1 University of Duisburg-Essen (GERMANY)
2 Universal Learning Systems (IRELAND)
3 Hogskolen i Oslo og Akershus (NORWAY)
4 Computer Technology Institute & Press Diophantus (GREECE)
5 European Distance & E-Learning Network (UNITED KINGDOM)
6 Ellinogermaniki Agogi Scholi Panagea Savva (GREECE)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2013 Proceedings
Publication year: 2013
Pages: 6489-6498
ISBN: 978-84-616-3847-5
ISSN: 2340-1095
Conference name: 6th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 18-20 November, 2013
Location: Seville, Spain
With 52 partners from 21 European countries and a budget of 15.3 Million Euro, Open Discovery Space is the largest e-Learning project that ever was launched by the European Commission. The Open Discovery Space project started in April 2012 and will end in March 2015 (3 years). Open Discovery Space is develop-ing a multilingual web portal for the school sector that is designed to support its users (mainly teachers) regarding the accessibility, production, use, and adaptation of Open Educational Resources and to foster open practices regarding the exchange of knowledge and experiences. The project will be implemented in at least 1000 schools throughout Europe and involve a minimum of 10.000 teachers.

In our pre-studies, we found that the need for Open Educational Resources is very high in order to enrich educational contents and overcome the disadvantage of too long production cycles for printed school books as educational demands nowadays quickly change. However, teaching scenarios in schools can be extremely different from each other and so do the particular challenges the teachers have to overcome when dealing with Open Educational Resources. One of the most extreme examples that we found so far was an inclusive school where children with special needs were jointly taught with “healthy” children. Each of those children with special needs suffered very particular deficits and thus, for such a class, the same learning contents need to be provided in various different versions in order to support such particular demands.

In order to be successful in reaching its highly ambitious aims, it is crucial to facilitate common practices regarding the use, reuse, and adaptation of Open Educational Resources (OERs) through providing actually helpful solutions for possible barriers. In this context, we conducted studies with the aim to determine barriers that could prevent teachers in their particular situation from using, producing, and reusing Open Educational Resources and possible solutions.

We conducted several qualitative studies in order to learn more about such particular challenges; lately, in a workshop at the EDEN conference 2013 in Dublin, we brought stakeholders together in an action-research scenario, asked for their individual challenges and discussed possible solutions that would provide support within their individual educational scenarios. We were able to compose a quite impressive list of basically different issues that will be targeted in the context of the Open Discovery Space platform and at least partly also need to be targeted by the OER community.

In the proposed paper, after introducing the theoretical background, we firstly will present a selection of specific educational contexts and afterwards discuss related challenges against the production, usage and adaptation of OERs.

Disclaimer: The Open Discovery Space project is partially funded by the European Union CIP PSP Grant Agreement no. 297229
Open Discovery Space, Open Educational Resources, Barriers, Challenges, Solutions, Europe, School, Teachers, European Project.