Could not download file: This paper is available to authorised users only.


C.A. van Dorp

European Association of Distance Teaching Universities (NETHERLANDS)
The European Association of Distance Teaching Universities (EADTU) has been working on Open Educational Resources (OER) strategies in lifelong open and flexible learning by means of the EADTU taskforce on Multilingual Open Resources for Independent Learning (MORIL). The MORIL taskforce convened most of the European Open and Distance Teaching Universities and promoted online learning in two modes – informal and formal – both based on OER, so as to provide new gateways to university education. In doing so, the US-based William and Flora Hewlett Foundation acted as a financial catalyst. As early as 2006, EADTU convened taskforce meetings with the MORIL taskforce, (even) prior to receiving Grants from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. These meetings convened high-end representatives i.e., European university rectors and delegates. By final grant of two bids from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, i.e., the MORIL grant and the MORIL Supplementary grant, OER momentum could be created within the participating institutions and institutional strategies for OER were developed. Utilising the grants from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, a concept with learning modules in three tracks was developed: (1) access to fully open courses, (2) access to additional services like competence assessments and access to learning communities, and (3) access to formal tutoring, examinations and certification. The grants also enabled EADTU to organise a series of best practice seminars related to OER strategies, OER dissemination and OER capacity building. EADTU obtained organisational and financial support from both the European Commission and UNESCO.

By a new grant from the Erasmus lifelong learning programme within the strand Virtual Campus, the EADTU is (now) able to sustain this important work. The new European project ‘Innovative OER in European higher education (OER-HE)’ includes 11 European partners and envisions a continuation (and extension) of the activities which started under the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation grants. OER-HE is organised into five study work packages: (1) OER widening participation (i.e., best practices), (2) OER multi campus (associations and stakeholder), (3) OER internationalisation (development manuals), (4) Quality in OER (quality assurance of OER), and (5) a European OER portal (a repository). The new OER-HE project enables EADTU to follow-up the OER innovation cycle as regards the successive phases of awareness raising, strategy building, institutional frameworks, pedagogic models, business models, and pilot experiments. Moreover, all individual efforts of the EADTU members are consolidated under one future portal, which also provides access to the open course repositories of members. The new project valorises all EADTU member practices and studies will become available as to what OER successes have been achievedThe project generates a concise manual, a handbook, on how to deal with OER. OER-HE consists of the following partners: European Association of Distance Teaching Universities, Universidade Aberta, Open Universiteit Nederland, Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia, FernUniversität in Hagen, Anadolu University, Università Telematica Internazionale UNINETTUNO, Open University, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Universitat Oberta de Catalunya, and Hellenic Open University.