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Issue 4 - June 2014



POERUP Newsletter

June 2014

Issue 4

The role of community in OER

POERUP has dedicated a specific working group to explore relevant case studies and investigate the social configuration of communities to understand how networked learning activities take place. 6 in-depth case studies and their executive summaries will soon be available on the project website – these are namely about

1. Digischool (a national initiative in the Netherlands)
2. The first MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) in the Netherlands, titled “Introduction to Communication Science
3. The OERu (OER universitas)
4. A Canadian initiative BCcampus
5. FutureLearn
6. Re:Source (an initiative of the Scottish Further Education Unit)

EU-level policies for OER Uptake

Following an online consultation on the Open Education Europa portal the final version of the three types of policy recommendations (in the higher education, schools and vocational education and training sector) will be available on the POERUP website soon. The supporting arguments, references, concordances with Opening Up Education etc., are still to be integrated into a public narrative report, the meanwhile a summary table is already available online for consultation.

We are also pleased to announce that an early version of the POERUP OER Map is also available - this should undergo some major improvements during the next month, so please check back again later.

3rd International Advisory Committee (IAC) meeting

The third meeting of the IAC was held on Thursday 12th December 2013 in Brussels, during the Media & Learning Conference, taking advantage of the wide range of conference delegates and Ministry representatives from across the EU. Three experts from Spain and one each from Italy, Ireland, Romania, Poland, Estonia, Germany and Greece attended.

The meeting took the form of a workshop to debate the project’s draft OER policy recommendations and discuss their relationship to the EU initiative ‘Opening up Education’. Although there was insufficient time to debate all the categories (the topics “Teacher training and continuous professional development” and “Certification and Accreditation” were discussed more in depth), there was time for two pertinent comments: “the desirability of thinking about the granularity of OER, which is not really represented in the quality issues recommendations” and that “funding issues could usefully be linked to resource based management”.

All the comments recorded at the IAC meeting have been fed in to the review and update of the policy recommendations.

Recent public activities


Paul Bacsich and Giles Pepler presented the consolidated results of the project’s mapping of OER initiatives and policies during a workshop at the 2014 EDEN Annual Conference in Zagreb on the 11th of June. The presenters emphasised that the tables of initiatives, policies and mapping represented 'work in progress'. Participants came from seven different European countries – UK, Germany, Sweden, France, Romania, Spain and Ireland – plus Canada and representatives from ICDE and the EU. Visual representation of the geographical locations of policies and initiatives provoked much more lively debate and discussion than mere lists and tables and useful additional information was gained on a number of European countries, including Estonia, Finland and Austria. The presentation is available on Slideshare.


Giles Pepler presented an overview of the POERUP policy recommendations at the eLSE conference, Bucharest on 24/25 April 2014. The conference, celebrating its tenth year, generated over 300 accepted papers and included a thematic workshop on OER and MOOCs, where Giles’ presentation was the keynote. The paper supporting the presentation and the presentation slides are both available from the POERUP wiki and the paper will be published in the Conference book in June 2014. There is substantial OER activity in Romania, which was evidenced by the wealth of research papers presented at the eLSE conference. OER are included in the Governement Programme for 2013-2016; a Romanian Coalition for Open Educational Resources was created in October 2013 and a National Conference on Open Education was held in March 2014. In addition to the conference presentation, Giles Pepler was invited to facilitate a workshop on OER and the POERUP case studies at CROS.

OCWC 2014

At the Open Education for a Multicultural World conference (OCWC), held on 23-25 April 2014 in Ljubljana, Slovenia, the POERUP team, Robert Schuwer, Paul Bacsich and Rory McGreal, delivered presentations about “OER policies for smaller EU countries”; the “Evaluation of FutureLearn community” and a Canadian case study. Within the frame of a panel chaired by Paul, a discussion was initiated with the audience on “national and international policies for OER” with reference to the EU situation and Opening Up Education. Old contacts were reinforced and new ones (with Greek and Mexican projects and a ministry representative from Slovenia) were created, which is of particular importance in terms of multiplication and sustainability of the POERUP legacy.


Three active team members from Sero attended the OER14 conference in Newcastle on 28 and 29 April 2014 to present POERUP. On one hand there was an introduction of the ALISON case study that generated a lot of interest and some follow-up from specific delegates. On the other hand there was a dedicated workshop on “A DIY kit for policy formulation for OER in HE and FE” – this was attended by a number of OER experts from England, Scotland, Germany, Poland and other countries. The discussion included an impassioned debate on “What is policy?” (as opposed to projects and initiatives) and the role of long-term policy in the modern HE/FE system, given the turbulence in European governments and their education policies and funding. The first public version of POERUP’s policy recommendations was also presented at this event. Check the other great mass of material linked from the conference web site.

EIF / LINQ Conference

POERUP staff Paul Bacsich and Rory McGreal attended the EFQUEL/LINQ “Innovation Forum” (EIF) held in Crete on 7-9 May 2014. This was a merged conference held between the EFQUEL and LINQ organisations. The sessions provided the settings for intensive debates that the participants found very beneficial. The session simply titled “Conversations with POERUP” begin with a brief overview of POERUP and elevator pitches, followed by the introduction of a more detailed case study of the Canada OER initiative and policy situation incorporating the latest news on initiatives in the western provinces. This generated a lot of questions and a lively debate about the relevance, or not, of Canada and its provinces to the European OER situation. The active involvement of other relevant projects’ representatives in the discussions on quality was very useful in helping to refine the quality-related aspects of POERUP recommendations.

Recommended 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 2762 days ago by EDEN News