) Specific mention would be made of the excellent work in Norway on OER in schools done via the NDLA project. The contributions of authors would be acknowledged as they are for other POERUP reports.

It was also felt that POERUP and Nordic OER should set up an informal collaboration along the lines that POERUP has with UNESCO Moscow and IPTS. In time this might lead to further bids. Progress could not be made immediately for various reasons including travel but could start in early 2014. POERUP will consider to reach out to the BOLDIC project with Sweden and the Baltic States noting that Ebba Ossiannilsson is Vice-Chair of SVERD, the Swedish Organisation for Distance Teaching.

Report on comparative analysis of transversal OER initiatives

The POERUP project seeks to provide support for the promotion of OER – their creation, use and repurposing – with the view to widening access to education, improving its quality and lowering the cost. Work package two of the project previously reported on over 400 OER promotional initiatives around the world, as described in the last newsletter.

The University of Leicester has now completed the third deliverable of this work package, which analyses these further. They selected the most notable 120 initiatives – those that create freely available resources for teaching and learning – with particular attention paid to electronic textbooks and Massive Online Open Courses (MOOCs), two topics which are currently very high profile in education. These 120 initiatives were then categorised and analysed along dimensions such as Political Scale, Educational Sector and Pedagogical Approach – a categorisation scheme based on that used by the OPAL project.

The resulting report provides a valuable insight into the availability of OER across the globe, and will be of particular interest to policymakers, educational authorities, managers and practitioners. In addition, the accompanying discussion interprets and expands on the report’s findings to offer practical advice for policy makers, covering key areas such as licencing, business models, certification and accreditation. As a whole, the report should help maximise the benefits gained from policies that promote the use of OER.

Freshly released EU-level policies for OER Uptake

We are currently circulating for discussion policy recommendations for the three formal education sectors: policy recommendations for schools, HE and VET and conclusions from research in OER in K-12 (schools, ISCED 2 and 3). These policy recommendations take account of the key transformation actions described in the Commission’s Opening Up Education initiative, which was launched at the end of September 2013.

There is extensive documentation on OER in higher education, but relatively little evidence in VET, although VET is widely covered in a range of EU policy documents and initiatives. Within the schools sector the term ‘OER’ is relatively little known, but using the broad definition of OER adopted for POERUP, there are numerous repositories and portals which are within the scope of the project. The outcomes of our schools research can be summarised as follows.

POERUP has produced a document on general recommendations for fostering OER in higher education. As always with such documents the recommendations are rather abstract. It may help readers if four of the most important recommendations are translated into ones that are applicable to the UK.

Summary report on Case Studies

POERUP investigates 7 case-studies to get more in depth insights into how communities behind OER initiatives are organized. Examining how OER communities come to live, function or learn can support in empowering educators in the use of open educational resources. Based on a global review of OER initiatives we have selected the following four case-studies since the publication of our previous Newsletter:

  • Alison is a two million-strong, global online learning community, filled with free, high-quality resources for vocational training. Gives people all over the world the ability to learn and get certified new skill, using our free, interactive, multimedia.
  • Re:Source provides access to a rich collection of content from Scotland’s Colleges, and offering related collections of interest to the Scottish FE sector, such as the JISC Regional Support Centre for Scotland (RSC).
  • MOOC: Introduction to Communication Science is an initiative of the College of Communication and the Graduate School of Communication Science of the University of Amsterdam. The online course covers all aspects of communication science – from history and theory to the influence of media on society – by means of video lectures.
  • BCCampus is a publicly funded organization that uses information technology to connect the expertise, programs, and resources of all B.C. post-secondary institutions under a collaborative service delivery framework by providing services to institutions, ensuring B.C. learners, educators, and administrators technologies and services for their learning and teaching needs.

Events where POERUP was presented from May 2013

Meet us face-to-face later

Recommended websites and readings





We recommend you to follow the "Open Educational Resources (OER)" collection of further interesting resources.



The POERUP Consortium

Project Manager: Paul Bacsich
For more details please visit the project’s website.


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Last updated 3276 days ago by EDEN News