Open Educational Resources (OER) are rapidly becoming a major phenomenon in education across OECD countries and beyond. Initiated largely at the level of institutions by pioneers and technology advocates some ten years ago, the OER community is growing, and the impact of OER on educational systems has become an issue of public policy.
The open policy community in education is increasingly well organised and enjoying support from various institutions and foundations. National governments have developed – or are in the process of developing – open policies to support access to and use of open educational resources. Likewise, intergovernmental international organisations such as UNESCO, the EU and the OECD are assuming a leadership role as well. In 2012 UNESCO issued the Paris OER Declaration.
With a view to evaluating the value of OER entering the mainstream of educational policy and practice, the ongoing OECD-CERI project on Open Educational Resources seeks to investigate the state of the evidence on OER impacts. In addition, it aims to shed light on how OER and Open Practices can help policy makers to address key challenges faced by their education systems.
This project follows earlier work by OECD-CERI on OER, which resulted in the publication Giving Knowledge for Free in 2007 and the Analysis of the responses to the OECD country questionnaire from 2012.
The project will analyse the state of the art with reference to OER cases and policy, providing both evidence for well-founded value propositions and identifying the existence of knowledge gaps in other instances. Furthermore, it will highlight the spread of publically sponsored OER initiatives and public policies supporting OER production and uptake across the world. Additionally, the project will pay special attention to two key questions for OER – sustainable business models for OER and the collation of data on OER use.